Astronomy

An artist's depiction of two neutron stars colliding. (Carnegie Institution for Science)

Astronomers have for the first time witnessed a pair of dead neutron stars colliding, and have confirmed that the heaviest metals in the universe, from gold to platinum, are formed in explosions like this one spotted 130 million light-years away.

Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A new study suggests that a prediction explaining the unusual brightness of some astronomical explosions, first developed by Columbia astronomers and physicists, is correct.
2009 solar eclipse image by NASA JAXA

Image Courtesy of NASA/JAXA

On August 21, millions of people along a path stretching from Oregon to South Carolina will bear witness as the moon slips over the entire face of the sun, obscuring its light and allowing only the glow of its outer atmosphere to mark its place in the sky.

This graphic features an artist’s impression of a star found in the closest orbit known around a black hole. This discovery was made using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (shown in the inset where low, medium, and high-energy X-rays are colored red, green, and blue respectively), plus NASA’s NuSTAR telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Alberta/A.Bahramian et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

An international team of astronomers has observed evidence of a star that whips around a black hole at a rate of nearly twice an hour. If confirmed, the finding could demonstrate the tightest orbital dance between a black hole and a companion star ever seen.

galaxy radiates black hole

The massive black hole shown at left in this drawing is able to rapidly grow as intense radiation from a galaxy nearby shuts down star-formation in its host galaxy. Illustration Courtesy of John Wise, Georgia Tech

The appearance of supermassive black holes at the dawn of the universe has puzzled astronomers since their discovery more than a decade ago.

Columbia faculty Presidential Early Career Awardees

Left: Marcel Agüeros. Right: Antonius Dieker. Photo by Timothy Lee Photographers

Marcel Agüeros, assistant professor of Astronomy, and Antonius “Ton” Dieker, associate professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and a member of the Data Science I

Three Columbia astrophysicists are celebrating a major scientific discovery – the detection of gravitational waves.

Astronomy Students Rooftop Variables Program Columbia University

Rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, the constellation Cassiopeia. Young students are reaching for the stars and planets, with Columbia’s help.

Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been leading NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury for the last four years. MESSENGER is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

The moon

Photo courtesy of NASA

For years, Arlin Crotts has been an iconoclast among his peers in the world of lunar science.

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