Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy 29 Jun 2020, 15:55 UTC Betelgeuse, the bright star in the constellation of Orion, has been fascinating astronomers in the recent months because of its unusually strong decline in brightness. Scientists have been discussing a number of scenarios trying to explain its behaviour. Now a team led by Thavisha Dharmawardena of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have shown that most likely unusually large star spots on the surface of Betelgeuse have caused the dimming. Their results rule out the previous conjecture that it was dust, recently ejected by Betelgeuse, which obscured the star. The results are published today in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 26 Jun 2020, 12:13 UTC The galaxy known as NGC 5907 stretches wide across this image. Appearing as an elongated line of stars and dark dust, the galaxy is categorized as a spiral galaxy just like our own Milky Way. In this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, we don’t see the beautiful spiral arms because we are viewing it edge-on, like looking at the rim of a plate. It is for this reason that NGC 5907 is also known as the Knife Edge galaxy.
Hubble Space Telescope News 25 Jun 2020, 14:00 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 24 Jun 2020, 15:00 UTC For more than a decade, astronomers have searched for planets orbiting AU Microscopii, a nearby star still surrounded by a disk of debris left over from its formation. Now scientists using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and retired Spitzer Space Telescope report the discovery of a planet about as large as Neptune that circles the young star in just over a week.
IAU Press Releases 23 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 22 Jun 2020, 15:55 UTC Jupiter-size planets orbiting close to their stars have upended ideas about how giant planets form. Finding young members of this planet class could help answer key questions.
Hubble Space Telescope News 18 Jun 2020, 17:00 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 18 Jun 2020, 14:00 UTC Several years ago, planetary scientist Lynnae Quick began to wonder whether any of the more than 4,000 known exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, might resemble some of the watery moons around Jupiter and Saturn. Though some of these moons don’t have atmospheres and are covered in ice, they are still among the top targets in NASA’s search for life beyond Earth. Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa, which scientists classify as “ocean worlds,” are good examples.