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.
MeerKAT, the precursor to the massive Square Kilometre Array, allows astronomers to gather huge amounts of data about galaxies.
Photo by Jaco Marais/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Technology is allowing astronomers to study and analyse galaxies in far more detail than was previously possible.
Event Horizon Telescope project/Nature Astronomy
Astronomers have taken a close-up look at the jets of plasma streaking away from a supermassive black hole - one of the strangest and most energetic features of galaxies.
Artist illustration of an exoplanet.
dottedhippo/iStock via Getty Images
Billions of galaxies are in the universe, with billions of stars in every galaxy. Could billions of planets be out there too?
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.
Thanks to the discovery of five twinkling galaxies in a rare alignment, astronomers have been able to calculate — for the first time — the properties and geometry of an invisible gas cloud in space.
Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker (Curtin / ICRAR) and The GLEAM Team
Some of the baby radio galaxies found may not be ‘babies’ at all. Rather, they may be ‘angsty teens’, rapidly growing into adults much faster than researchers had anticipated.
The two giant radio galaxies found with the MeerKAT telescope. In the background is the sky as seen in optical light. Overlaid in red is the radio light from the enormous radio galaxies, as seen by MeerKAT.
I. Heywood (Oxford/Rhodes/SARAO)
Based on what we currently know about the density of giant radio galaxies in the sky, the probability of finding two of them in this region is extremely small.
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.
Artist’s conception of the Milky Way galaxy, which should contain dark matter haloes.
A new method suggests we should aim to detect dark matter haloes by tracing galactic gas.
ESO/Callingham et al.
Surprising findings on an exquisite and huge star system in our Milky Way suggest future potential for an extremely rare gamma-ray burst. This event has never been observed in our galaxy.
Towns and cities create an orange glow on the horizon at night. It’s so widespread that it even disturbs sea creatures.
Couples get romantic on Qixi, a lovers’ festival similar to Valentine’s Day.
Visual China Group via Getty Images
China’s Qixi Festival is a celebration of love based on the legend of a mortal who married a goddess, causing his furious mother-in-law to create a Milky Way to divide these two twinkling stars.
This artist’s impression shows the blast from a heatwave detected in a massive, forming star.
This observation means astronomers can now develop and test theories that explain how high-mass stars gain their mass.
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.
Conical jets of radiation burst from the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
New research shows the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way spat out an enormous beam of radiation 3.5 million years ago
A dung beetle wearing silicon boots to protect its feet from the hot soil, as part of an experiment.
Courtesy of Adrian Bailey/baileyphotos.com
Dung beetles are largely invisible. And yet without their vital activities, the world would have a lot more faeces in it.
The Milky Way stretches across the sky near the Hungarian border village of Tachty in Slovakia.
The diameter of the Milky Way is a billion billion kilometres.
There’s mounting evidence that increased lighting has a range of negative effects.
The warped spiral galaxy ESO 510-G13 seen edge-on.
The Milky Way’s disc of stars becomes increasingly warped and twisted the further away they are from the galaxy’s centre.