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A new catalog of infrared dark clouds

Infrared dark clouds (IRDCs) are dark patches of cold dust and gas seen in the sky against the bright diffuse infrared glow of warm dust in our galaxy. These IRDCs, massive and rich in molecules, are natural sites for star ...

Hubble catches cosmic snowflakes

Almost like snowflakes, the stars of the globular cluster NGC 6441 sparkle peacefully in the night sky, about 13,000 light-years from the Milky Way's galactic center. Like snowflakes, the exact number of stars in such a cluster ...

Astronomers unveil the magnetic field of the solar corona

While the world has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) have been hard at work studying the solar corona, the outermost atmosphere of the sun ...

A mirror image of Earth and sun

Among the more than 4,000 known exoplanets, KOI-456.04 is something special: less than twice the size of Earth, it orbits a sun-like star. And it does so with a star-planet distance that could permit planetary surface temperatures ...

PTF1J2224+17 is a polar, new study confirms

German astronomers have conducted photometric observations of a cataclysmic variable (CV) star known as PTF1J2224+17. Results of the observational campaign confirm that this object is a polar, as suggested by previous studies. ...

Hubble makes surprising find in the early universe

New results from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope suggest the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the early Universe took place sooner than previously thought. A European team of astronomers have found no evidence ...

Ultra-bright X-ray source awakens near a galaxy not so far away

A new ultra-bright source of X-rays has awakened in between our galactic neighbors the Magellanic Clouds, after a 26-year slumber. This is the second-closest such object known to date, with a brightness greater than a million ...

Stellar 'snake' found in the cosmic neighborhood

Using data from various astronomical surveys, Chinese researchers have unveiled the presence of a quasi-tidal tail, dubbed stellar "snake" due to its morphology, in our cosmic neighborhood. The newly found structure could ...

Citizen scientists spot closest young brown dwarf disk yet

Brown dwarfs are the middle child of astronomy, too big to be a planet yet not big enough to be a star. Like their stellar siblings, these objects form from the gravitational collapse of gas and dust. But rather than condensing ...

Magnetic fields force new perspective on Milky Way's black hole

Observations from Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) indicate that the magnetic field near our galaxy's core is strong enough to control the material moving around the black hole, even in the presence ...

A new galactic center adventure in virtual reality

By combining data from telescopes with supercomputer simulations and virtual reality (VR), a new visualization allows you to experience 500 years of cosmic evolution around the supermassive black hole at the center of the ...