Major smashups between rocky bodies shaped our solar system. Observations of a similar crash give clues about how frequent these events are around other stars.
Just like clouds on Earth, clouds of gas and dust in space can sometimes resemble familiar objects, or even popular movie creatures.
Brown dwarfs aren’t quite stars and aren’t quite planets, and a new study suggests there might be more of them lurking in our galaxy than scientists previously thought.
The newly discovered feature offers insight into the large-scale structure of our galaxy, which is difficult to study from Earth’s position inside it.
Exploding stars generate dramatic light shows. Infrared telescopes like Spitzer can see through the haze and to give a better idea of how often these explosions occur.
Among the first, and strangest, planets to be detected around other stars is a variety known as “hot Jupiters” – star-hugging, superheated giants once thought so unlikely that many scientists doubted their existence.
Cosmic dawn, when stars formed for the first time, occurred 250 million to 350 million years after the beginning of the universe, according to a new study led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz, the University College London, and the University of Cambridge.
Brown dwarfs, sometimes known as “failed stars,” can spin at upwards of 200,000 mph, but there may be a limit to how fast they can go.
Precise measurements reveal that the exoplanets have remarkably similar densities, which provides clues about their composition.
Is our solar system located in a typical Milky Way neighborhood? Scientists have gotten closer to answering this question, thanks to the NASA-funded Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project, a “citizen science” collaboration between professional scientists and members of the public.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was officially decommissioned on January 30, 2020, but Spitzer’s discoveries will continue for years to come. A great way to learn about these science tidbits is to continue to follow Spitzer’s social media feeds under their new branding of “ExploreAstro at Caltech IPAC.”
The Blue Ring Nebula, which perplexed scientists for over a decade, appears to be the youngest known example of two stars merged into one.
An international team of scientists recently measured the spectrum of the atmosphere of a rare hot Neptune exoplanet, whose discovery by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was announced just last month.
The papers provide an inventory of some of the greatest discoveries of the past decade and suggest targets for the next generation telescope, scheduled to launch in 2021.
Telescopes give us a chance to see what the Galactic Center looks like in different types of light. By translating the inherently digital data (in the form of ones and zeroes) captured by telescopes in space into images, astronomers create visual representations that would otherwise be invisible to us.
The violent events leading up to the death of a star would likely drive away any planets. The newly discovered Jupiter-size object may have arrived long after the star died.
The most massive stars in the universe are born inside cosmic clouds of gas and dust, where they leave behind clues about their lives for astronomers to decode.
Using a NASA-designed software program, members of the public helped identify a cache of brown dwarfs - sometimes called failed stars - lurking in our cosmic neighborhood.
The thermal structure of hot gas giant exoplanet atmospheres is likely to be inverted for the hottest planets, a class of planets known as ultra-hot Jupiters.
Using known distances of 50 galaxies from Earth to refine calculations in Hubble's constant, astronomers estimates the age of the universe at 12.6 billion years.
The newly discovered planet is orbiting a star still encircled by the disk of material from which both objects formed, giving scientists a glimpse at early planet evolution.
Jupiter-size planets orbiting close to their stars have upended ideas about how giant planets form. Finding young members of this planet class could help answer key questions.
Black holes aren't stationary in space; in fact, they can be quite active in their movements. But because they are completely dark and can't be observed directly, they're not easy to study. Scientists have finally figured out the precise timing of a complicated dance between two enormous black holes, revealing hidden details about the physical characteristics of these mysterious cosmic objects.
Five days before NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope ended its mission on Jan. 30, 2020, scientists used the spacecraft's infrared camera to take multiple images of a region known as the California Nebula — a fitting target considering the mission's management and science operations were both based in Southern California at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech.
For the first time, scientists have directly measured wind speed on a brown dwarf, an object larger than Jupiter (the largest planet in our solar system) but not quite massive enough to become a star. To achieve the finding, they used a new method that could also be applied to learn about the atmospheres of gas-dominated planets outside our solar system.
After more than 16 years studying the universe in infrared light, revealing new wonders in our solar system, our galaxy and beyond, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope's mission has come to an end.
The Tarantula Nebula, seen in this image by the Spitzer Space Telescope, was one of the first targets studied by the infrared observatory after its launch in 2003, and the telescope has revisited it many times since. Now that Spitzer is set to be retired on Jan. 30, 2020, scientists have generated a new view of the nebula from Spitzer data.
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