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Picture: Giant Black Hole Blasting Holes in Surrounding Galaxy Cluster

A giant, supermassive black hole blasts galaxy-size voids in a newly released composite image.

Hubble Spies Tarantula Star Factory

Spidey senses tingling yet? The Hubble Space Telescope provides a never-before-seen, panoramic portrait of the innards of the creepy Tarantula Nebula, a monster star factory filled with some 800,000 sparkling newborn stars sitting about 170,000 light-years from Earth. The cosmic arachnoid, also known as Doradus 30, stretches across roughly 600 light-years in space. It is nestled…

Stunning Hubble Portrait of Stellar Light Echo

The Hubble Space Telescope sends along the spirit of the season, spying a cosmic holiday wreath. Just like your favorite seasonal ornament, the giant cloud of gas and dust lights up from within. Only in this case, the holiday glow comes from a massive variable star. Located some 6,500 light years away from Earth, the super-giant star at…

Hubble Spots Hazy Worlds With Watery Atmospheres

The Hubble Space Telescope has spied five alien worlds around distant stars that show clear signs of water vapor filling their atmospheres, according to a new study. The find represents the first conclusive detection and comparison of water vapor in the atmosphere of planets orbiting nearby stars. While they all have unromantic names like WASP-17b,…

Weird Newfound Asteroid Sports Six Comet Tails

A newly-discovered asteroid masquerades as a bizarre comet, one that astronomers in a new study are outright calling, “weird and freakish.” First spotted by the Hawaii-based Pan-STARRS sky survey telescope this Spring, the bizarre object caught  astronomers’ attention because of its unusually fuzzy appearance. The Hubble Space Telescope’s high-resolution cameras were trained on it in…

Comet ISON Plays Coy With Astronomers

  The latest observations from professional and amateur astronomers around the world show that the much-hyped comet ISON is still very much alive, and new data suggests that it may very well survive its close swing by the Sun on November 28. The big question on skywatchers’ minds, however, is how good of a sky…

Most Crowded Galaxy Discovered, Only 54 Million Light Years Away

Astronomers have discovered the densest galaxy ever seen, and at 54 million light years away, it’s in our galactic neighborhood. Using the combined imaging capabilities of ground-based observatories with the high-flying Hubble Space Telescope and its cousin, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the ultra-compact dwarf galaxy known as M60-UCD1 turns out to be 15,000 times denser…

Hubble Telescope Finds New Moon for Neptune

The Hubble Space Telescope‘s keen eye has revealed a previously undetected moon orbiting Neptune.  The July 1, 2013 discovery , 24 years after Voyager 2 swung by the icy-blue giant, expands the known retinue of circling moons to 14. Known only by its temporary designation —S/20044 N1—the tiny celestial piece of real estate measures no more…