14 Stories

Constellation Named for David Bowie

A star on Earth, now a bunch of stars in the heavens

(Newser) - We may not be able to get a higher power to bring David Bowie back to Earth , but at least we can now see him whenever we look skyward. Ziggy Stardust will be forever memorialized in the cosmos thanks to a group of Belgian astronomers and a Belgian radio station,... More »

Search Begins for Alien Signals Near Bizarre Star

The Allen Telescope Array is all fired up and looking for life

(Newser) - SETI's wide-range telescope is powered up and trained on KIC 8462852—the curious star in the North Hemisphere that's emitting an odd light pattern . The Allen Telescope Array, located a few hundred miles northeast of San Francisco, is actively hunting for alien signals coming from the star's... More »

Astronomers Say We Owe Our Lives to These Stars

Galaxy CR7 said to contain some of the universe's earliest stars

(Newser) - Astronomers peering through the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a faraway galaxy of stars so significant, they say we wouldn't exist without them. The galaxy, known as Cosmos Redshift 7, or CR7—a name inspired by soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo—is three times... More »

The Stars Could Be 'Singing'

But no one can hear it

(Newser) - The mathematician Pythagoras long ago described "music in the spacing of the spheres," and the idea has influenced astronomy for centuries, Universe Today has noted. Now, scientists have found that the music of the spheres might exist quite literally. Researchers studying the way a laser interacts with plasma... More »

Darkness Reigned for 550M Years

Stars didn't appear until 100M years later than we thought

(Newser) - After the Big Bang, it was dark for a very, very long time—even longer than experts had previously believed, the Smithsonian reports. Scientists had thought that the dark period between the Big Bang and the emergence of the first stars lasted about 440 million years, the Press Association reports... More »

Tiny Find: Stardust From Beyond Solar System?

Citizen scientists help discover what could be interstellar space dust

(Newser) - Earth may be host to some far-from-home specks. A NASA spacecraft that sent space samples back to our planet in 2006 captured an astounding find that's just coming to light: seven specks of stardust believed to be the first from outside our solar system. Finding the teeny fragments, captured... More »

We're About to Map the Milky Way

One of 'most ambitious space missions ever' begins

(Newser) - While you were sleeping, a truly massive undertaking got under way, one that the BBC terms "one of the most ambitious space missions in history." Europe's Gaia satellite—which has been two decades in the making—launched at 4:12am EST today, setting it on a course... More »

Earth-Like Planet Spotted

KOI 172.02 orbits star like our sun

(Newser) - Less than two weeks after astronomers predicted they would find an Earth-like planet some time in 2013, the feat may have already been accomplished. Scientists this week announced at the 221st meeting of American Astronomical Society that the Kepler telescope has found a "super-Earth" whose radius is 1.5... More »

Milky Way Has 17B Planets the Size of Ours

And that's a conservative estimate

(Newser) - Before we start feeling too special about our home planet, scientists have a message: There are at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth in the Milky Way alone, reports. About 17% of our galaxy's stars have Earth-size exoplanets closely orbiting them—so 100 billion stars... More »

'Homeless' Planet Seen Adrift in Deep Space

It's cold, young, and doesn't orbit a star

(Newser) - Astronomers have identified a "homeless" planet for the first time and given it a rather un-catchy label: CFBDSIR2149. This young and very cold planet is drifting about 100 light-years away with a group of roughly 30 stars, but isn't orbiting any of them—which makes its blue light... More »

Giant Star Caught Devouring Planet

A similar fate awaits Earth, scientists say

(Newser) - Astronomers observing the Perseus constellation have caught a glimpse of the fate that awaits our own planet: digestion inside a giant star. Unusual amounts of lithium were detected inside the elderly red giant BD+48 740, and a surviving planet has shifted to a strange elliptical orbit, leading researchers to conclude... More »

Oldest Spiral Galaxy Shocks Astronomers

'Grand-design' spiral formed only 3B years after Big Bang

(Newser) - An ancient galaxy has flabbergasted astronomers. The perfectly formed spiral galaxy was born eons ago, a mere 3 billion years after the Big Bang. But this galaxy type was considered impossible so early on, when the cosmos was too chaotic to mold a "grand-design" spiral. How did it appear?... More »

Scientists Turn Star Data Into Reggae

Reggae-rock group Echo Movement composes astral melody

(Newser) - What do stars in outer space sound like? Try listening to the 6-second melody (note: that's a .wav file) that will be used on a track due this fall by the reggae-rock group Echo Movement. The band wanted to create its own space jam, so it asked researchers at... More »

Scientists Developing GPS for the Galaxy

X-rays from dead stars could provide location in space within 3 miles

(Newser) - A GPS in a car can precisely navigate a city, but what if a GPS in a spaceship could precisely navigate our galaxy? German scientists are developing that very gadgetry, reports the BBC . This interstellar mapping system would use X-ray signals from pulsars, a type of dead star that rotates... More »

14 Stories