Heavens

An international team of astronomers led by Ohio State University has examined dark matter in the outer reaches of our galaxy in a new way.

The latest find from an international planet-hunting team of amateur and professional astronomers is one of the oddest extrasolar planets ever cataloged -- a mammoth orb more than 13 times the mass of Jupiter that orbits its star in less than four days.

Two merging black holes can generate gravitational waves so powerful that the merged hole shoots out of its host galaxy at a speed of up to 2,500 miles per second, according to a new simulation.

The world's largest and most prolific team of planet hunters announced today (Monday, May 28) the discovery of 28 new planets outside our solar system, increasing to 236 the total number of known exoplanets.

A newly discovered dwarf galaxy in the Local Group has been found to have formed in a region of space far from our own and is falling into our system for the first time in its history, according to new data obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory. An international team of astronomers report that the dwarf galaxy, Andromeda XII, marks the best piece of evidence for small galaxies which are just now arriving in our Local Group.

A CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) is a solar body slam to our high-tech civilization. CMEs begin when the sun launches a billion tons of electrically conducting gas (plasma) into space at millions of miles per hour. A CME cloud is laced with magnetic fields, and CMEs directed our way smash into Earth's magnetic field. If the CME magnetic fields have the correct orientation, they dump energy into Earth's magnetic field, causing magnetic storms. These storms can cause widespread blackouts by overloading power line equipment with extra electric current. But wait; there's more.

Using NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite and ground-based telescopes, astronomers have determined, for the first time, the properties of a rare, extremely massive, and young binary star system.

 NASA / JPL-Caltech / GSFC / SDSSIn just a short amount of time, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has bagged more than a thousand previously unknown dwarf galaxies in a giant cluster of galaxies.

The sharpest image ever taken of the large "grand design" spiral galaxy M81 is being released today at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. A spiral-shaped system of stars, dust, and gas clouds, the galaxy's arms wind all the way down into the nucleus.Click above for full size

Astronomers have discovered the exact location and makeup of a pair of supermassive black holes at the center of a collision of two galaxies more than 300 million light years away.