Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most intriguing mysteries of modern astronomy. Picked up from all corners of the cosmos, these perplexing radio signals usually only last milliseconds before fading forever, but some particularly strange ones repeat on an irregular basis. Now the catalog of repeaters has grown substantially, as astronomers have detected a whopping eight new repeating signals.
NASA is expanding plans to use small satellites (aka smallsats) to explore the Solar System. The agency has picked two proposals for smallsat technology that would improve observations in deep space, where they could help improve models that predict...
Astronomers have detected a gravitational wave signal that appears to have been caused by a black hole swallowing a neutron star. Aside from being an incredible cosmic cataclysm to witness, this detection is important for another reason: it may be the final point in the gravitational wave trifecta.
Earth is – for now – the only place in the universe that we know hosts life, so it makes sense that astronomers focus the search for alien life on worlds that are the most like our own. But just how common are Earth-like planets orbiting at comfortable distances from their stars? Researchers on a new study claim to have come up with the most accurate estimate yet – and they're more common than you might think.
Jupiter is a gigantic ball of churning gas clouds, and that makes it hard to see what's in the middle. It's believed to be a relatively small, rocky core, but data from the Juno probe found that it's less dense and more spread out than expected. Now, astronomers believe they have an answer – a huge ancient planet, with 10 times the mass of Earth, crashed into the gas giant in the early days of the solar system.
Of all the things you don't want to lose, an asteroid with a chance of striking Earth is pretty high up the list. A space rock called 2006 QV89 has been missing in action for 13 years, after it was discovered to be on an orbit that regularly brought it too close to Earth for comfort. Now astronomers have finally found it again, and ruled out an impact within the next century.
Galaxies are well studied, but far less is known about the vast stretches of space between them. Though it seems empty, the intergalactic medium (IGM) actually contains more matter than galaxies do – it's just hard to see because it's not shining bright as stars. Now, astronomers have used simulations to reveal new details about the structure of this matter, showing that "intergalactic pancakes" spanning millions of light-years tend to collapse into a cosmic fog.
How do you understand the development of galaxies when even the younger examples are frequently billions of years old? Simulate as many universes as you can, apparently. Researchers at the University of Arizona have used the school's Ocelote superc...