300,000 Possible Galaxies Discovered

A project helmed by an international team of astronomers has resulted in the discovery of some 300,000 “previously unseen light sources” that are believed to be distant galaxies. This new map of the night sky was revealed using the incredibly powerful Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope, with many of the light sources sending radio signals for billions of light years until they reach Earth. (One …

Farewell to NASA’s Kepler Telescope

Kepler—the beloved NASA telescope responsible for discovering 70% of the 3,800 confirmed “alien worlds” to date—officially met its end yesterday. After nearly a decade of exploration, the telescope ran out of fuel and can no longer transmit data or focus on transient objects in space. During its time in flight the Kepler was able to study nearly 150,000 stars simultaneously and could determine exactly which ones …

Assembling an Image of the Shadow of a Black Hole

In a mind-boggling excerpt from Seth Fletcher’s book Einstein’s Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable (published by Ecco), the author probes the meticulous process behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). In fact, a series of collaborative data sets collected in 2017 by eight telescopes around the planet, the EHT aims to create an image of the shadow of a …