Giant Galaxy Cluster "El Gordo" Is Even Bigger Than We Thought

We already knew that this ancient galaxy cluster (nicknamed "El Gordo") was the largest of the distant galaxies that we had spotted, but it turns out we've been massively underestimating its size. How did astronomers figure it out? Simple. They weighed it. » 4/03/14 10:47pm 4/03/14 10:47pm

Neptune's Long Lost Moon Reappears

Neptune has a moon called Naiad that was discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989 when the space probe made its flyby — but it hasn't been heard of since. Now, some 24 years later, astronomers have finally been able to spot it from Earth, and they did so using archived photographs. » 10/10/13 10:16am 10/10/13 10:16am

This Stunning Spiral Galaxy Is Out There Right Now

No matter how wry your sense of humor or how pessimistic your outlook, you have to give into your human capacity for awe at some point. And it might as well be now because this photo is amazing. The spiral galaxy, M74, consists of about 100 billion stars and is 32 million light-years away if you're headed toward Pisces » 8/12/13 6:16am 8/12/13 6:16am

Behold the terrifyingly named Clownface Nebula

In 1797, legendary astronomer William Herschel first caught sight of this object and declared it "a very remarkable phenomenon." Although it's sometimes called the Clownface Nebula, it's probably better known as the Eskimo Nebula, because it resembles (however vaguely) a person's face inside a parka hood. » 8/05/13 11:37am 8/05/13 11:37am

Hubble Snaps Breathtaking New Picture of ISON, “Comet of the Century"

When Comet ISON's trajectory brings it scorchingly close to the Sun later this year, astronomers believe it could emerge from its close encounter as one of the brightest comets ever seen from Earth. Now, Hubble has captured a stunning image of the approaching ice-ball in flight, against a backdrop bursting with nearby… » 7/17/13 5:40pm 7/17/13 5:40pm

The Sun Will Look A Lot Like This When It Burns Out

In about a billion years the Sun will be too hot and bright for water to exist on Earth. We will probably mosey on at that point or perish. But if we're still alive and somewhere in the neighborhood when the Sun runs out of hydrogen and becomes a red giant we can observe it looking something like this. » 7/15/13 7:51am 7/15/13 7:51am

Astronomers have discovered a blue planet beyond our solar system

In a major breakthrough, researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have seen the true color of a planet outside our solar system. HD 189733b, as the gas giant is called, is blue. A deep, vibrant, cobalt blue. And just wait til you hear why it's that color. » 7/11/13 7:01pm 7/11/13 7:01pm

What the heck is this strange red rectangle doing in our galaxy?

It's not often that a nebula looks quite so much like a cheesy special effect from some forgotten '70s sci-fi movie, but the Red Rectangle Nebula qualifies. After all, this seems to betray a total misunderstanding of basic science, because aren't nebulae meant to be, well, round? And is any nebula that blood-red? » 5/27/13 12:15pm 5/27/13 12:15pm

Every burst of star formation can reshape the universe

One of the most violent and wondrous cosmic events is starburst, in which hundreds of millions of stars are born all at once. These are far rarer nowadays than they were in the early universe, but they do still happen... and the massive energy released during these periods can alter the future histories of entire… » 5/13/13 4:13am 5/13/13 4:13am