VFTS 243 is a binary system of a large, hot blue star and a black hole orbiting each other, as seen in this animation.
Astronomers have discovered the first dormant black hole outside of the Milky Way. These black holes are not absorbing matter from a nearby star, making them incredibly hard to find.
What’s left after a star explodes.
NASA/ESA/JHU/R.Sankrit & W.Blair via Wikimedia Commons.
By studying old and dead stars, we can discover what will happen to our sun in the far, far future. And it won’t end with a big explosion.
The good thing about space is that – even though it has lots of dangerous stuff floating in it, and lots of exploding stars – it’s so big and empty that it almost doesn’t matter.
Are there stars other than the Sun that might explode soon close to us? Yes, there are! As long as by ‘soon’ we mean within a million years.
The Sun is a star – but it’s not the only one.
NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory
There are lots of places where it’s much, much hotter than the Sun. And the amazing thing is that this heat also makes new atoms - tiny particles that have made their way long ago from stars to us.
The Vela pulsar makes about 11 complete rotations every second, it also has a glitch.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Toronto/M.Durant et al; Optical: DSS/Davide De Martin
Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars and some of them are know to have a “glitch”, and astronomers have captured one as it hapened.
Hardy lifeforms such as tardigrades can survive almost anything.
You can learn a lot about the cosmos in the kitchen.
From supernovae explosions to the expansion of the universe and why the sky is blue: you can learn a lot about the universe in the kitchen.
All is not calm in the cosmos.
ESA/Hubble and NASA
Stargazing seems such a quiet, calm activity. But whether our eyes can see or not, those stars out there are in constant flux. Time-domain astronomy studies how cosmic objects change with time.
Binary black holes come in a variety of forms, but they are all astounding.
NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
It takes something as stupendous as the merger between two black holes to generate detectable gravitational waves. Here’s how such incredible cosmic objects form.
Every day stuff for supernovae.
In 1934, two physicists came up with a theory that described how to create matter from pure light. But they dismissed the idea of ever observing such a phenomenon in the laboratory because of the difficulties…
The explosion of a super-luminous supernovae can emit as much light as our sun will in 10 billion years.
Supernovae are the brilliant, explosive deaths of stars. For a short time, these explosions can outshine an entire galaxy containing billions of stars. A recently discovered rare class of supernovae, termed…