Most stars in the sky are in binary systems -- two stars that are gravitationally bound to each other. When the stars in close binaries expand, as stars do as they age, some material can reach the gravitational sphere of their companion and be sucked away.
The term "exoplanets" is used to describe planets outside of the solar system.
Previously such small, "stellar-mass" black holes have been spotted in other galaxies by picking up the X-ray glow emitted as they swallow matter, or from the gravitational waves generated as black holes collide with one another or with neutron stars.
Kleopatra orbits the Sun in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers have called it a "dog-bone asteroid" ever since radar observations around 20 years ago revealed it has two lobes connected by a thick "neck".
London: Instead of finding a planet, astronomers have detected a star forming in the outer regions of the disc of dust and gas surrounding a massive star. The main object, referred to as MM 1a, is a young massive star surrounded by a rotating disc of gas and dust that was the focus of the […]
New York: Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have found the first compelling evidence for a Neptune-sized moon orbiting a giant gas planet 8,000 light-years away. The detection of the candidate exomoon — moons orbiting planets in other star systems — is unusual because of its large size, comparable to […]
New York: Astronomers have detected a possible “rogue” planetary-mass object with a surprisingly powerful magnetic field travelling through space unaccompanied by any parent star. The extrasolar object, about a dozen times more massive than Jupiter, is located some 20 light-years from Earth, showed the findings made using the US National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky […]
Washington: Astronomers have discovered an unusual carbon-rich asteroid in the Kuiper Belt — the first of its kind to be confirmed in the cold outer reaches of the solar system. This object, designated 2004 EW95, likely formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and has been flung billions of kilometres from its origin […]
Washington: Astronomers have detected a large amount of water in the atmosphere of a hot, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away. The planet, known as WASP-39b, has three times as much water as Saturn does, NASA said on Thursday. Though no planet like this resides in our solar system, WASP-39b can provide new insights into […]
Washington: Using a radio antenna not much larger than a refrigerator, astronomers have detected for the first time a signal from stars emerging in the early universe. The researchers discovered that ancient suns were active within 180 million years of the Big Bang, according to a study published in the journal Nature. The astronomers made […]
New York: After poring over NASA’s Cassini mission data, astronomers have determined that it takes the teamwork of seven moons to keep Saturn’s A ring – the largest and farthest of the visible rings – contained. Without forces to hold the A ring in check, the ring would keep spreading out and ultimately disappear. For […]
Washington: Astronomers including one of Indian-origin have identified five pairs of supermassive black holes, each containing millions of times the mass of the Sun, in the centres of galaxies. The findings could help astronomers better understand how giant black holes grow and how they may produce the strongest gravitational wave signals in the universe. These […]
London: A space rock collided with the Moon at 61,000 km an hour, making a 10-15 metres crater during January’s total lunar eclipse, say astronomers. Unlike the Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to protect it and even small rocks can hit its surface. Since these impacts take place at huge speeds, the rocks get […]
Melbourne: In a first, Australian scientists have determined the precise location of a powerful one-off burst of cosmic radio waves. The discovery was made with Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. A team of researchers made a high-resolution map showing that the burst originated in […]
London: Astronomers have for the first time discovered water in the atmosphere of an exoplanet with Earth-like temperatures that could support life as we know it. K2-18b, which is eight times the mass of Earth, is now the only planet orbiting a star outside the Solar System, or ‘exoplanet’, known to have both water and […]