The Kepler spacecraft has sent its final images to Earth, ending a decade of hunting for planets beyond our solar system. The spacecraft was utilized in the discovery of more than 2,600 of these exoplanets. Just 35 years ago, astronomers did not know of any planets beyond our own stellar family, while today, we know of thousands of such alien worlds, Most of these discoveries were made using the Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009. The observatory ran out of fuel in October 2018, and was placed in a safe orbit prior to shutdown.Read More Good Night, Dear Kepler — Planet-Hunting Telescope Sends Last Images to Earth; Is That Tetris?
The Milky Way Galaxy is typically thought to be a flat, spiral disk. But, new research from astronomers at Macquarie University suggest our home galaxy is warped. By studying the positions of certain well-understood stars, researchers were able to create the first 3D model of our home galaxy. They found that the Milky Way has a slight “s” shape when viewed from the side. Torque caused by the movement of stars closer to the center the galaxy appear to be causing the effect.Read More It’s Not Just You – The Galaxy IS Warped, After All!
The Andromeda Galaxy, the closest large family of stars to the Milky Way, may be a galactic assassin. Astronomers from the University of Michigan have determined that this family of stars collided with another massive galaxy two billion years ago, nearly destroying it. Today, only the small dwarf galaxy, M32, remains, still located near Andromeda. In roughly four billion years, The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide, greatly altering both galaxies.Read More The Andromeda Galaxy Was the Culprit – The Case of the Missing Galaxy
The earliest stars in the Universe formed just 250 million years after the big bang, according to astronomers working at the ALMA facility in Chile. Researchers also discovered the oldest oxygen ever detected, from just 500 million years after the creation of the Universe. These discoveries push back the time when astronomers believe starlight first filled the Cosmos.Read More First Stars Formed Just 250 Million Years After Big Bang
For the first time ever, a supernova is seen in the first moments it erupts. Amazingly, it was spotted by an amateur astronomer. This is his story.Read More Amateur Astronomer Victor Buso Spots Supernova in First Moments of Explosion
Dark Matter may be even stranger than we thought, according to new findings about the dwarf galaxies of galaxy Centaurus A.Read More Dwarf Galaxies Could Put a New Spin on Ideas of Dark Matter
An ancient galaxy could provide clues to the early history of the Universe.Read More Hubble Sneaks a Peek at Ancient Galaxy from The Dawn of the Cosmos