Signs of Life? Why Astronomers Are Excited About Carbon Dioxide and Methane in the Atmosphere of an Alien World

Exoplanet K2-18b.

Are we alone? This question is nearly as old as humanity itself. (Image: J. Olmsted (STScI) / Science: N. Madhusudhan (Cambridge University) via NASA / CSA / ESA)

Astronomers Are Puzzled by a ‘Planet That Shouldn’t Exist’

Illustration of two suns in a binary system merging.

Many current research efforts aim at detecting Earth-like planets suitable for life. (Image: via Julian Baum)

What Is a Solstice? An Astronomer Explains the Long and Short of Days, Years, and Seasons

A long-exposure photo reveals the Sun’s path in the sky every day for a six-month period.

A long-exposure photo reveals the Sun’s path in the sky every day for a six-month period. (Image: Bob Fosbury via Flickr)

Here’s How Astronomers Are Looking for Alien Life Beyond Earth

A radio telescope listening for alien messages.

The earliest written record presenting the idea of 'aliens' is seen in the satiric work of Assyrian writer Lucian of Samosata dated to A.D. 200. (Image: 12222786 via Pixabay)

Silent as the Night: Why Radio Astronomy Doesn’t Listen to the Sky

Radio astronomy dishes.

The idea that radio astronomers listen to celestial objects is perhaps the biggest misconception in radio astronomy. (Image: via NRAO / AUI / NSF)

The Supernova That Wasn’t: A Tale of 3 Cosmic Eruptions

Eta Carinae is a massive star, seen in this image undergoing a supernova-like eruption resulting in an hourglass firey shape surrounding the star.

The Homunculus nebula, a cloud consisting of stellar material hurled into space during the Great Eruption of the Eta Carinae star system.(Image: via NASA)

Closest Supermassive Black Holes to Earth Found!

A supermassive black hole.

Closest supermassive blackholes to Earth found! (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

Astrophysicists Solve ‘Empty Sky’ Gamma Rays Mystery

Radio telescope among the trees.

Star-forming galaxies are responsible for creating gamma-rays that until now had not been associated with a known origin. (Image: Didgeman via Pixabay)

Satellites Adding to Light Pollution of Night Skies

A drawing from 2013 depicting the 17 NASA satellites that were in space at the time, shown orbiting the earth with the moon in the background.

New research has found that the light scattered off satellites and space debris orbiting Earth may be adding at least 10 percent more light to the night sky on the planet. (Image: AIRS via Flickr)

Chinese Astronomers Discover 591 High-Velocity Stars With LAMOST and Gaia

The universe.

A research team, led by astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), has discovered 591 high-velocity stars based on data from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and Gaia, and 43 of them can even escape from the Galaxy. (Image: geralt via Pixabay)