Articles on Astronomy

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An image taken by the Hubble telescope of NGC 4639, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. NASA

Something is killing galaxies, and scientists are on the case

The first ever Canadian-led large project on one of the world's leading telescopes will investigate how the birth and death of galaxies are affected by their environment.
A composite image showing the distribution of dark matter, galaxies and hot gas in a merging galaxy cluster taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii. NASA

Canada’s grand plan to explore the mysteries of the cosmos

The Canadian Long Range Plan 2020 for astronomy and astrophysics builds on Canadian research's previous success to extend Canada's role.
The universe is home to a dizzying number of stars and planets. But the vast bulk of the universe is thought to be invisible dark matter. Illustris Collaboration

Why do astronomers believe in dark matter?

Why do astronomers believe there's dark matter when it cannot be directly detected? Let's look at the evidence, and see what dark matter's presence means for our universe.
Galileo thought Saturn looked a bit like the head of a teddy bear with two big ears. He thought it may be made of three planets. www.shuttershock.com

Curious Kids: why does Saturn have rings?

Most people think that many millions of years ago, Saturn didn't have rings at all. Instead, it had a big moon moving around it. Eventually, the moon burst and broke into pieces.
The Milky Way: a pattern of stars, or a pattern of gaps? Luke Busellato/Wikimedia Commons

Why do different cultures see such similar meanings in the constellations?

Around the world and throughout history, we find remarkably similar constellations defined by disparate cultures, as well as strikingly similar narratives describing the relationships between them.
With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness and sheltering Cassini from the Sun’s blinding glare, the spacecraft viewed the rings as never before. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A brief astronomical history of Saturn’s amazing rings

Although the rings of Saturn may look like a permanent fixture of the planet, they are ever-changing. New analyses of the rings reveal how and when they were made, from what and whether they'll last.
Another reason you don’t want to get too close to a black hole is because of something we call ‘spaghettification’. If this happened to Earth it would be… unpleasant. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: can Earth be affected by a black hole in the future?

If you got too close to a black hole, it would suck you in and you'd never be able to escape, even if you were travelling at the speed of light. This point of no return is called the event horizon.
Near-Earth asteroids such as Bennu, and 2019 OK which passed close to Earth this week, pose a potential threat to our planet. NASA

An asteroid just buzzed past Earth, and we barely noticed in time

A 100-metre-wide asteroid passed just 70,000km from Earth on Thursday, and we had little warning it was about to happen. What threat is posed by asteroids and how do we find them?
A Sept. 20 citizen “raid” on Area 51, a secretive military installation long fancied to hold alien remains, has drawn worldwide interest. Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.com

Yes, I’m searching for aliens – and no, I won’t be going to Area 51 to look for them

As more than a million people have indicated plans to partake in a citizen 'raid' on the famed Area 51 to 'see them aliens,' a scholar on the search for extraterrestrial life weighs in on the hype.
People do live outside Earth – on the International Space Station! But humans have had to find a way to make the conditions there more like what we’re used to at home. Flickr/NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Curious Kids: can people live in space?

The short answer is yes, but it’s really, really difficult.
Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, humans stepped onto another celestial body and into history. NASA

Mapping the Moon for Apollo

The first humans to land on the Moon, and the team that got them there, get all the glory. But what about the people who laid the foundation for this effort by mapping the Moon? Who were they?
The low solar corona as viewed in extreme ultraviolet light. Bright regions are where the most energetic solar storms are born. An eruption in action can be seen in the bottom-left. NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) satellite.

Total solar eclipses reveal the dark and stormy side of the sun we never see

Scientists spend years preparing for the two-minute window of a total solar eclipse.
A view from CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope antenna 29, with the phased array feed receiver in the centre, Southern Cross on the left and the Moon on the right. CSIRO/Alex Cherney

How we closed in on the location of a fast radio burst in a galaxy far, far away

For the first time scientists have located the home galaxy of a one-off fast radio burst. Here's how they did it – and what they learned about the galaxy.

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