New pic sheds light on the death of ‘hypergiant’ stars

Astronomers are working to learn more about what happens when supergiant stars die. A new image has helped them uncover some answers.

Daniel Stolte-Arizona • futurity
June 23, 2022 ~8 min

Curious Kids: what is cosmic microwave background radiation?

It’s the oldest light in the universe.

Christopher Pattison, Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth • conversation
June 23, 2022 ~5 min

New star systems are young and blue, not ‘red and dead’

The stellar systems—which astronomers describe as "blue blobs"—are located within the relatively nearby Virgo galaxy cluster.

Mikayla Mace-Arizona • futurity
June 17, 2022 ~7 min

The James Webb Space Telescope is finally ready to do science – and it’s seeing the universe more clearly than even its own engineers hoped for

It has taken eight months to test and calibrate all of the instruments and modes of the James Webb Space Telescope. A scientist on the team explains what it took to get Webb up and running.

Marcia Rieke, Regents Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona • conversation
June 15, 2022 ~8 min

Astronomers discover a multiplanet system nearby

Just 33 light years from Earth, the system appears to host two rocky, Earth-sized planets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 15, 2022 ~7 min

New maps of asteroid Psyche reveal an ancient world of metal and rock

The varied surface suggests a dynamic history, which could include metallic eruptions, asteroid-shaking impacts, and a lost rocky mantle.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 15, 2022 ~7 min

No signs (yet) of life on Venus

The unusual behaviour of sulphur in Venus’ atmosphere cannot be explained by an ‘aerial’ form of extra-terrestrial life, according to a new study.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
June 14, 2022 ~5 min

Gaia mission: five insights astronomers could glean from its latest data

New data may settle dispute about the universe’s true expansion rate.

Andrew Norton, Professor of Astrophysics Education, The Open University • conversation
June 13, 2022 ~7 min

Dirt scooped from asteroid Ryugu yields first discoveries

A Japanese spacecraft grabbed a handful of dust from the asteroid Ryugu. Scientists have now analyzed a sample.

Louise Lerner-Chicago • futurity
June 10, 2022 ~8 min

American Astronomical Society honors seven MIT affiliates with 2022 awards, prizes

Two MIT professors and five alumni recognized for outstanding contributions to astronomy research, education, and communication.

Sandi Miller | Department of Physics • mit
June 8, 2022 ~8 min