Astronomers using the ESO Very Large Telescope, and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have made the most precise test yet of Einstein's general theory of relativity outside the Milky Way. The galaxy ESO 325-G004 distorts light from a galaxy behind it and creates an Einstein ring around its centre. By comparing the mass of ESO 325-G004 with the curvature of space around it, astronomers found that gravity on these astronomical length-scales behaves as predicted by general relativity.
Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have analyzed data from K2, the follow-up mission to NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, and have discovered a trove of possible exoplanets amid some 50,000 stars. In a paper that appears online today in The Astronomical Journal, the scientists report the discovery of nearly 80 new planetary candidates, including a particular standout: a likely planet that orbits the star HD 73344, which would be the brightest planet host ever discovered by the K2 mission.
An international team of astronomers have made the most precise test of gravity outside our own solar system.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have helped to find the last reservoir of ordinary matter hiding in the universe.
Scientists have been able to prove the existence of small black holes and those that are super-massive but the existence of an elusive type of black hole, known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) is hotly debated. New research coming out of the Space Science Center at the University of New Hampshire shows the strongest evidence to date that this middle-of-the-road black hole exists, by serendipitously capturing one in action devouring an encountering star.
It's impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star. However, astronomers led by UNIGE have the idea of detecting molecules that are present in the planet's atmosphere in order to make it visible, provided that these same molecules are absent from its star. Thanks to this innovative technique, the device is sensitive to the selected molecules, making the star invisible and allowing the astronomers to observe the planet.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Southern Queensland have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life. Their work will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres.
Many large galaxies have a bright central region called an active galactic nucleus, powered by matter spiraling into a supermassive black hole. Gas clouds around the AGN emit light at characteristic wavelengths, but the complexity and variability of these emissions has been a longstanding puzzle. A new study explains these and other puzzling features of active galactic nuclei as the result of small clouds of dust that can partially obscure the innermost regions of AGNs.
Scientists get first direct images showing fast-moving jet of particles ejected as a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy shreds a passing star.
New work from an international team of astronomers including Carnegie's Jaehan Bae used archival radio telescope data to develop a new method for finding very young extrasolar planets. Of the thousands of exoplanets discovered by astronomers, only a handful are in their formative years. Finding more baby planets will help astronomers answer the many outstanding questions about planet formation.