The mirror on the James Webb Space Telescope is fully aligned and producing incredibly sharp images, like this test image of a star.
NASA/STScI via Flickr
It has taken eight months to test and calibrate all of the instruments and modes of the James Webb Space Telescope. A scientist on the team explains what it took to get Webb up and running.
Gaia mapping the stars of the Milky Way.
ESA/ATG medialab; background: ESO/S. Brunier
New data may settle dispute about the universe’s true expansion rate.
Researchers used a radio telescope in New Mexico to study a particularly interesting fast radio burst.
Astronomers studying fast radio bursts recently discovered one that repeats, has a persistent radio signal and originated in a galaxy much closer than it should have.
Scientists expect the Voyager spacecraft to outlive Earth by at least a trillion years.
A professor of religion and science explains different views on immortality, from the religious perspective of President Jimmy Carter to the scientific, secular take of Carl Sagan.
This image shows Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Sagittarius A* is a massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Now that astronomers have imaged it, they can begin to learn more about black holes within other galaxies across the universe.
alamy.com/Andrea De Martin
The Orion Star Count 2022 calls on us to go outside and count the stars of Orion.
The locations of 115 candidate free floating planets in the region between Upper Scorpius and Ophiuchus.
European Southern Observatory
Some planets are rejected by the Solar System that gave birth to them.
Image of a Wolf Rayet star – potentially before collapsing into a black hole.
It’s long been a mystery how black holes form, now astronomers are on the verge of cracking it.
Some stars travel at high speeds through the universe and sometimes leave spectacular clouds of dust and gas in their wake.
NASA, ESA and R. Sahai (NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Hypervelocity stars were discovered only 15 years ago and are the closest things in existence to real shooting stars. They travel at millions of miles per hour, so fast that they can escape from galaxies.
James Webb Space Telescope mirrors undergoing cryogenic testing.
JSWT may be able to discover signs of life on planets around other stars.
Artist’s impression of the James Webb telescope after deployment of the mirror and sunshield.
It will be a nail-biting wait as scientists launch and deploy the most complex observatory ever built.
SPP 1992 (Patricia Klein)
Most of what we know about planets outside our Solar System relates to gas-giant planets. A new study has identified and characterised a smaller exoplanet.
A composite image of the data collected by the ALMA telescope in Chile, showing spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster.
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Dagnello (NRAO)/T. Brown (VERTICO)
Studying the extreme environment of the Virgo Cluster — which comprises thousands of galaxies — helps us learn what factors can affect and start or stop star formation.
Flouride is created by Wolf–Rayet stars, here seen in the Milky Way by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Tracing the cosmic origin of toothpaste, scientists got a glimpse into the surprising chemistry of early galaxies.
A telescope in the outer solar system would be able to do unique science that is impossible closer to the Sun.
Such a mission could be developed soon, allowing astrophysicists to take selfies of the solar system and use the Sun’s gravity as a lens to peer deep into space.
Hubble took pictures of the oldest galaxies it could – seen here – but the James Webb Space Telescope can go back much farther in time.
The James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch into orbit in December 2021. Its mission is to search for the first light to ever shine in the universe.
Astronomers have found a way to estimate the number of stars in the universe.
Comstock Images via Getty Images
Scientists have a good estimate on the staggering number of stars in the universe.
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?
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.