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Antarctic telescope may have provided the first direct evidence of origins...

Uniquely cold and dry conditions of the atmosphere over Antarctica's polar plateau made the observations possible Researchers with the National Science Foundation-funded BICEP2 Collaboration today...

Waking up to a new year: Exoplanet orbits its star in...

In the time it takes you to complete a single workday, or get a full night’s sleep, a small fireball of a planet 700...

Explosion illuminates invisible galaxy in the dark ages

More than 12 billion years ago a star exploded, ripping itself apart and blasting its remains outward in twin jets at nearly the speed...

Seeing Snow in Space: Caltech helps capture the first image of...

Although it might seem counterintuitive, if you get far enough away from a smoldering young star, you can actually find snow lines—frosty regions where...

Solar splashback generates new insight to stars

On June 7, 2011, our Sun erupted, blasting tons of hot plasma into space. Some of that plasma splashed back down onto the Sun's surface,...

Solar mystery solved

The Sun has been in the news a lot lately because it's beginning to send out more flares and solar storms. Its recent turmoil is particularly newsworthy because the Sun was very quiet for an unusually long time. Astronomers had a tough time ex...

The best way to measure dark energy just got better

Dark energy is a mysterious force that pervades all space, acting as a "push" to accelerate the Universe's expansion. Despite being 70 percent of the Universe, dark energy was only discovered in 1998 by two teams observing Type Ia supernovae. A Type...

Smithsonian instrument ‘fills the gap,’ views sun’s innermost corona

During a total eclipse of the Sun, skywatchers are awed by the shimmering corona -- a faint glow that surrounds the Sun like gossamer flower petals. This outer layer of the Sun's atmosphere is, paradoxically, hotter than the Sun's surface, but so ...

Qatar-led international team finds its first alien world

In an exciting example of international collaboration, a Qatar astronomer teamed with scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and other institutions to discover a new alien world. This "hot Jupiter," now named Qatar...

Super-Earth has an atmosphere, but is it steamy or gassy?

In December 2009, astronomers announced the discovery of a super-Earth known as GJ 1214b. At the time, they reported signs that the newfound world likely had a thick, gaseous atmosphere. Now, a team led by Jacob Bean (Harvard-Smithsonian Center ...

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