Planetary nebula lasers

Astronomical masers (the radio wavelength analogs of lasers) were first identified in space over fifty years ago and have since been seen in many locations; astronomical lasers have since been seen as well. Some of the most ...

Unconfirmed near-Earth objects

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth, potentially threatening a collision. NEOs are tracers of the composition, dynamics and environmental conditions ...

Outflowing gas from galaxy supermassive black hole nuclei

Supermassive black holes at the nuclei of most galaxies, including our Milky Way, develop gradually as material accretes onto the seed black hole. The physical processes that drive this growth – the so-called feeding and ...

Does some dark matter carry an electric charge?

Astronomers have proposed a new model for the invisible material that makes up most of the matter in the Universe. They have studied whether a fraction of dark matter particles may have a tiny electrical charge.

Finding galaxies with active nuclei

The nuclei of most galaxies host supermassive black holes with millions or even billions of solar-masses of material. Material in the vicinity of such black holes can accrete onto a torus of dust and gas around the black ...

Is dark matter made of primordial black holes?

Astronomers studying the motions of galaxies and the character of the cosmic microwave background radiation came to realize in the last century that most of the matter in the universe was not visible. About 84 percent of ...

The gamma ray burst – supernova connection

A "core-collapse" supernova occurs when the iron core of a massive star collapses under the force of gravity and then rebounds, generating pressure waves and shocks that propagate outward. A superluminous supernovae is a ...

Exotic binary stars

Cataclysmic variable stars (CVs) are white dwarf stars that are accreting from an orbiting, low mass binary companion star. The accretion is facilitated by the proximity of the stars; typical orbital periods range from about ...

Rings and gaps in a developing planetary system

The discovery of an exoplanet has most often resulted from the monitoring of a star's flicker (the transiting method) or its wobble (the radial velocity method). Discovery by direct imaging is rare because it is so difficult ...

Ionized molecules trace galactic outflows

There is a process at work in most galaxies that affects both the central black hole mass as well as the galaxy's global velocity structure and luminosity. Astronomers suspect that feedback of some kind is involved, and one ...

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