Astrophysics

Construction of multiple telescopes has begun on Saishiteng Mountain—near the town of Lenghu in the Qinghai province of China. The site could be China’s first major observatory, on par with those in Hawaii, Chile, and the Canary Islands.

Future of Space Exploration

Why the Tibetan Plateau Might Be the Ideal Spot for the Telescope of the Future

A team in China has identified a location that could give the Eastern Hemisphere its first major observatory

An illustration of Saturn and its "fuzzy" core.

Saturn's Seismic Activity Makes Waves in Its Iconic Rings

Scientists uncover new insight into the planet's core based on observations of its rippling rings

Webb’s 18 mirror segments can lock into the largest telescopic mirror humankind has ever built.

Future of Space Exploration

The Five Big Ways the James Webb Telescope Will Help Astronomers Understand the Universe

The highly awaited observatory is set to break new ground in many areas of astronomical research

After about a month of darkness, Hubble is back online and already collection impressive scientific data.

Retired NASA Engineers Return to Fix Hubble Telescope

The repaired space computer is back online and already beaming spectacular images of distant galaxies back to Earth

Jupiter and its largest moon Ganymede are shown in this image. Ganymede is slightly larger than the planet Mercury. Meanwhile, Jupiter's new 80th moon is much smaller, likely only a few dozen miles in diameter.

Amateur Astronomer Discovers New Moon Orbiting Jupiter

Kai Ly spotted the unnamed satellite using telescope images from 2003

A new image of a powerful jet firing out of the black hole at the center of the radio galaxy Centaurus A, taken with the Event Horizon Telescope.

New Research

New Black Hole Image Shows Plasma Jets Blasting Into Space

Researchers say the new, detailed image of the black hole at the center of the Centaurus A galaxy could reveal how its jets formed

Palomar 5 is located about 80,000 light-years from Earth in the Milky Way’s inner halo.

Scientists Discover Bevy of Black Holes in Our Own Galaxy

Palomar 5's unusual cluster may explain some of the Milky Way's star streams and other phenomena

A newly discovered white dwarf star (right) is only slightly larger than the moon (left).

New Research

Incredibly Dense White Dwarf Star Packs the Mass of the Sun Into the Size of the Moon

Researchers say if the star was any more massive it would likely collapse under its own weight and explode

Data collected revealed that a neutron star twice as massive as the sun was swallowed up by a black hole nine times the size of the sun.

Astrophysicists Detect a Black Hole Gobbling Up a Neutron Star in Two Separate Events

Researchers spotted both events using sensors to locate ripples in spacetime that traveled 900 million years to reach Earth

It’s considered one of the coldest and smallest exoplanets discovered so far.

This Neptune-Like Exoplanet May Have Water Clouds

Despite the possible presence of water vapor, TOI-1231 b is likely not habitable because of its size

Remnants of a supernova called Cassiopeia A, located in our galaxy about 11,000 light-years from Earth. Scientists have long thought that supernovae were responsible for the creation of the heaviest elements, but new research suggests other types of stellar events may also be in play.

New Research

Scientists Find Plutonium Made in Outer Space on Ocean Floor

Research suggests the rare, heavy element may have been created by the collision of two neutron stars

So far, scientists have only documented jagged lightning bolts. Some physicists believe that the discovery of a completely straight lightning bolt could prove the existence of dark matter.

Could Weirdly Straight Bolts of Lightning Be a Sign of Dark Matter?

A group of scientists say the phenomenon could indicate dark matter speeding through our world at more than 300 miles a second

A new image of the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy. The image shows patterns of polarized light around the supermassive black hole, which in turn reveals the structure of the black hole’s magnetic fields.

New Research

Scientists Capture Swirling Magnetic Fields in New Image of Black Hole

The updated picture adds polarization, revealing new details of the stunning cosmic phenomenon

An illustration based on the satellite observation data from the first confirmed instance of a space hurricane.

New Research

First Ever Space Hurricane Spotted in Earth's Upper Atmosphere

The 600-mile-wide swirling cloud of charged particles rained down electrons from several hundred miles above the North Pole

An artist's rendering of the five-planet system that orbits star HD 108236, or TOI-1233. In the foreground is a hot, rocky planet that resembles Earth.

Balancing Homework and A.P. Classes, These High Schoolers Discovered Four Exoplanets

Thanks to a Harvard-Smithsonian mentoring program, high school students Kartik Pinglé and Jasmine Wright helped discover new worlds

This telescope located in Cerro Tololo, Chile is just one of many within the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network.

Smithsonian Voices

With This New Digital Telescope Tool, Anyone Can Access the Heavens

This freely available technology tool provides a unique learning experience for budding astronomers and artists alike

Astronomers have discovered the oldest and most distant quasar in the universe. The quasar, named J0313-1806, formed just 670 million years after the Big Bang some 13 billion light years away.

New Research

This 13-Billion-Year-Old Supermassive Black Hole Is the Oldest Ever Found

Huge black hole is so old it offers a glimpse into the early universe, and so big it challenges ideas of how black holes form

In theory, the wood would burn up upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere. But wooden space junk is still space junk.

Japan Hopes to Send a Wooden Satellite to Space in 2023

The group hopes the cube-shaped wood orbiter will help reduce space waste

The telescope collapsed ahead of its scheduled demolition.

Massive Arecibo Telescope Collapses in Puerto Rico

The radio telescope was once the largest in the world, and played a key role in many major astronomical discoveries over the last 50 years

The Blue Ring Nebula is invisible to the human eye, but telescopes can measure the ultraviolet light, which is shown here in blue.

New Research

Astronomers Crack the Case of the Blue Ring Nebula

The source of the dazzling display puzzled scientists for more than a decade

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