Articles on Astronomy

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Professor Brian Schmidt helped discover that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. Belinda Pratten

Australian astrophysicist wins Nobel Prize

An astrophysicist from the Australian National University has jointly won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in…
Australian astronomers have mapped the cosmic filaments that bind the Milky Way together, which may help reveal how galaxies form. Michael Boylan-Kolchin, University of California Irvine

Scientists track silvery threads that feed the Milky Way

Australian astronomers have shed new light on the cosmic filament that binds the Milky Way together, providing new clues…
An exoplanet called Fomalhaut b has been photographed in an unexpected spot – so is it even an exoplanet at all? NASA/http://www.nasa.gov

The exoplanet that wasn’t. Or was it?

A distant planet that made its name as the world’s first directly photographed exoplanet is at the centre of an astronomical…
NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere tomorrow afternoon. NASA/http://www.nasa.gov

Look out! NASA space junk to hit Earth tomorrow

A defunct NASA satellite is expected to fall to Earth some time tomorrow afternoon but the US space agency has said it’s…

Black hole jets revealed

The innermost parts of a black hole’s active jets have been revealed for the first time. The observation, by NASA scientists…
An artist’s impression of one of 16 new super-Earths recently found. This one orbits the Sun-like star HD 85512 in the southern constellation of Vela (The Sail). ESO/M. Kornmesser

Rare haul: 50 exoplanets and 16 super-Earths found

European astronomers have found 50 distant planets orbiting stars and 16 rocky “super-Earths”, planets that theoretically…
Science follows certain procedures, but does the media get the signal? CSIRO

Diamond planets, climate change and the scientific method

Recently my colleagues and I announced the discovery of a remarkable planet orbiting a special kind of star known as a pulsar. Based on the planet’s density, and the likely history of its system, we concluded…
Even the Hubble telescope, which took this picture of Bright Spiral Galaxy M81, is not capable of taking the wide-angle shots needed for all sky astrophysics, so new equipment must be invented. NASA http://www.nasa.gov

New all-sky astrophysics research centre to tackle the big questions

Some astronomical questions can only be answered by looking at the whole sky all at once but the technology to do that doesn’t…
The Hayabusa space capsule landed in Woomera, South Australia, last year after completing a mission to collect dust from the surface of an asteroid. Science/Hayabusa team

Hayabusa’s asteroid dust reveals space secrets

Asteroid dust collected by a Japanese space capsule that landed in Woomera last year has been matched with samples of meteorites…

Seasonal flows on Mars could be salty water

Dark, finger-like features that appear and extend down some Martian slopes during the warmest months of the Mars year may…
Warning: you may struggle to believe what you’re about to read. Bluedharma

They might be giants: a mind-blowing sense of stellar scale

Just how big are the stars? Earth feels quite big, what with it taking an entire day to fly between Sydney and London, and clearly the sun and moon are quite large in the sky. But with virtually everything…
We may finally have an answer to a long-standing cosmic/ cosmetic issue. NASA

Was our two-faced moon in a small collision?

As of today, we have a cataclysmic new explanation for one of solar system astronomy’s most long-standing questions: why do the near- and far-sides of the Moon look so different? This new theory, published…

Universe in a spin at Big Bang

An excess of counter-clockwise rotating, or “left-handed,” spiral galaxies have been found, providing evidence that the universe…

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