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Latest by G. Torbet

This illustration is based on Hubble Space Telescope images of gas and dust discs encircling the young star TW Hydrae. We have an oblique view of three concentric rings of dust and gas. At the centre is the bright white glow of the central star. The reddish-coloured rings are inclined to each other and are therefore casting dark shadows across the outermost ring.

Hubble observes weird star system with three off-kilter, planet-forming disks

There's something odd about the TW Hydrae system, and it took astronomers some time to figure it out.
Illustration of the black hole Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way.

See the terrifying scale of a supermassive black hole in NASA visualization

NASA is celebrating black hole week by sharing a frankly disturbing visualization to help you picture just how large a supermassive black hole is.
Astronomers using the Gemini South telescope in Chile, operated by NSF’s NOIRLab, have observed the first compelling evidence of a dying Sun-like star engulfing an exoplanet. The “smoking gun” of this event was seen in a long and low-energy outburst from the star — the telltale signature of a planet skimming along a star’s surface. This never-before-seen process may herald the ultimate fate of Earth when our own Sun nears the end of its life in about five billion years.

Astronomers watch a preview of the destruction of the Earth

Astronomers recently caught the grisly sight of an exoplanet being devoured by its star, in a preview of what will eventually happen to the Earth.
This artist concept represents the rocky exoplanet GJ 486 b, which orbits a red dwarf star that is only 26 light-years away in the constellation Virgo. By observing GJ 486 b transit in front of its star, astronomers sought signs of an atmosphere. They detected hints of water vapor. However, they caution that while this might be a sign of a planetary atmosphere, the water could be on the star itself – specifically, in cool starspots – and not from the planet at all.

James Webb detects water vapor in rocky planet’s atmosphere — maybe

Water vapor was spotted near the rocky exoplanet GJ 486 b. That could indicate the presence of water in its atmosphere, or it could also be from another source.
The Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars, in an image taken by the Perseverance rover. Ingenuity recently made its 50th flight.

Ingenuity and Perseverance snap photos of each other on Mars

Everyone's favorite Mars double act, the Ingenuity helicopter and the Perseverance rover, have been traveling together recently -- and there's photo evidence.
The European Space Agency's JUICE spacecraft.

JUICE spacecraft might have to shake loose its struck antenna

The European Space Agency (ESA)'s JUICE spacecraft has run into a problem following its launch, as one of its antennae has not yet been deployed.
Scientists observing the compact radio core of M87 have discovered new details about the galaxy’s supermassive black hole. In this artist’s conception, the black hole’s massive jet is seen rising up from the centre of the black hole. The observations on which this illustration is based represent the first time that the jet and the black hole shadow have been imaged together, giving scientists new insights into how black holes can launch these powerful jets.

Supermassive black hole spews out jet of matter in first-of-its-kind image

For the first time, astronomers have imaged a supermassive black hole expelling an enormous jet of matter at tremendous speed.
exoplanet discovered machine learning image png

Previously unknown exoplanet discovered using machine learning

Researchers used a machine learning model to search for exoplanets with protoplanetary disks, and found one that had previously been missed.
This artist’s concept shows a cutaway of Mars, along with the paths of seismic waves from two separate quakes in 2021. Detected by NASA’s InSight mission, these seismic waves were the first ever identified to enter another planet’s core.

NASA’s InSight lander looks into Mars to study the planet’s core

NASA's Mars InSight may have come to the end of its mission last year, but data from the lander is still being used to contribute to science.
Rubin Observatory network technician Guido Maulen installs fiber optic cables on the Top End Assembly of the telescope mount.

Inside the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, home of the world’s largest digital camera

The Vera C. Rubin Observatory houses the world's largest digital camera. Here's how it'll help astronomers explore the cosmos
Astronomers are celebrating the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s 33rd launch anniversary with an ethereal photo of a nearby star-forming region, NGC 1333. The nebula is in the Perseus molecular cloud, and is located approximately 960 light-years away.

Hubble celebrates its 33rd birthday with stunning nebula image

Nebula NGC 1333 is a busy stellar nursery, with new stars forming among the cloud of dust and gas located 960 light-years away.
spacex starship launch explosion

SpaceX Starship rocket launches in first test flight, but explodes in midair

SpaceX has launched its integrated Starship for the first time, with the spacecraft leaving the launch pad in a test flight. But not everything went to plan.
Shining like a brilliant beacon amidst a sea of galaxies, Arp 220 lights up the night sky in this view from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Actually two spiral galaxies in the process of merging, Arp 220 glows brightest in infrared light, making it an ideal target for Webb. It is an ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) with a luminosity of more than a trillion suns. In comparison, our Milky Way galaxy has a much more modest luminosity of about ten billion suns.

James Webb captures a stunning image of two galaxies merging

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured a gorgeous image of a dramatic cosmic event: two galaxies colliding.
Shortly after launch on 14 April, ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Juice, captured this stunning view of Earth. The coastline around the Gulf of Aden can be made out to the right of centre, with patchy clouds above land and sea.

JUICE mission to Jupiter sends back first images of Earth from space

The European Space Agency's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer spacecraft has sent back its first images from space -- and they are some stunning views of the Earth.
SpaceX's Starship rocket on the pad in Boca Chica, Texas.

SpaceX scrubs launch of world’s most powerful rocket due to valve issue

The planned first launch of the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket was called off due to a frozen valve, and the event turned into a wet dress rehearsal instead.
ESA’s latest interplanetary mission, Juice, lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French 09:14 local time/14:14CEST on 14 April 2023 to begin its eight-year journey to Jupiter, where it will study in detail the gas giant planet’s three large ocean-bearing moons: Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

See highlights of the launch of the European JUICE spacecraft

See video of an Ariane 5 rocket launching the European Space agency's JUICE mission to Jupiter's icy moons from this morning.
A team of researchers, including an astronomer with NSF’s NOIRLab, has developed a new machine-learning technique to enhance the fidelity and sharpness of radio interferometry images. To demonstrate the power of their new approach, which is called PRIMO, the team created a new, high-fidelity version of the iconic Event Horizon Telescope's image of the supermassive black hole at the center of Messier 87, a giant elliptical galaxy located 55 million light-years from Earth. The image of the M87 supermassive black hole originally published by the EHT collaboration in 2019 (left); and a new image generated by the PRIMO algorithm using the same data set (right).

Machine learning used to sharpen the first image of a black hole

A machine learning technique called PRIMO has sharpened the famous first-ever image of a black hole from 2019.
An Ariane 5 rocket containing the Juice spacecraft on the launchpad at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on Thursday April 13 2023.

Launch of Europe’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer delayed by 24 hours

The launch of the European Space Agency's JUICE mission to the icy moons of Jupiter has been delayed by 24 hours due to weather conditions.
Artist's impression of the JUICE spacecraft exploring Jupiter and its giant moon Ganymede.

What the JUICE spacecraft is hoping to learn about Jupiter’s icy moons

Tomorrow sees the launch of the JUICE spacecraft, which will travel to the Jupiter system to investigate whether the moons there could be potentially habitable.
This image of the Crab Nebula combines data from NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) in magenta and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in dark purple.

NASA’s IXPE mission gets an X-ray view of the famous Crab Nebula

A NASA X-ray instrument has provided a new view of one of astronomy's most beautiful objects, the Crab Nebula.
Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a supernova remnant located about 11,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia. It spans approximately 10 light-years. This new image uses data from Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) to reveal Cas A in a new light.

James Webb captures stunning image of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A

A stunning new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows a famous supernova remnant called Cassiopeia A, or Cas A.
Sally Ride NASA

How NASA’s astronaut class of 1978 changed the face of space exploration

NASA's 1978 astronaut class was a turning point for the agency, and it set the stage for the more diverse and inclusive space program we have today
This is an artist's impression of a runaway supermassive black hole that was ejected from its host galaxy as a result of a tussle between it and two other black holes. As the black hole plows through intergalactic space it compresses tenuous gas in front to it. This precipitates the birth of hot blue stars. This illustration is based on Hubble Space Telescope observations of a 200,000-light-year-long contrail of stars behind an escaping black hole.

Unique black hole is trailed by 200,000 light-year-long tail of stars

A strange, lonely supermassive black hole is trailed by a tail of stars that's twice as long as the Milky Way is wide.
This zoomed-in image of Uranus, captured by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) on 6 February 2023, reveals stunning views of the planet’s rings. The planet displays a blue hue in this representative-colour image, made by combining data from two filters (F140M, F300M) at 1.4 and 3.0 microns, shown here as blue and orange, respectively.

James Webb captures the rarely-seen rings around Uranus

Following up on its image of Neptune released last year, astronomers using Webb have just released a brand-new image of Uranus as you've never seen it before.
This artist's concept shows the brilliant glare of two quasars residing in the cores of two galaxies that are in the chaotic process of merging. The gravitational tug-of-war between the two galaxies ignites a firestorm of star birth.

Hubble spots an ancient pair of supermassive black holes about to merge

Recently, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope spotted two quasars burning brightly in the night sky -- and they're on a collision course.
This is a composite image showing the Saturn Lyman-alpha bulge, an emission from hydrogen which is a persistent and unexpected excess detected by three distinct NASA missions, namely Voyager 1, Cassini, and the Hubble Space Telescope between 1980 and 2017.

Saturn’s rings are raining down particles on its atmosphere

New research using the Hubble Space Telescope shows that Saturn's icy rings actually heat up its upper atmosphere.
The crew of NASA’s Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman (seated), Victor Glover, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen.

Here are the 4 astronauts who will travel to the moon for Artemis II

This crew of four will be the first people to leave low-Earth orbit in over 50 years.
This image shows the rocky outcrop the Perseverance science team calls Berea after the NASA Mars rover extracted a rock core and abraded a circular patch. The image was taken by the rover's Mastcam-Z instrument on March 30, 2023.

Perseverance rover collects its first sample from Jezero delta

The sample is rich in carbonate, a chemical compound that is excellent at preserving signs of life.
Perseverance looks towards the Delta on Sol 419, capturing this image with its Right Navigation Camera.

Perseverance and Ingenuity play a game of tag across Mars

The Perseverance rover is trundling across Mars's Jezero Crater, on its way to explore the site of an ancient river delta -- and it's got a friend with it.
The galaxy JW100 (lower right) features prominently in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The streams of star-forming gas dripping from the disk of the galaxy like streaks of fresh paint are formed by a process called ram pressure stripping. Their resemblance to dangling tentacles led astronomers to refer to JW100 as a ‘jellyfish’ galaxy. JW100 is over 800 million light-years away, in the constellation Pegasus.

There’s a cosmic jellyfish in this week’s Hubble image

Jellyfish galaxies have a main body of stars, with tentacle-like structures reaching off away from the body in just one direction.
An artist’s impression of Uranus and its five largest moons (innermost to outermost) Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon.

Two of Uranus’ moons could host oceans, new research suggests

Researchers looked through almost 40-year-old data from the NASA Voyager 2 mission and found something unexpected.
Artist's concept of a near-Earth object.

An asteroid is making a close approach to Earth, and scientists are pumped

An asteroid will pass within 100,000 miles of Earth, which is around half the distance between Earth and the moon.
Still from the video of Jezero crater created by merging data from various Mars orbiting spacecraft.

See Mars’s beautiful Jezero Crater from the air in flyover video

Take a virtual flight over the famous Jezero Crater on Mars, thanks to the European Space Agency.
An artist’s depiction of the interstellar comet ‘Oumuamua, as it warmed up in its approach to the sun and outgassed hydrogen (white mist), which slightly altered its orbit. The comet, which is most likely pancake-shaped, is the first known object other than dust grains to visit our solar system from another star.

We now know what caused comet ‘Oumuamua’s strange orbit

It wasn't aliens that sent an interstellar comet to visit our solar system. The explanation is a phenomenon called outgassing.