IDCS 1426 is the most massive young galaxy cluster yet

Using Keck, Hubble and Chandra telescopes, astronomers have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster in the early Universe - IDCS 1426. Although IDCS 1426 galaxy cluster, with its 500 trillion solar masses, is about 6 times less massive than the most massive galaxy cluster known, El Gordo, it is discovered at the distance of 10 billion light-years, meaning we see it as it was when our Universe was still very young. Read more...


First age map of red giants in Milky Way shows galaxy grew from inside out

A new study shows that the Milky Way galaxy grew from the inside out. By measuring the composition and masses of red giants, astronomers determined their ages and found that older stars saturate the center of the galaxy, whereas younger ones lie near the edges. Read more...


Unexpectedly, black hole spares gas cloud; Gas cloud points to main meal instead

As Milky Way’s central black hole, SgrA*, failed to devour the gas cloud called G2, astronomers were disappointed their predictions were wrong. In an effort to find out what happened, they observed changes in G2’s orbit and discovered that SgrA* instead feeds on gas from other source - circumnuclear disk. Read more...


Beautiful polygonal patterns inside Mars impact crater

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) took a picture of an impact crater filled with frozen sediments. With time, as sediments froze and thawed over and over again, they have created polygonal cracks that make up a striking pattern. Near the north pole on Mars, formation of these polygons is common, due to low temperatures and freezing. However, few are as notable as the one pictured here. Read more...


Chinese Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) sends first data

After the satellite’s launch on December 17, Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) has sent first data to stations on Earth. DAMPE is China’s first effort in search for elusive dark matter and particles it’s made of. Also called “Wukong”, the satellite will look for evidence of annihilation of dark matter, which will in theory result in high-energy photons and electrons. Read more...


Mini-Neptune found around star with lowest metallicity yet

Astronomers discovered a planet smaller than Neptune, so called mini-Neptune, around a star with low metallicity. While Jupiter-like planets need metal-rich stars to form, smaller planets have a lower metallicity threshold. Of all the stars with small planets orbiting them, HD175607 has the least metal yet. This will help us understand just how low metallicity can be for planets to still form. Read more...


The CGCG254-021 galaxy and its big X-ray tail discovered

Astronomers have discovered an enormous tail of hot gas following a galaxy known as CGCG254-021. The gas was stripped from the galaxy as it travels through the Zwicky 8338 galaxy cluster. Read more...


Gamma rays from distant blazar originated from within relativistic jet

VERITAS detected gamma rays from a distant blazar. The source is most likely 5 light-years from the supermassive black hole, within the relativistic jet that the supermassive black hole emitted. Read more...


ALMA reveals exoplanet formation in transitional disks around young stars

Using images from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers discovered young planets being formed in transitional disks around four stars. Read more...


First successful prediction of supernova thanks to gravitational lensing

A year after first appearing in a formation known as Einstein cross, Refsdal supernova reappeared just as predicted, made possible by gravitational lensing. Read more...


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