Scientists estimate that with new technology, Earth-based astronomers may witness a supernova in the Milky Way galaxy within the next 50 years.
Astronomers witness birth of enormous new star about 10,000 light years from Earth.
Take a look at the 100,000 nearest stars with this stellar interactive display (har har).
Today's observations suggest that our Milky Way contains hundreds of billions of stars — estimates go as high as 400 billion. If that doesn't make you feel small, then how about this: you can start counting plenty of those in this jaw-dropping 9-billion-pixel image that contains over 84 millions stars.
One of the slightly more bizarre things that Einstein predicted to go along with all of his relativity and whatnot was a phenomenon called gravitational waves, where waves of gravitational energy would propagate through the fabric of space itself. We've never managed to catch one in action, but astronomers have found new evidence that they exist.
An international team of astronomers has found evidence of a planet being eaten by its star, a fate which is presumed to be common for inner planets as their suns age and expand. Ha ha, sucks for that planet! Hey, wait a second, was that inner planets? That's us! We're an inner planet. Uh oh.
Our galaxy is a big place, but that doesn't mean we don't have any neighbors. There are a handful of stars close enough to Earth to be potential targets for exploration within our lifetimes. The hope was that one of the closest of these, Barnard's Star, just might have a habitable planet in orbit, but new observations show no signs of anything at all.
This star is named Camelopardalis (which used to be what people called giraffes), and it's up by the North Celestial Pole. You can't actually see the star itself (it takes up about one pixel in the center of the image), but you can see a giant ring of gas that the star has coughed out. If your body was full of soot and carbon monoxide, you'd be coughing too.
At 100,000 years old, IRS 4 is just a newborn star. But this massive beauty is showing what it's made of from 2000 light years away. Check out IRS 4's nebula, disk of gas and dust and much more in the expandable image below.
For a long time, it's been thought that the largest a star can physically get is 150 solar units, or 150 times more massive than our sun. That was before we discovered R136a1, a star nearly 300 solar units large. What the heck is going on?