Observatories Team Up to Reveal Rare Double Asteroid

Bi-static radar images of the binary asteroid 2017 YE5 from the Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Observatory on June 25. The observations show that the asteroid consists of two separate objects in orbit around each other. Credit: Arecibo/GBO/NSF/NASA/JPL-Caltech

New observations by three of the world‘s largest radio telescopes have revealed that an asteroid discovered last year is actually two objects, each about 3,000 feet (900 meters) in size, orbiting each other. Near-Earth asteroid 2017 YE5 was discovered with observations provided by the Morocco Oukaimeden Sky Survey on Dec. 21, 2017, but no details…

Even Phenomenally Dense Neutron Stars Fall like a Feather

Einstein Gets it Right Again Summary: Harnessing the exquisite sensitivity of the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT), astronomers have given one of Einstein’s predictions on gravity its most stringent test yet. By precisely tracking the meanderings of three stars in a single system – two white dwarf stars and one ultra-dense neutron star – the researchers determined that…

Diamond Dust Shimmering around Distant Stars

Artist impression of nanoscale diamonds surrounding a young star in the Milky Way

Nanoscale gemstones source of mysterious cosmic microwave light Some of the tiniest diamonds in the universe – bits of crystalline carbon hundreds of thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand – have been detected swirling around three infant star systems in the Milky Way. These microscopic gemstones are neither rare nor precious; they…

New Technology Offers to Broaden Vision for Radio Astronomy

dipole antennas on the phased array feed

Innovation Advances ‘Phased Array Feed’ Imaging System To accelerate the pace of discovery and exploration of the cosmos, a multi-institution team of astronomers and engineers has developed a new and improved version of an unconventional radio-astronomy imaging system known as a Phased Array Feed (PAF). This remarkable instrument can survey vast swaths of the sky…

Astronomers solve cosmic “whodunit” with interstellar forensics

Summary: By comparing new Hubble observations with data from the Green Bank Telescope, astronomers have discovered the origin of a huge cloud of gas bridging the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud, two dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way. In a cosmic version of tug-of-war, the Large Magellanic Cloud is using its…