The James Webb Space Telescope is the biggest orbital telescope ever built and is scheduled to be launched into space on Dec. 18, 2021.
The largest orbital telescope ever made will allow astronomers to study the atmospheres of alien planets, learn about how stars form in the Milky Way and peer into the farthest reaches of the universe.
NASA / Tim Pyle
By studying the chemical makeup of binary stars, astronomers found many planetary systems are far less peaceful than ours.
The universe has a finite age — 13.8 billion years to be exact. So if it had a beginning, why is it so difficult to say for sure whether it will have an end?
It can stretch your mind to ponder what’s really out there.
Stijn Dijkstra/EyeEm via Getty Images
Astronomers know a lot about what's in outer space – and think it's possible it never ends.
Mysterious blasts of radio waves from across the universe called fast radio bursts are getting more attention from astronomers.
Fast radio bursts are the focus of a young and fascinating field of astronomy. Researchers just released data on more than 500 new bursts, quadrupling the total number of detected events.
A galaxy 320 million light-years away has a surprisingly similar structure to the Milky Way, suggesting our galaxy isn’t as unique as it once seemed to astronomers.
Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the solar system and is home to a potentially habitable planet.
Hubble/European Space Agency/WikimediaCommons
Astronomers just measured the largest flare ever from Proxima Centauri, humanity’s closest neighboring star. These flares could be bad news for life trying to develop on a planet orbiting the star.
A man is arrested during a protest against Hong Kong’s National Security Law in July 2020.
Plus new research finds a way to speed up the search for dark matter. Listen to episode 4 of The Conversation Weekly.
NSF / LIGO / Sonoma State University / A Simonnet
A small add-on to existing gravitational wave detectors could reveal what happens to matter as it becomes a black hole, a process like the big bang in reverse.
Large radio telescope dish in Arecibo national observatory.
The Arecibo radio telescope has collapsed but its amazing discoveries will live on.
An artist’s impression of a gravitational micro-lensing event by a free-floating planet.
JanSkowron/Astronomical Observatory, University of Warsaw.
Not all planets orbit stars. Rogues float through the galaxy in darkness and are almost impossible to see.
The 2020 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science have recognised momentous achievements in astrophysics, sustainability innovation, epigenetics and primary and secondary teaching excellence.
Picture of the Sun taken by the SOHO space telescope.
Astronomers have discovered that stars like the Sun produce huge amounts of lithium late in their lives.
Surface detail of the Tomanowos meteorite, showing cavities produced by dissolution of iron.
Eden, Janine and Jim/Wikipedia
Tomanowos, aka the Willamette Meteorite, may be the world’s most interesting rock. Its story includes catastrophic ice age floods, theft of Native American cultural heritage and plenty of human folly.
We asked astronomers: are we alone in the Universe? The answer was surprisingly consistent.
The Conversation 33.5 MB (download)
'I think that we will discover life outside of Earth in my lifetime. If not that, then in your lifetime,' one astronomer told us.
A white dward (centre) and its companion pulsar make for an excellent natural gravitational laboratory.
One of Einstein’s weirder predictions is that massive, spinning objects exert a drag on space-time itself. Now an orbiting pair of unusual stars has revealed this effect in action.
Today we hear about some of the fascinating space research underway at Siding Spring Observatory – and how, despite gruelling hours and endless paperwork, astronomers retain their sense of wonder for the night sky.
‘The size, the grandeur, the peacefulness of being in the dark’: what it’s like to study space at Siding Spring Observatory.
The Conversation, CC BY 54.3 MB (download)
Three hours north-east of Parkes lies a remote astronomical research facility, unpolluted by city lights, where researchers are trying to unlock some of the biggest questions about our Universe.
An artist’s conception of two black holes entwined in a gravitational tango.
There is a massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Measurements of star orbits near this black hole suggest that there may be a second companion black hole nearby.
Anomalies in nuclear physics experiments may show signs of a new force.
A recent experiment with atomic nuclei is hard to square with our current understanding of physics.
A recently discovered black hole – found by the way it makes a nearby star wobble – is hard to square with our understanding of how these dark cosmic objects form.
NAOC, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Astronomers using a new technique to hunt black holes found one 70 times as heavy as the Sun