A microlensing event seen from three positions in space

The path of a light beam will be bent by the presence of mass, an effect explained by General Relativity, and a massive body can therefore act like a lens - a so called "gravitational lens" – to distort the image of an ...

The mysterious star MWC349

Molecular clouds in interstellar space can sometimes produce natural masers (the radio wavelength analogs of lasers) that shine with bright, narrow beams of radiation. Regions of active star formation generate some of the ...

A new kind of quantum computer

Quantum mechanics incorporates some very non-intuitive properties of matter. Quantum superposition, for example, allows an atom to be simultaneously in two different states with its spin axis pointed both up and down, or ...

The atmospheres of water worlds

There are currently about fifty known exoplanets with diameters that range from Mars-sized to several times the Earth's and that also reside within their stars' habitable zone – the orbital range within which their surface ...

The remarkable jet of the quasar 4C+19.44

Quasars are galaxies with massive black holes at their cores. So much energy is being radiated from near the nucleus of a quasar that it is much brighter than the rest of the entire galaxy. Much of that radiation is at radio ...

New insights on dark energy

The universe is not only expanding - it is accelerating outward, driven by what is commonly referred to as "dark energy." The term is a poetic analogy to label for dark matter, the mysterious material that dominates the matter ...

Fast radio bursts may be firing off every second

When fast radio bursts, or FRBs, were first detected in 2001, astronomers had never seen anything like them before. Since then, astronomers have found a couple of dozen FRBs, but they still don't know what causes these rapid ...

The origin of binary stars

The origin of binary stars has long been one of the central problems of astronomy. One of the main questions is how stellar mass affects the tendency to be multiple. There have been numerous studies of young stars in molecular ...

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