Comets eject gas and dust into space. Primarily, this takes place on the areas of the comet's surface exposed to direct sunlight. In mid-March, from a distance of 75 kilometres, the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) on board the Rosetta orbiter acquired images of an extraordinary phenomenon occurring on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. A new dust jet - its origins currently unknown - was suddenly released from the shadowed side.
Astronomers are tracking velocity structures and gaseous metallicities in galaxies in two protoclusters located in the direction of the constellation Serpens. The clusters appear as they would have looked 11 billion years ago, and the team concluded that they are in the process of cluster formation that has led to present-day galaxy clusters.
Astrophysicists have not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn't supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.
As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies' supermassive black holes will form a 'binary', or two black holes in such close orbit they are gravitationally bound to one another. In a new study, astronomers present direct evidence of a pulsing quasar, which may substantiate the existence of black hole binaries.
Taking advantage of the unprecedented sensitivity of the Large Binocular Telescope in southeastern Arizona, an international team of astronomers has obtained the first results from the LEECH exoplanets survey.
Complex organic molecules such as formamide, from which sugars, amino acids and even nucleic acids essential for life can be made, already appear in the regions where stars similar to our Sun are born. Astrophysicists have detected this biomolecule in five protostellar clouds and propose that it forms on tiny dust grains.
After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE satellite has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization's technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths.
Researchers have long known that there is water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate has been found in the soil, which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty salt water - a brine.