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Stellar Nursery Blooms into View

The OmegaCAM imager on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot young stars within the nebula. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Stellar Nursery Blooms into View

Stellar Nursery Blooms into View The OmegaCAM camera on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and […]

Telescopes in southern Africa will peel back the universe’s secrets from 2018

An image by MeerKAT shows hydrogen gas in M83, a famous spiral galaxy. SKA SA

Telescopes in southern Africa will peel back the universe’s secrets from 2018

Telescopes in southern Africa will peel back the universe’s secrets from 2018 An image by MeerKAT shows hydrogen gas in M83, a famous spiral galaxy. SKA SA Imogen Whittam, University of the Western Cape One of the world’s largest collaborative science projects is about to […]

Listening for Gravitational Waves Using Pulsars

This computer simulation shows the collision of two black holes, which produces gravitational waves. Credits: SXS

Listening for Gravitational Waves Using Pulsars

Listening for Gravitational Waves Using Pulsars One of the most spectacular achievements in physics so far this century has been the observation of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time that result from masses accelerating in space. So far, there have been five detections of gravitational waves, […]

Hubble’s Compact Galaxy with Big-Time Star Formation

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Hubble’s Compact Galaxy with Big-Time Star Formation

Hubble’s Compact Galaxy with Big-Time Star Formation As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceptive. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, can produce […]

Star Trek discovery of alien life veers away from likely reality

Here, an alien crew member, Saru on Star Trek: Discovery. We often rely on science fiction to guide our expectations of alien life. We can hope lessons about accepting beings very different from yourself can be extracted by the series end. (Courtesy of CBS Studios)

Star Trek discovery of alien life veers away from likely reality

Star Trek discovery of alien life veers away from likely reality Here, an alien crew member, Saru on Star Trek: Discovery. We often rely on science fiction to guide our expectations of alien life. We can hope lessons about accepting beings very different from yourself […]

Hubble’s Bubbles in the Tarantula Nebula

At a distance of just 160 000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. It is also home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighbourhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked “bubbles” that forms the so-called Honeycomb Nebula (to the lower left). The Honeycomb Nebula was found serendipitously by astronomers using ESO’s New Technology Telescope to image the nearby SN1987A, the closest observed supernova to Earth for over 400 years. The nebula’s strange bubble-like shape has baffled astronomers since its discovery in the early 1990s. Various theories have been proposed to explain its unique structure, some more exotic than others. In 2010, a group of astronomers studied the nebula and, using advanced data analysis and computer modelling, came to the conclusion that its unique appearance is likely due to the combined effect of two supernovae — a more recent explosion has pierced the expanding shell of material created by an older explosion. The nebula’s especially striking appearance is suspected to be due to a fortuitous viewing angle; the honeycomb effect of the circular shells may not be visible from another viewpoint. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

Hubble’s Bubbles in the Tarantula Nebula

Hubble’s Bubbles in the Tarantula Nebula At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. It is also home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist […]

ALMA and Rosetta Detect Freon-40 in Space

Organohalogen methyl chloride (Freon-40) discovered by ALMA around the infant stars in IRAS 16293-2422. These same organic compounds were discovered in the thin atmosphere surrounding Comet 67P/C-G by the ROSINA instrument on ESA's Rosetta space probe. Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

ALMA and Rosetta Detect Freon-40 in Space

ALMA and Rosetta Detect Freon-40 in Space Observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESA’s Rosetta mission, have revealed the presence of the organohalogen Freon-40 in gas around both an infant star and a comet. Organohalogens are formed by organic processes on […]