Image: Star-forming filaments

The plane of the Milky Way is rich in star-forming regions, such as the one pictured in this stunning scene by ESA's Herschel space observatory. To the far-infrared eye of Herschel, this region reveals an intricate network ...

Far-infrared instrument to map star formation in the universe

Questions about how and when stars are formed continue to tug at human curiosity. Star formation is governed by gravity and heat. Gravity causes molecular clouds to collapse and eventually form stars and planetary systems, ...

Hunting molecules with the Murchison Widefield Array

Astronomers have used an Australian radio telescope to observe molecular signatures from stars, gas and dust in our galaxy, which could lead to the detection of complex molecules that are precursors to life.

Europe okays project to seek alien life

Europe has approved the launch of a deep-space observatory to sniff out habitable planets in other star systems, along with any life forms they may host.

Why do some galaxies stop making new stars?

Galaxies are star-making machines, churning out new stars fuelled by cold gas collapsing under the force of gravity. Some galaxies can produce hundreds of new stars in a single year, and individual galaxies can contain many ...

Smaller stars pack big X-ray punch for would-be planets

Young stars much less massive than the Sun can unleash a torrent of X-ray radiation that can significantly shorten the lifetime of planet-forming disks surrounding these stars. This result comes from a new study of a group ...

Surprising giant ring-like structure in the universe

(Phys.org)—Five billion light years is a distance almost inconceivable, even on a cosmic scale. To better illustrate the extent of this physical quantity, it's enough to say that 35,000 galaxies the size of our Milky Way ...

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