Heavens

Early on an August morning, the sky near Cape Canaveral, Florida, will light up with the launch of Parker Solar Probe. No earlier than Aug. 6, 2018, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy will thunder to space carrying the car-sized spacecraft, which will study the Sun closer than any human-made object ever has.

To discover and confirm the presence of a planet around stars other than the Sun, astronomers wait until it has completed three orbits. However, this very effective technique has its drawbacks since it cannot confirm the presence of planets at relatively long periods (it is ideally suited for periods of a few days to a few months).

Twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found—11 “normal” outer moons, and one that they’re calling an “oddball.” This brings Jupiter’s total number of known moons to a whopping 79—the most of any planet in our Solar System.

A team led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard first spotted the moons in the spring of 2017 while they were looking for very distant Solar System objects as part of the hunt for a possible massive planet far beyond Pluto.

This image shows the star cluster RCW 38, as captured by the HAWK-I infrared imager mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. By gazing into infrared wavelengths, HAWK-I can examine dust-shrouded star clusters like RCW 38, providing an unparalleled view of the stars forming within.

New York City -- An international team of astronomers has discovered an ancient and dramatic head-on collision between the Milky Way and a smaller object, dubbed the "Sausage" galaxy. The cosmic crash was a defining event in the early history of the Milky Way and reshaped the structure of our galaxy, fashioning both its inner bulge and its outer halo, the astronomers report in a series of new papers.

Uranus was hit by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth that caused the planet to tilt and could explain its freezing temperatures, according to new research.

Astronomers at Durham University, UK, led an international team of experts to investigate how Uranus came to be tilted on its side and what consequences a giant impact would have had on the planet's evolution.

The team ran the first high-resolution computer simulations of different massive collisions with the ice giant to try to work out how the planet evolved.

The interstellar object Oumuamua was discovered back on October 19, 2017, but the puzzle of its true nature has taken months to unravel, and may never be fully solved.

Meaning "scout from the distant past" in Hawaiian, Oumuamua was found by astronomers working with the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS1 survey as it came close to Earth's orbit. But what is it: an asteroid or a comet? As soon as it was spotted, astronomers from around the world were on the case.

HAMILTON, ON, June 25, 2018 - Clusters of stars across the vast reaches of time and space of the entire universe were all created the same way, researchers at McMaster University have determined.

Researchers Corey Howard, Ralph Pudritz and William Harris, authors of a paper published June 25 in the journal Nature Astronomy, used highly-sophisticated computer simulations to re-create what happens inside gigantic clouds of concentrated gases known to give rise to clusters of stars that are bound together by gravity.

A team of international astrophysicists may have found a solution to a problem that has perplexed scientists for more than 50 years: why are the stars in globular clusters made of material different to other stars found in the Milky Way?

In a study published by Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the team led by the University of Surrey, introduce a new actor to the equation that could solve the problem - a supermassive star.

Washington, DC--New work from an international team of astronomers including Carnegie's Jaehan Bae used archival radio telescope data to develop a new method for finding very young extrasolar planets. Their technique successfully confirmed the existence of two previously predicted Jupiter-mass planets around the star HD 163296. Their work is published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters.