The Coldest White Dwarf Ever Discovered Is An Earth-Sized Diamond

Astronomers have detected an ancient stellar remnant that's 10 times fainter than the dimmest white dwarf ever discovered. Fortuitously orbited by a pulsar, this cold and collapsed star consists of crystallized carbon — essentially making it an Earth-sized diamond in space. » 6/24/14 8:00am 6/24/14 8:00am

This pulsar got slammed by a billion-ton asteroid

You know when you're having a bad day when you get hit by a billion-ton asteroid. But for a pulsar 37,000 light-years away, it's just a another day at the office. And besides, PSR J0738-4042 has an uber-powerful X-ray blaster to deal with errant space rocks. » 2/21/14 7:20am 2/21/14 7:20am

This runaway pulsar has produced the longest jet trail ever detected

See that purple stream at the bottom right? It's the helical jet from a runaway pulsar that's streaking across the Milky Way at speeds reaching five million mph. But more extraordinary than that is how freakishly long this thing is. » 2/19/14 12:10pm 2/19/14 12:10pm

Freakish Pulsar Reaffirms Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

Astronomers studying an absolutely enormous neutron star and its white dwarf companion have shown that Einstein’s calculations still work even under the most extreme gravitational conditions. » 4/29/13 11:20am 4/29/13 11:20am

Did you know that the cover to Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures is from…

The cover to Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures is incredibly iconic, inspiring everything from tattoos to t-shirts sold at Disneyland. But what you may not know is that this image is actually a diagram from the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy. » 10/15/12 5:00pm 10/15/12 5:00pm

How will our starships navigate in deep space?

When explorers started going around the Earth, they used the stars to find their way around. While the oceans and plains stretched out indefinitely, the stars were dependable guides. But when we travel into deep space, what will we use to find our way? » 5/30/12 9:00am 5/30/12 9:00am

One of the most intensively studied objects in space has been…

Pulsars are the lighthouses of the universe; from here on Earth, the waves of electromagnetic radiation emitted by these incredibly dense neutron stars as they whirl rapidly about their axes resemble rhythmic pulses of light. » 10/06/11 2:30pm 10/06/11 2:30pm

What Caused This Galaxy's Power Surge?

The galaxy 3C 454.3 is located 7.2 billion light years away, but it's suddenly become the brightest source of gamma rays in the sky. Its particle jet has increased 10 times since the summer — and it's aimed at us. » 12/15/09 12:40pm 12/15/09 12:40pm

How to Find Your Way Home by the Light of a Pulsar

How do you navigate when you're floating out in deep space? By pulsar, that's how. In outer space (and even in Earth orbit) GPS doesn't do you a whole lot of good, so space scientists at the PLANS navigation conference in Monterey, CA this week have put together a couple of papers designed to show that a spacecraft… » 5/07/08 2:02pm 5/07/08 2:02pm