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Space

Strange objects found orbiting our galaxy's supermassive black hole

The forces generated by Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way, appear to have formed a new class of celestial objects. In results published in the journal Nature by researchers from…

When these stars meet, the explosion will take over our night sky

You probably won’t be around to stare at the sky and make dumbfounded murmurings. But your children — or at least, your grandchildren — will be. And what a sight they will behold in 2083. That’s when astronomers expect a…

Ancient stardust in meteorite is older than Earth

Grains of stardust – particles left behind by star explosions – in an Australian meteorite are now the oldest known material on Earth. A new study suggests this stardust came to be long before our sun ever existed.

The mystery of our solar system's 'great divide' may finally be solved

Our solar system’s “great divide,” the expanse that separates the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) from the gas and ice giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) may finally have an origin story. According to a study published in the journal…

Astronomers date an ancient Milky Way collision

The Gaia-Enceladus dwarf galaxy slammed into our Milky Way 11.5 billion years ago. It added a mass of 50 billion suns to the Milky Way. Grand names and big numbers! Now new knowledge of this collision comes from a single, bright star visible in Southern Hemisphere skies.

These 2 outbound comets are likely from another solar system

Hyperbolic comets fly through our solar system at high speed before heading out to interstellar space, never to return. A new study from astronomers in Japan identifies 2 hyperbolic comets that likely originated outside our solar system.

A new way to detect oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres

In recent years, astronomers have pondered the search for biosignatures, or signs of life, in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets. Will the James Webb Space Telescope – due to launch in 2021 – be able to detect them? A new technique says yes.

How far is Betelgeuse?

Recent speculation that Betelgeuse might be on the verge of going supernova prompted many to ask: how far away is it? But getting a distance measurement for this star has been no easy task.