Mapping the Milky Way's magnetic field in 3D

We are all very familiar with the concept of the Earth's magnetic field. It turns out that most objects in space have magnetic fields but it's quite tricky to measure them. Astronomers have developed an ingenious way to measure ...

Why we need to rethink what we know about dust

You may think of dust as an annoyance to be vacuumed and disposed of, but actually, on a grander scale, it is far more important than most people realize. Globally, dust plays a critical role in regulating our climate, radiation ...

Hubble views dwarf galaxy LEDA 4216

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows LEDA 42160, a galaxy about 52 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. The dwarf galaxy is one of many forcing its way through the comparatively dense gas ...

Astronomers reveal a new link between water and planet formation

Researchers have found water vapor in the disk around a young star exactly where planets may be forming. Water is a key ingredient for life on Earth and is also thought to play a significant role in planet formation, yet ...

Image: Hubble views IC 3476, an active star-forming galaxy

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image features IC 3476, a dwarf galaxy that lies about 54 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices. While this image does not look very dramatic—we might say ...

Impact Craters: Can they help us find life elsewhere?

When we look at the moon, either through a pair of binoculars, a telescope, or past footage from the Apollo missions, we see a landscape that's riddled with what appear to be massive sinkholes. But these "sinkholes" aren't ...

Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation

Solving the mystery of how planets like Earth were formed is an important question for understanding the origin of life. Planets are thought to form when interstellar dust and gas collect in a protoplanetary disk surrounding ...

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