Astronomy

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Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way’s nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy. NASA, ESA, and Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA, Acknowledgment: T. Do, A.Ghez (UCLA), V. Bajaj (STScI)

Hidden stars, baby planets and blowup spaceships

Each fortnight I get the amazing opportunity to speak about my top stories in space on ABC Breakfast News TV but for those of you who hate early mornings I wanted to make sure you got to hear of these…
New Horizons continues to help unravel the icy dwarf planet’s secrets. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Picture of Pluto further refined by months of New Horizons data

After last summer's Pluto flyby, the New Horizons spacecraft started sending data back to Earth – at 2 kilobits per second. Here's some of what scientists have learned so far from that rich, slow cache.
This enhanced colour image shows the traces of carbon on the surface, coloured here in blue. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Discovery of carbon on Mercury reveals the planet’s dark past

The discovery of carbon in the form of graphite on the surface of Mercury helps explain the mystery of why the tiny planet is so unusually dark.
An unusual date that comes to us from the heavens. Date image via shutterstock.com

Leap day: fixing the faults in our stars

We will get an 'extra' day this year, February 29. Where do these quadrennial liberties with our calendar originate?
If you’re looking for life, you’d do well to look for some moons. Maxwell Hamilton

Eying exomoons in the search for E.T.

As the list of known planets beyond our solar system grows, the search for their moons is intensifying. One reason: they might hold the key to finding life elsewhere in the universe.
Artist’s impression: Looking back 12.9-billion km towards the sun and the inner solar system from Sedna, one of the recently discovered minor planets in the Kuiper belt. NASA, ESA and Adolf Schaller

The long hunt for new objects in our expanding solar system

The search for new objects, including new planets, in our solar system has turned up some interesting finds. There have been a few failures over the years too.
The vast expanse of Western Australia is perfect for radio astronomy. Pete Wheeler, ICRAR

Tuning in to cosmic radio from the dawn of time

The Murchison Widefield Array sits in remote Western Australia far from noisy civilisation so it can help us understand the universe by tuning into radio waves from the distant cosmos.
Can a galaxy (like NGC 3810 in this case) have a classical spiral structure and also be already dead? ESA/Hubble and NASA

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know it?

Extragalactic astrophysicists want to know how and why galaxies stop forming stars, change their shape and fade away. With help from citizen scientists, they're figuring it out.

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