Brian King

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Hubble Revisits an Icon, the Pillars of Creation

Twenty years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope snapped one of its most iconic images ever. The three towering columns of gas bathed in the light of hot, young stars came to be called the Pillars of Creation — and they showed up on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs to rugs. Now, to celebrate its …

Tales From the Superbowl of Astronomy

<i>SEATTLE — Each January, thousands of astronomers get together and spend four days talking about stars, galaxies, planets, the cosmos, and everything in between. This year’s winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society was held in Seattle from Jan. 4-8, and it was so stuffed with science that</i> …

Astronomers Catch Mysterious Radio Blast From the Distant Universe

Coming from far beyond the galaxy, an extremely energetic blast of radio waves has been snared by astronomers lying in wait. Lasting for just a few thousandths of a second, the burst is the first of an enigmatic class of objects to be observed in real-time, astronomers report today in the <i>Monthly</i> …

A New Way to Explode a Star?

Among the most contentious unsolved mysteries in astronomy is the question of how, exactly, a white dwarf star explodes. Now, as described at the American Astronomical Society’s winter meeting, a team of scientists has come up with an idea that just might solve part of the problem.<p>Nearly two …

Top 10 Extreme Planet Facts

Photo Credit: IAU/Martin Kornmesser<p>Slide 1 of 21<p>Strange, But True - Our Solar System<p>The worlds around our sun run the gamut from small and lifeless …

What Would It Be Like to Live on Mars?

The idea of living on Mars has been a staple of science fiction since the 19th century, when American astronomer Percival Lowell speculated that the …

Astronomy

Supermassive Diet: Black Holes Bulk-Up on Dark Matter

It has long been assumed that the size of a supermassive black hole in a galaxy's core is intimately related to the number of stars that galaxy …

White Dwarfs: Compact Corpses of Stars

The stars in the sky may seem ageless and unchanging, but eventually most of them will turn into white dwarfs, the last observable stage of evolution …

Meet the Solar System's Dwarf Planets

Photo Credit: David Aguilar/Center for Astrophysics<p>Slide 1 of 11<p>Introduction<p>For three-quarters of a century, schoolkids learned that our solar system …

Solar System

Living on the Moon: What It Would Be Like (Infographic)

Life on <b>the moon</b> would be very different for explorers than life on Earth. From its lighter gravity to lack of air, the moon is a harsh mistress, just …

Moon Missions

Rare 'Missing Link' Black Hole Apparently Found

A newfound cosmic object may be a long-sought missing link that could help flesh out the black hole family tree.<p>The object appears to be an …

Living on Other Planets: What Would It Be Like?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on the moon? What about Mars, or Venus or Mercury? We sure have and that's why we decided to …

Astronomy

Space Weather: Sunspots, Solar Flares & Coronal Mass Ejections

Though the sun lies 93 million miles (149 million kilometers) from Earth, its unceasing activity assures an impact on our planet far beyond the …

Search for Alien Life Should Consider All Possibilities, Experts Say

The hunt for signs of life on planets beyond our solar system should cast as wide a net as possible, some researchers stress.<p>Scientists scanning the …

Fierce 'Superflares' from the Sun Zapped the Infant Earth

Our young sun may have routinely blasted Earth with gobs of energy more powerful than any similar bombardments recorded in human history.<p>Huge bursts …

Universe

The Crab Nebula (M1): Facts, Discovery & Images

When a star dies in a violent, fiery death, it spews its innards out across the sky, creating an expanding wave of gas and dust known as a supernova …

Oort Cloud: The Outer Solar System's Icy Shell

A giant shell of icy bodies known as the Oort Cloud is thought to encircle the solar system. There may be billions, even trillions of bodies in it. …

Stunning Photos of Solar Flares & Sun Storms

Solar Eruption of Dec. 31, 2012<p>Credit: NASA/SDO<p>A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun on Dec. 31, 2012. The eruption extends about 160,000 …

Astronomy

Studying Dwarf Planet Ceres: Q&A with Dawn Scientist Chris Russell

NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres last Friday (March 6), becoming the first probe ever to visit a dwarf planet.<p>Dawn is currently spiraling down …

Astronomy

How 4 NASA Satellites Will Study Magnetic Fields of Earth & Sun (Infographic)

NASA's Magnetic Multiscale mission, or MMS, consists of a fleet of four identical satellites studies three phenomena in Earth’s magnetosphere: …

Infographics

The Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in History

Photo Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC<p>Slide 1 of 13<p>Our Angry Sun<p>The sun brings gives light and warmth to all life on Earth, but it has a temper too. Solar …

Solar Cycle

NASA Satellite Quartet Aims to Crack Magnetic Mystery Near Earth

A cosmic phenomenon in Earth's magnetic field that is both dazzling and potentially dangerous for people on the surface is the focus of a new …

Space Exploration

Incoming! Powerful X2.2 Solar Flare Blasts Towards Earth | Video

Sun Unleashes 1st Monster Solar Flare of 2015 (Photos, Video)

The sun unleashed its first superpowerful flare of the year on Wednesday (March 11), and the intense eruption was aimed directly at Earth, space …

Astronomy

Far Flung Star Cluster Found at Milky Way's Edge

Astronomers in Brazil have discovered a cluster of stars forming at the edge of the Milky Way, according to a press release from the Royal …

Universe

Jupiter's Moon Ganymede Has a Salty Ocean with More Water than Earth

A salty ocean is lurking beneath the surface of Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have found.<p>The ocean on …

Einstein's Theory of Relativity Explained (Infographic)

The theories of relativity by Albert Einstein revolutionized how the world thinks about space, time, mass, energy and gravity.<p>Prior to Einstein, the …

Physics

Mars Rover Curiosity Hits the Road Again After Short Circuit

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is back in action for the first time after suffering a glitch late last month.<p>The 1-ton Curiosity rover transferred …

Mars Rover

'Sideways' Alien Earths May Still Be Able to Support Life

An Earth-size waterworld tilted on its side may still be able to support life, if the oceans aren't too shallow, a new study suggests.<p>As long as the …

Galactic 'Missing Link' Reveals Early Galaxy Formation

A star-forming cosmic powerhouse represents the best evidence of how galaxies in the early universe evolve.<p>A dynamic galaxy more than 12.5 billion …

Cosmology