Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes the work of researchers from the University of Vienna, who have found a river of stars, a stellar stream in astronomical parlance, covering most of the southern sky. The stream is relatively nearby and contains at least 4000 stars that have been moving together in space since they formed, about 1

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the “normal” matter in the Universe. New results from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them locate this elusive expanse of missing matter. From independent, well-established observations, scientists have confidently calculated how much normal

What is a black hole? In an article that has just appeared in the journal Nature Astronomy, LMU philosopher Erik Curiel shows that physicists use different definitions of the concept, depending on their own particular fields of interest. A black hole is conventionally thought of as an astronomical object that irrevocably consumes all matter and

The Hawaii-based James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) has discovered a stellar flare 10 billion times more powerful than the Sun’s solar flares, a history-making discovery that could unlock decades-old questions about the origin of our own Sun and planets, giving insight into how these celestial bodies were born. “A discovery of this magnitude could have

The Earth’s magnetic shield booms like a drum when it is hit by strong impulses, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London. As an impulse strikes the outer boundary of the shield, known as the magnetopause, ripples travel along its surface which then get reflected back when they approach the magnetic poles.

The heaviest vehicle to successfully land on Mars is the Curiosity Rover at 1 metric ton, about 2,200 pounds. Sending more ambitious robotic missions to the surface of Mars, and eventually humans, will require landed payload masses in the 5- to 20-ton range. To do that, we need to figure out how to land more

Earth’s solid surface and moderate climate may be due, in part, to a massive star in the birth environment of the Sun, according to new computer simulations of planet formation. Without the star’s radioactive elements injected into the early solar system, our home planet could be a hostile ocean world covered in global ice sheets.

A team of Japanese and American scientists has visualized meteorite components at resolution powers much higher than ever before. Their efforts resulted in a much better look at — and enhanced understanding of — substances inside carbonaceous chondrites, the organic-containing meteorites that land on Earth. These substances include hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and water, all of

ESA’s Gaia satellite has looked beyond our Galaxy and explored two nearby galaxies to reveal the stellar motions within them and how they will one day interact and collide with the Milky Way – with surprising results. Our Milky Way belongs to a large gathering of galaxies known as the Local Group and, along with

New research undertaken at Northumbria University, Newcastle shows that the sun’s magnetic waves behave differently than currently believed. Their findings have been reported in Nature Astronomy. After examining data gathered over a 10-year period, the team from Northumbria’s Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering found that magnetic waves in the sun’s corona – its

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