astronomy

Listening To This Guy Talking About The Universe Gave Me Goosebumps

Remember that time when you first realised that the universe was an incredibly gigantic place, when you felt humbled and fortunate at the mere thought of existing in this vast cosmic arena? Listen to Professor Tom Burns, of Ohio Wesleyan University and Director of Perkins Observatory. He still feels that way.


Astronomers Discover Mysterious Black Hole As Massive As 12 Billion Suns

In a galaxy far, far away — 12.8 billion light-years away to be more exact — is a newly-discovered supermassive black hole that weighs as much as 12 billion of our suns. The most surprising thing about the black hole, though, is not its size but its age.


Six Busy Days (And Nights) With Some Of The World's Largest Telescopes 

Night falls in the Atacama Desert, but the day is far from over. In this wonderful little timelapse, sent along to us by the photographer Enrico Sacchetti, we get a sense for the constant work being done at the European Southern Observatory.


We're Looking For Alien Life On Bizarre 'Eyeball Planets'

It’s easy for us Earthlings to imagine life evolving on planets like ours. But there are exoplanets out there that strain the imagination. Take “eyeball planets”, which are half frozen, half broiling with the heat of their suns. Earthlike planet Zarmina, in the Gliese system, is one of these. We shouldn’t rule these bizarre planets out from our search for life.


The Origin Of Joy Division's Most Famous Album Cover, Finally Revealed

The cover of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures is famously graced with the radio pulses of a dying star. Its origins, however, have always been unclear. But now, Scientific American‘s Jen Christiansen has followed the rabbit hole to the very end — to an obscure 1970 PhD astronomy thesis and the guy who wrote it.


This Is What A Gravitational Lens Looks Like

NASA’s just taken the best accidental smiley photo ever. It’s galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849, and it’s got one hell of a creepy grin.


In This Breathtaking Image, Three Moons Transit The Face Of Jupiter

In this recent image from space-based telescope Hubble, we see something extraordinary. The moons Europa, Callisto, and Io transit the planet Jupiter, casting shadows on its roiling clouds. One day, humans will have this view from their windows. For now, we can dream.


There's A Guide To The Solar System Etched Into This Cutting Board

If you’re the type who likes to learn something new every day, this wonderful custom bamboo cutting board from Etsy seller Elysium Woodworks will teach you the basics of our solar system while you hack away at vegetables during dinner prep.


This Star Model Is Based On Nothing But Shadows

Saturn’s rings are already mind-blowingly large — about 70,000km across — but astronomers at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands have found a much more extensive ring system. At least they think they have — all they can actually see are shadows.


A Pair Of Black Holes Could Soon Collide And Destroy Their Galaxy

One black hole is not to be messed with, let alone two. Astronomers have discovered what appears to be two supermassive black holes just one light-year apart, setting up a collision so massive it could be release as much energy as 100 million supernovas and destroy it’s inside galaxy. Yep.