Search Results for: gaia

Artist's concept of strings of stars - sibling stars, or star families - within 3,000 light-years of the sun.

Gaia tracks sibling stars in Milky Way

Rather than leaving home young, as expected, star siblings are more likely to stick together in long-lasting, string-like star groups, according to a new study of data from ESA’s Gaia spacecraft.

An artist's conception of a face-on spiral galaxy with a central bar.

Gaia starts mapping our Milky Way’s bar

“We knew the Milky Way had a bar, like other barred spiral galaxies. But we only had indirect indications from the motions of stars and gas. This is the first time we see the galactic bar in 3D space, based on geometric measurements of stellar distances.”

A spiral galaxy, with globular clusters scattered around it.

How Hubble and Gaia weighed the Milky Way

Scientists used the measured velocities of 44 globular star clusters to measure the mass of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

Over 100 new exoplanets from Kepler and Gaia

At least 18 of the new planets are less than 2 times larger than the Earth, and are likely to have rocky compositions with atmospheres comparable to Earth’s.

Gaia spots enormous ghost galaxy on Milky Way’s outskirts

Gaia satellite data revealed the galaxy, which has avoided detection until now, thanks to its extremely low density and hiding place behind the shroud of the Milky Way’s disk.

Gaia reveals stars flying between galaxies

Only a small number of hypervelocity stars have ever been discovered. Now ESA’s Gaia mission has revealed 20 more.

How Gaia could help find Dyson spheres

Dyson spheres are hypothetical megastructures built by extraterrestrials for the purpose of harvesting all of a star’s energy. Here’s how the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission might help find one.

Gaia sees LMC stars as galactic fingerprint

It resembles a fingerprint, doesn’t it? But it’s really a galaxy, rotating. This image is from ESA’s Gaia space observatory. It shows the rotation of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Gaia’s 2nd data release: 1.7 billion stars!

Why did ESA’s director of science say Gaia’s observations are “redefining the foundations” of astronomy? Also, links to virtual reality resources made possible by Gaia, available for you to explore.

Gaia’s view of Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the nearest galaxies to our Milky Way, as viewed by ESA’s Gaia satellite after its first 14 months of operations.

A billion stars here we come! Gaia galaxy surveyor lifts off

Gaia is designed to make accurate measurements of the positions and motions of 1% of the total population of roughly 100 billion Milky Way stars.

Many planets in a cloud of dust and gas.

Thousands of exoplanets may orbit supermassive black holes

It sounds unbelievable, but a new study from Kagoshima University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan says that exoplanets – thousands of them – could be orbiting supermassive black holes.

Seven half-lit balls in a row, against a black background.

TESS spacecraft is finding hundreds of exoplanets

… and it’s poised to find thousands more. But will we find another Earth?

Space telescope with background of stars.

Wow! What if 1 in 4 sunlike stars has an Earth?

According to a new study by astronomers based on data from the Kepler Space Telescope, 1 in 4 sunlike stars should have a planet that’s approximately Earth-sized, orbiting in the star’s habitable zone.

When our Milky Way merged with an ancient dwarf galaxy

Analysis of measurements via the Gaia space telescope – of star positions, brightnesses and distances – has let astronomers probe a merger 10 billion years ago between the primitive Milky Way and a dwarf galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus.

Antares is the Heart of the Scorpion

Bright red Antares is easy to spot now. It’s the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius and represents the Scorpion’s Heart.

Bright flaming yellow-orange ball on black background

Could a superflare happen on our sun?

New research suggests that superflares – massive bursts of energy from a star’s surface – can happen on stars like our sun. What might that mean for us on Earth?

Photographic image showing flat galactic disk. The inset shows dark lanes of dust, where stars form.

Star formation burst created 50% of Milky Way disk stars

Analysis of data from the Gaia satellite shows a powerful burst of star formation – a stellar baby boom – in our Milky Way galaxy 2 to 3 billion years ago. This single burst might have created half the stars in the galaxy’s flat disk.

Artist's concept of star leaving Milky Way galaxy over millions of years.

Hyper-runaway star fled Milky Way disk

University of Michigan astronomers say a hyper-runaway star didn’t originate from the galaxy’s center, as previously believed. Instead, they say, a cluster of young stars booted it from the galaxy’s disk.

Today in science: Uranus discovered by accident

William Herschel spotted Uranus in 1781 during a routine survey of the stars. It was the 1st new planet found since ancient times.

An ancient white dwarf star with rings

“This white dwarf is so old that whatever process is feeding material into its rings must operate on billion-year timescales,” said one of the scientists involved in the discovery.

Milky Way in a circle. Inside the circle are red dots indicating stars of the stellar stream

Astronomers find a nearby river of stars

Researchers used Gaia data to find a stellar stream of at least 4,000 stars that have been moving together in space since they formed, about a billion years ago.

When will the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies collide?

The Andromeda galaxy is the nearest large spiral to our Milky Way. Astronomers have suspected for some time it will eventually collide with our Milky Way. Now – thanks to the Gaia satellite – they know more.

M13, a globular cluster in Hercules

More globular star clusters found at Milky Way’s heart   

We think of globular clusters as being scattered far from the galaxy’s central regions, in the great spherical halo of our Milky Way. But astronomers are finding them much closer to the galactic center.

Lunar light pillar over Antarctica

We see a fair number of photos of light pillars – shafts of light extending from the sun or other bright light source – taken from northerly latitudes. This one is caused by the moon, and it’s over Earth’s South Pole.

Citizen scientists discover rare exoplanet

Last week, citizen scientists with Zooniverse’s Exoplanet Exoplorers announced K2-288Bb – a type of exoplanet considered rare so far. The finding might shed new light on how planets form.

Light blue sphere with darker blue center.

Thousands of stars, including our sun, destined to turn into crystals

Astronomers now have the 1st direct evidence that white dwarf stars form crystal cores. Our sun is destined to become a crystal white dwarf in about 10 billion years.

At last, a planet for Barnard’s Star

Astronomers are “99 percent confident” that this exoplanet is real and not a false detection. The planet for Barnard’s star – 2nd closest star system to our sun – appears to be a cold super-Earth.

Large and Small Magellanic Clouds collided!

Star motions in the Small Magellanic Cloud – as revealed by the Gaia space observatory – confirm that this small satellite galaxy of our Milky Way collided in the past with its larger neighbor.

Our Milky Way almost collided with another galaxy

Astronomers found a snail-shaped substructure of stars in our larger Milky Way galaxy. It indicates the Milky Way is still enduring the effects of a near-collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond.

Which one is ‘Oumuamua’s home star?

The 1st object known to be from another solar system passed through our solar system a year ago. Where did it come from? Astronomers have identified 4 plausible candidates.

What is a Dyson sphere?

Dyson spheres are back in the news. In case you’ve never heard of them – or want to brush up – here’s a primer.

Water worlds are likely common

Earth is a water world, and a new study suggests there may be many more water worlds out there, including some larger and wetter than our planet.

Earth’s ingredients pretty normal, say astronomers

Astronomers have discovered that the basic building blocks of some planetary systems are very similar to Earth’s elements, helpful information in the search for truly Earth-like planets in other solar systems.

Deneb is distant and very luminous

But – especially with last month’s 2nd data release from the Gaia satellite, whose job is measuring star distances – why don’t we know Deneb’s distance for certain?

Meet the fastest-growing black hole

Because it sucks in so much gas, this black hole appears ultra-luminous. If it sat at the center of our Milky Way, we’d see it shining 10 times more brightly than a full moon.

Watch thousands of asteroids orbiting our sun

Both NASA and ESA space missions have just released new videos plotting the orbits of tens of thousands of asteroids (and comets) orbiting our sun.

Measuring universe expansion reveals mystery

Is something unpredicted going on in the depths of space?

Next New Horizons flyby will happen a year from today

The New Horizons flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 – a year from today, on January 1, 2019 – will be the most distant in the history of space exploration.

Millions of stars

This image sequence from ESA’s billion-star surveyor – Gaia – looks toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy and captures some 2.8 million stars.

Exploring the triggers of cosmic disaster

A new study uses data from ESA’s Gaia satellite to give the first systematic estimate of how often passing stars nudge comets from the Oort Cloud and send them plunging toward the inner solar system.

Astronomers track hypervelocity stars

New video shows 6 hypervelocity stars, zipping from Milky Way center to outskirts. An interaction with our galaxy’s central, supermassive black hole might have kicked them into fast motion.

How far away is Deneb?

The star Deneb – part of the famous Summer Triangle – is one of the most distant stars you can see with your eye alone. Why don’t we know its distance precisely?

3.7-billion-year-old fossils show early life

Earth’s earliest lifeforms were single-celled microbes. The new fossil discovery places them on Earth even earlier than previously thought.

Are the aliens extinct?

Australian astrobiologists say an early Armageddon on most distant worlds makes advanced lifeforms unlikely. If true, our Milky Way galaxy is a lonely place.

Video lets you imagine Earth breathing

NASA video simulating a massive typhoon spinning toward China, with something extra added. Plus a word about the Gaia hypothesis.

NROA astronomers pin down distance to Pleiades stars

National Radio Astronomy Observatory astronomers used a tried-and-true method – stellar parallax – to resolve a controversy over the Pleiades’ distance.

Earth-orbiting satellites see Arctic surface darkening faster

The retreat of Arctic sea ice is diminishing Earth’s albedo, or reflectivity, by an amount about twice as large as previously thought.

An asteroid pile-up in the orbit of Mars

The orbit of the planet Mars is host to the remains of an ancient collision that created many of its Trojan asteroids, a new study has concluded.


Unique chemistry reveals eruption of ancient materials once at Earth’s surface

New study supports theory that Earth’s earliest crust was folded back into its mantle and returned to the surface in volcanoes.