X-Rays From the Universe Are Simply Stunning

The Chandra X-ray observatory has been observing the universe in X-ray wavelengths for fifteen years. The space telescope's scientific highlights gallery has so much gorgeous X-ray goodness that it's hard to pick favourites. Need to be swept away by the sheer beauty of space? We've got you covered. » 7/28/14 8:41pm 7/28/14 8:41pm

Chandra Has Been X-Raying the Universe for 15 Years

When the Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates a launch anniversary, it goes big with exploding stars and rotating neutron stars. Today marks 15 years of precision X-ray investigations of stars, galaxies, black holes, neutron stars, and even dark energy. NASA celebrates with supernova and pulsars. » 7/24/14 1:37am 7/24/14 1:37am

The closest supernova observed in 25 years is getting brighter

Three days ago, a white dwarf went supernova in nearby Galaxy M82. A starburst galaxy, M82 is a popular target for telescopes on account of its brightness. But its newly formed supernova, which astronomers have named SN 2014J, just became the brightest object in all the galaxy – and it's only going to get brighter. » 1/24/14 6:50am 1/24/14 6:50am

Here's the supernova Johannes Kepler studied 400 years ago

These are the remnants of the last supernova known to explode in our galaxy whose light has reached Earth. It lit up the night sky in 1604 and attracted the attention of Johannes Kepler himself. But it's only in the last couple of decades that we've developed the technology to understand exactly what kind of supernova… » 5/19/13 11:30am 5/19/13 11:30am

This misshapen blotch was once the brightest supernova ever recorded

In the spring of the year 1006, Earth's sky was drastically altered by the appearance of a supernova that was brighter than the entire combined night sky. Mentioned in historical records throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, this supernova was likely bright enough to be visible during daylight hours,… » 4/28/13 2:00pm 4/28/13 2:00pm

Using balls to simulate a supernova

You’ve possibly seen this simple demonstration in your physics class in high school. The teacher grabs a large ball and a small one; the smaller, lighter ball is placed right on top of the heavier, larger one, and the pair are dropped together. The heavier ball hits the ground and bounces a little bit, but the lighter… » 3/19/13 7:30am 3/19/13 7:30am

NASA has found a free particle accelerator floating in space

In early 2007, NASA's Cassini spacecraft observed something extraordinary around Saturn. An unusually strong blast of solar wind sent subatomic particles crashing into the ringed planet's magnetic field, giving rise to perhaps the most tremendous shock wave ever observed emanating from the planet. But newly announced… » 2/27/13 9:00am 2/27/13 9:00am

Watch the brilliant expansion of an exploded star, captured over 58…

In 1901, GK Persei was discovered to have gone nova 1,300 lights years from Earth. This time-lapse video captures the expansion of the nova from 1953 through 2011 using images from the Isaac Newton Telescope and the Nordic Optical Telescope, showing off a remarkable display of stellar fireworks. » 1/26/13 9:00am 1/26/13 9:00am

One physical phenomenon that orders our entire universe

If you've spent any time perusing the periodic table of elements, you've probably noticed that there aren't too many gaps. As the chart progresses, the number of protons, which define an element, march neatly from 1 to 2 to 3 and so on. This orderly transformation can't be made by fusion in stars alone. If you've… » 1/24/13 9:00am 1/24/13 9:00am