Diligence, technological progress and a little luck have together solved a 20 year mystery of 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.
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.
The HESS telescopes in Namibia are on the alert for high-energy gamma rays.
HESS Collaboration / Clementina Medina
Mysterious cosmic flashes known as gamma-ray bursts are caused by the death throes of massive stars.
Two lenses might be better than one.
There's really no reason you can't use binoculars to look into space – and in fact astronomers have been working on doing so for a long time.
A view from CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope antenna 29, with the phased array feed receiver in the centre, Southern Cross on the left and the Moon on the right.
For the first time scientists have located the home galaxy of a one-off fast radio burst. Here's how they did it – and what they learned about the galaxy.
Planets form from a disc of dust orbiting a star.
It is always exciting to discover new planets beyond our Solar System. Now a planetary astrophysicist is using a star's chemistry to predict which ones are likely to host giant planets.
The panel of 60 Starlink satellites just before they were released to go into orbit around Earth.
Official SpaceX Photos
The first 60 satellites from Elon Musk's planned low orbit internet network have lit up the skies. But with more planned, astronomers say the satellites could ruin their work.
Distant stars above the ruins of Sherborne Old Castle, in the UK.
When you look up at the vastness of space you can see hundreds, thousands and even millions of years into the past.
Enjoying the planets lined up in a row.
The five planets visible to the naked eye since ancient times are putting on a dazzling display this month, in a night-sky dance along with the Moon.
A telescope pointed at the skies above Senegal to capture the stellar occultation.
François Colas, Observatoire de Paris, Insititut de Mécanique Celeste et de Calcul des Ephémérides
Senegal has made great strides in astronomy and planetary sciences in recent years.
US F/A-18 footage of a UFO (circled in red).
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
About 5 percent of all UFO sightings cannot be easily explained by weather or human technology. A physicist argues that there's compelling evidence to justify serious scientific study and that the skeptics should step aside – for the sake of humanity.
The things you can do with an amaterur telescope.
With a little bit of knowledge and a few pieces of equipment you too can look at the night sky and see it as a cosmologist does.
Galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. The inset image is the very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1.
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, W. Zheng (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH Team, Hashimoto et al.
Astronomers have indirectly spotted some of the first stars in the universe by making their most distant detection of oxygen in a galaxy that existed just 500m years after the Big Bang.
An artist’s illustration of a black hole “eating” a star.
Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day – so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives.
TESS will soon be our eye in the sky.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
How long before we find a planet just like our own?
Imagined view from Kepler-10b, a planet that orbits one of the 150,000 stars that the Kepler spacecraft is monitoring.
NASA/Kepler Mission/Dana Berry
When NASA first started planning the Kepler mission, no one knew if the universe held any planets outside our solar system. Thousands of exoplanets later, the search enters a new phase as Kepler retires.
The Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy here seen in infrared light, but it looks different when viewed at other wavelengths.
The galaxies, stars and planets in our universe can look very different when you view them through equipment that sees beyond the visible light our eyes can see.
An image by MeerKAT shows hydrogen gas in M83, a famous spiral galaxy.
A precursor to the Square Kilometre Array- the MeerKAT telescope - is being built right now and remarkable progress has been made in the last 12 months.
Map of all matter – most of which is invisible dark matter – between Earth and the edge of the observable universe.
Cosmologists are heading back to their chalkboards as the experiments designed to figure out what this unknown 84 percent of our universe actually is come up empty.
Illustration of hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from the neutron stars just before they collided.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Until the recent observation of merging neutron stars, how the heaviest elements come to be was a mystery. But their fingerprints are all over this cosmic collision.