A newly discovered planet-candidate circling star LkCa 15 could provide astronomers with a first-ever look at a gas-giant planet as it grows. It could help prove or debunk current theories.
NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which is searching for Earth-mass planets orbiting sun-like stars, is finding hundreds of candidate planets, and many more multi-planet systems than expected.
The constellation Orion as it appears in visible light (l.) and in infrared light (r.). The infrared image is a mosaic of images from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS).
This artist's concept shows a debris disk that has been observed around an unusual class of interacting binary stars. The type of cataclysmic variable system being studied consists of a highly magnetic white dwarf star (a 'dead' remnant star formed from the core of a star like our Sun when it exhausts the available fuel to support nuclear fusion) and a very low-mass, cool object similar to a brown dwarf. The two objects orbit so closely that they make a complete revolution about each other in only 80-90 minutes.
Astronomers have obtained an unprecedented look at the nearest example of galactic cannibalism. A massive black hole hidden at the center of a nearby giant galaxy that is feeding on a smaller galaxy in a spectacular collision. Such fireworks were common in the early universe, as galaxies formed and evolved, but are rare today.
This new image taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope depicts bright, blue, newly formed stars that are blowing a cavity in the center of a star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud. At the heart of the star-forming region, lies star cluster NGC 602. The high-energy radiation blazing out from the hot young stars is sculpting the inner edge of the outer portions of the nebula, says NASA, slowly eroding it away and eating into the material beyond.
Brown dwarf: Located some 75 light years from Earth, the failed star dubbed CFBDSIR 1458+10B is likely the coldest star yet discovered, with a temperature about that of boiling water.
This new view of the North America nebula obtained on Feb. 16 combines both visible and infrared light observations, taken by the Digitized Sky Survey and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, respectively, into a single vivid picture. The nebula is named after its resemblance to the North American continent in visible light, which in this image is represented in blue.
This is an artist's concept of a gas giant planet orbiting the cool, red dwarf star Gliese 876, located 15 light-years away in the autumn constellation Aquarius. The planet was discovered in 1998. But new Hubble Space Telescope measurements of the star's wobble, caused by the gravitational tug of the planet, firmly establish the planet's mass as being no more than approximately twice that of Jupiter's.
Firefighters use a foam gun to extinguish a fire during a joint training exercise between the Emergency Ministry and airport services at Yemelyanovo Airport in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The exercise was intended to simulate a fire resulting from a crash landing.