Articles on Astronomy

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Diligence, technological progress and a little luck have together solved a 20 year mystery of the cosmos. CSIRO/Alex Cherney

Half the matter in the universe was missing – we found it hiding in the cosmos

Cosmologists had only been able to find half the matter that should exist in the universe. With the discovery of a new astronomical phenomenon and new telescopes, researchers just found the rest.
Mating laser-driven atomic clocks like the one shown here with microwaves promises more accurate electronic devices. N. Phillips/NIST

Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.
Asteroid Ryugu photographed from a distance of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) looks just gray and bland, but a close-up provides more color. JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu and AIST

Touching the asteroid Ryugu revealed secrets of its surface and changing orbit

It is a pretty spectacular achievement to not only rendezvous with an asteroid as it is whizzing around the Sun but also collect a sample. Here's what the researchers learned.
No one knows what kicked off the Big Bang that eventually allowed the stars to begin forming. Adolf Schaller for STScI

How could an explosive Big Bang be the birth of our universe?

The term 'Big Bang' might make you think of a massive explosion. Put the thought out of your head. Rather than an explosion, it was the start of everything in the universe.
Shutterstock

More than 70% of the Universe is made of ‘dark energy’, the mysterious stuff even stranger than dark matter

More than 70% of the Universe is made of ‘dark energy’, the mysterious stuff even stranger than dark matter. The Conversation17.1 MB (download)
Today on the podcast, we explore what we know about dark energy, believed to be responsible for the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe.
Saturn is one of a few planets in our solar system surrounded by rings. Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock/Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Curious Kids: why are some planets surrounded by rings?

We're not sure how the rings work or how they formed, but there are a few theories.
As the Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun appears to move through the ancient constellations of the zodiac. Tauʻolunga/Wikimedia Commons

Why your zodiac sign is probably wrong

Astronomy and astrology do not agree on the dates of the zodiac constellations.
A planet-forming disk made from rock and gas surrounds a young star. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

Even planets have their (size) limits

Why isn't there an endless variety of planets in the universe? An astrophysicist explains why planets only come in two flavors.
The Parkes radio telescope can detect extremely weak signals coming from the most distant parts of the Universe. Shutterstock

The Dish in Parkes is scanning the southern Milky Way, searching for alien signals

The Dish in Parkes is scanning the southern Milky Way, searching for alien signals. The Conversation50.7 MB (download)
Today we hear about the Parkes radio telescope's role in the search for alien life. Our guide is the irrepressible John Sarkissian, the scientist who's had his eye on The Dish since childhood.

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