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  • News in Brief

    Remote star clusters discovered on edge of Milky Way

    Two clusters of stars have been found in a cloud hovering on the outskirts of the galaxy. Thousands of light-years from the spiral arms of the Milky Way, the clusters are the most distant ever observed in the galaxy, scientists report online February 26 in the Monthly Notices of the...
    03/06/2015 - 15:05 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Sam Ting tries to expose dark matter's mysteries

    In the near vacuum of outer space, each rare morsel of matter tells a story. A speedy proton may have been propelled by the shock wave of an exploding star. A stray electron may have teetered on the precipice of a black hole, only to be flung away in a powerful jet of searing gas.Since 2011, the International Space Station has housed an experiment that aims to decipher those origin stories. The...
    03/06/2015 - 12:27 Particle Physics, Cosmology
  • News

    Dawn spacecraft arrives at dwarf planet Ceres

    The Dawn spacecraft has arrived at the dwarf planet Ceres.After 7½ years trekking across the solar system — including a stopover at the asteroid Vesta — Dawn pulled up alongside Ceres March 6 and let the dwarf planet’s gravity take over, pulling the probe in for a closer look. In six more weeks, Dawn will be close enough to Ceres to begin its 14-month...
    03/06/2015 - 09:47 Planetary Science
  • News

    Supernova hurls star out of the galaxy

    Some stars are in a rush to get out of the galaxy. One such star is hurtling away from the Milky Way at roughly 4.3 million kilometers per hour, researchers report in the March 6 Science, making it the fastest-moving star to be ejected from our galaxy.The escapee, designated US 708, might have been propelled by a...
    03/05/2015 - 14:00 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Hubble telescope sees quadruple

    The Hubble Space Telescope is seeing quadruple. Four images of the same supernova flashed in the constellation Leo as its light bent around a galaxy sitting about 6 billion light-years away between Hubble and the exploding star, researchers report in the March 6 Science.The light from the supernova, nicknamed...
    03/05/2015 - 14:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • Science Ticker

    Dawn spacecraft on final approach to Ceres

    The finish line is in sight for the Dawn mission. After 7 1/2 years in space, including a 14-month stop at the asteroid Vesta, the spacecraft is about to pull up alongside the dwarf planet Ceres.Around 7:20 a.m. Eastern time on March 6, Ceres’ gravity will take hold and start to pull the spacecraft in. The probe...
    03/05/2015 - 13:30 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Hundreds of galaxies seen in a new 3-D view of the universe

    The Hubble Space Telescope has some competition. A telescope in Chile has captured a three-dimensional view of a part of the sky previously imaged by Hubble. The image stretches across cosmic time, revealing modern day galaxies as well as ones seen as they existed when the universe was less than a billion years old. A single observation from a new high-tech camera on the telescope captured not...
    03/03/2015 - 13:06 Astronomy
  • News

    Trying to get the down-low on gravity

    A subtle attraction between metallic strips could reveal the theorized but never detected particles that impart gravity.An experiment proposed in a Feb. 27 Physical Review Letters paper would explore whether fleeting waves of gravity in a vacuum perceptibly nudge two lead plates together. Detecting this attractive force,...
    03/02/2015 - 14:45 Quantum Physics, Cosmology
  • News

    Planet collisions may have rearranged crowded solar systems

    Sibling rivalries among planets can turn deadly. Families of worlds huddled close to their stars might destroy one another, leaving behind just one or two planets after the carnage. These family feuds probably erupt in planetary systems that form much differently than our own, though it’s possible our solar system suffered similar growing pains.Many multiplanet systems discovered by the Kepler...
    02/27/2015 - 12:39 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Mysterious bright spot on Ceres has a partner

    An enigmatic bright patch on the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body between Mars and Jupiter, has a dimmer companion in the same basin. The duo, seen in an image from the Dawn spacecraft when it was about 46,000 kilometers from Ceres, could be a sign of...
    02/26/2015 - 14:45 Planetary Science