Chandra detection of a circumnuclear torus

Most galaxies host supermassive black holes at their nuclei, each with millions or billions of solar-masses of material. There is thought to be a torus of dust and gas around the black holes, and an accreting disk that becomes ...

A new neptune-size exoplanet

The remarkable exoplanet discoveries made by the Kepler and K2 missions have enabled astronomers to begin to piece together the history of the Earth and to understand how and why it differs from its diverse exoplanetary cousins. ...

How do stellar binaries form?

Most stars with the mass of the sun or larger have one or more companion stars, but when and how these multiple stars form is one of the controversial central problems of astronomy. Gravity contracts the natal gas and dust ...

The Cygnus Loop

The Cygnus Loop (also known as the Veil Nebula) is a supernova remnant, the detritus of the explosive death of a massive star about ten to twenty thousand years ago. Detailed modeling of its spectacular filamentary shape ...

Gravitationally lensed quasars

The path of light is bent by mass, an effect predicted by Einstein's theory of gravity, and when a massive galaxy or cluster lies along our line-of-sight to a more distant galaxy its matter will act as a lens to image the ...

Dust production in evolved exoplanetary systems

Stellar variability has long offered insights into stars' physical properties. The star Mira (Omicron Ceti), for example, was so-named in 1596 by Dutch astronomers who were amazed by its miraculous brightening because of ...

Light echos in the Eta Carinae Nebula

The young star Eta Carinae shines prominently in the skies of the southern hemisphere. Although located relatively far away from Earth (about seven thousand light-years away, as compared with the average distance of naked-eye ...

'Oumuamua one year later

One year ago this week astronomers discovered an unusual object moving through space not too far from the Earth's orbit. In just a few days they realized it could not be a normal asteroid or comet – its path showed that ...

Active galactic nuclei and star formation

Most galaxies host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at their nucleus. (A supermassive black hole is one whose mass exceeds a million solar-masses.) A key unresolved issue in galaxy formation and evolution is the role these ...

Remarkable flares from the galactic center

Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, is 100 times closer to us than any other SMBH and therefore a prime candidate for studies of how matter radiates as it accretes onto ...

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