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Planet formation in action?

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope an international team of astronomers has been able to study the short-lived disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of making a planetary system. For the first time a smaller companion ...

Fermi’s Large Area Telescope sees surprising flares in crab nebula

Menlo Park, Calif. -- The Crab Nebula, one of our best-known and most stable neighbors in the winter sky, is shocking scientists with a propensity for fireworks -- gamma-ray flares set off by the most energetic particles ever traced to a speci...

UCI, other scientists find new galaxies through cosmic alignment

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 4, 2010 -- UC Irvine astronomers, along with scientists across the globe, are discovering hundreds of new galaxies through brighter galaxies in front of them that deflect their faint light back to the massive Herschel telescope...

Spiral galaxies stripped bare

HAWK-I [1] is one of the newest and most powerful cameras on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). It is sensitive to infrared light, which means that much of the obscuring dust in the galaxies' spiral arms becomes transparent to its detectors. Co...

Hubble data used to look 10,000 years into the future

Astronomers are used to looking millions of years into the past. Now scientists have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to look thousands of years into the future. Looking at the heart of Omega Centauri, a globular cluster in the Milky...

Ghosts of the future

Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of 7 billion light-years. The cluster (designated SPT-CL J0546-5345) weighs in at around 800 trillion Suns, and hold...

A nearby galactic exemplar

Originally discovered from Australia by the Scottish astronomer James Dunlop early in the nineteenth century, NGC 300 is one of the closest and most prominent spiral galaxies in the southern skies and is bright enough to be seen easily in bino...

The superwind galaxy NGC 4666

The prominent galaxy NGC 4666 in the centre of the picture is a starburst galaxy, about 80 million light-years from Earth, in which particularly intense star formation is taking place. The starburst is thought to be caused by gravitational intera...

Hubble watches light echo from mysterious erupting star

In January 2002, a moderately dim star in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn, suddenly became 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. This made it temporarily the brightest star in our Milky Way. The light from this eruption created a unique phenomenon known as a 'light echo' when it reflected off dust shells around the star.

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