Bizarre celestial object spotted is one of the rarest in the galaxy

A white dwarf star, which is at the heart of the strange new object

The cosmos is full of strange things, like planets made of diamond, mysterious radio bursts and quasars that shine with the light of 600 trillion Suns. Now astronomers have spotted a bizarre star that may prove to be one of the rarest objects ever, with maybe as few as five or six of them in the galaxy.

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How a huge impact may have given the Moon two faces

An illustration of a collision between two huge celestial bodies, similar to that now theorized to ...

While we can only see one "face" on the Moon from our vantage point here on Earth, the far side is actually quite different. Observations have shown that the "back" of the Moon has a thicker crust and an extra layer of material compared to the side that faces Earth. Now, simulations have revealed one possible, explosive explanation – an impact with a huge object early on in the Moon's life.

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Hubble captures the good side of a stunning, scarred "two-faced" galaxy

The galaxy NGC 4485 appears normal on the left side, but on the right it bears ...

Hubble has been photographing the cosmos for almost 30 years now, but it still manages to surprise us with some absolutely breathtaking shots. Case in point – the latest image shows the two-faced galaxy NGC 4485, which still bears the stunning scars of a close call with another galaxy millions of years ago.

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Most detailed Hubble image ever captures 265,000 galaxies across the cosmos

The Hubble Legacy Field contains over 265,000 galaxies. Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee ...

The Hubble Space Telescope has a knack for making us feel incredibly small, peering ever deeper into space and revealing the cosmos in unprecedented detail. The latest such image, named the Hubble Legacy Field, is a mosaic of thousands of exposures over the years and constitutes the largest and most comprehensive image ever put together by the Hubble science team.

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New-and-improved LIGO may have detected a black hole eating a neutron star

An artist's rendition of two neutron stars colliding, which is believed to be responsible for one ...

The first detection of gravitational waves – ripples in the very fabric of spacetime, caused by cataclysmic events like black holes colliding – was one of the most important physics discoveries in a century. Three years on, we're now getting new detections so often it almost doesn't seem special anymore. Barely a month into a new observation run, the LIGO/Virgo collaboration has now reported five new events, including what may be the first ever detection of a black hole swallowing a neutron star.

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Star unlike any found in the Milky Way appears to be an intergalactic intruder

A computer simulation of a spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way, forming. These simulations suggest that ...

Astronomers have discovered a star in the Milky Way that doesn't belong. Officially known as J1124+4535, the star has a chemical composition unlike any others ever observed in our home galaxy, suggesting it's an intergalactic interloper that may have come from a dwarf galaxy that was swallowed up by the Milky Way.

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Wonky black hole seen firing off plasma "bullets"

As it spins, the black hole is firing off "plasma bullets"

Black holes are notoriously ravenous objects, chowing down on anything that comes too close, including light itself. But not everything gets sucked in – many black holes have been found to spew jets of high-speed particles. Those usually form long, straight beams but now astronomers have discovered a weird black hole that's spinning like a wonky top, firing off "bullets" of plasma in all directions.

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Grain of dust found from dead star that predates the Sun

An illustration of a nova, which is believed to be responsible for the presolar grain LAP-149

At a glance, meteorites might only be marginally more interesting than regular old rocks, but look closely and they can tell us stories of ancient stars and long-lost planets. One of these stories has now been uncovered in a piece of space rock retrieved from Antarctica, containing grains from a stellar explosion that predates the Sun.

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