Watching the Milky Way's supermassive black hole feed

The supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, Sagittarius A*, is by far the closest such object to us, about 27,000 light-years away. Although it is not nearly so active or luminous as other galactic ...

Spectacular breakup of WT1190F seen by airborne astronomers

Clouds hampered observations from the ground in Sri Lanka during the re-entry of WT1190F overnight, but a team of astronomers captured spectacular images of the object from a high-flying plane over the Indian Ocean very close ...

Image: NASA's NEOWISE captures Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is one of more than 32 comets imaged by NASA's NEOWISE mission from December 2013 to December 2014. This image of comet Lovejoy combines a series of observations made in November 2013, when comet ...

How did we find the distance to the sun?

How far is the Sun? It seems as if one could hardly ask a more straightforward question. Yet this very inquiry bedeviled astronomers for more than two thousand years.

Cassini spies the ice-giant planet Uranus

( —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured its first-ever image of the pale blue ice-giant planet Uranus in the distance beyond Saturn's rings.

How far are the planets from the Sun?

The eight planets in our solar system each occupy their own orbits around the Sun. They orbit the star in ellipses, which means their distance to the sun varies depending on where they are in their orbits. When they get closest ...

Explainer: Light-years and units for the stars

"Space is Big. Really Big." The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy pretty much nailed space with those five words. And space is so really big that our earthly measures of distance struggle.

An interview with Voyager 2: At the edge of the solar system

Interviewing a spacecraft isn't something one does every day. It certainly wasn't an option back in the late 1970s, when Voyager 1 and 2 set off on a mission like no other before or since: to visit some of the most mysterious ...

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