Exploding stars carve out gas cavities called superbubbles in a nearby dwarf galaxy, as shown in a new photo from the Chandra space telescope.
This photo reveals a superbubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way, that lies roughly 160,000 light-years away from Earth.
[Full Story: Gorgeous Cosmic 'Superbubble' Observed by X-Ray Space Telescope]
The San Diego Zoo's latest addition to its giant panda family is a boy. Vets determined the sex of the cub during an exam on Thursday (Sept. 6) and say the 5-week-old baby is healthy.
The cub is 13 inches (33 centimeters) long and 3.2 pounds (1.5 kilograms) — lighter than his siblings who were born at the zoo in previous years. But the zoo's veterinarian Meg Sutherland-Smith said the baby furball looks healthy and his 12-inch (30-cm) belly indicates he is eating well.
[Full Story: It's a Boy! San Diego Zoo's Newest Panda Cub Is Male]
Scientists will have just 24 hours to conduct an experiment 16 years in the making if all goes well in Antarctica.
In October, a team of U.K. scientists will complete the journey to find life in one of the least likely places: a lake buried beneath nearly 2 miles (3 kilometers) of ice on the frozen continent.
The team is expected to start drilling into the ice atop Lake Ellsworth by December.
[Full Story: Search for Life in Antarctica's Ice-Covered Lake Takes Off]
With her crew member reflected in her visor and her hand reaching out as if to grasp the sun, astronaut Sunita Williams conducts a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The spacewalk, which took place on Sept. 5, is the third "EVA" (extravehicular activity) for the crew of Expedition 32. In a six-and-a-half hour session, Williams and astronaut Aki Hoshide of Japan completed the installation of a power unit (which required some MacGyver-like skill) and installed a camera on Canadarm2, the space station's robotic arm. It was Williams' sixth career spacewalk.
Wayne Davis has been spotting fish for 40 years, flying his airplane low over the water in search of bluefin tuna and swordfish. Usually he guides commercial fishermen to them.
But in all of his flights over the Atlantic from his home in Wakefield, R.I., he's seen a lot of other animals, including sharks and whales. And he's taken photographs.
[Full Story: Whales & Sharks from Above: A Fish Spotter's Amazing Tale]
Rare and mysterious clouds that are so bright they can be seen at night have mystified people since they were first observed more than a century ago, but scientists have now discovered a key cosmic ingredient for these night-shining clouds: "smoke" from meteors as they burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Blue-white clouds that eerily glow in the twilight sky are called noctilucent clouds, or NLCs. They typically form about 50 to 53 miles (80 and 85 kilometers) above ground in the atmosphere, at altitudes so high that they reflect light even after the sun has slipped below the horizon.
[Full Story: Ghostly Night-Shining Clouds Get Their Glow from Meteor Smoke]
The Concordia research station in Antarctica appears dwarfed by the southern lights in this photograph taken on July 18, 2012. Caused by the collision of particles in the upper atmosphere, the aurora is typically visible only at very high latitudes, though it creeps toward the equator during times of high solar activity. Concordia is a French-Italian research station, where scientists study glaciology, the atmosphere and human biology. At a latitude of -75 degrees south, Concordia is under complete darkness all winter, making the lights of aurora australis a welcome sight.
What good is color vision in the dark of the deep sea? For some crabs, an ability to see blue and ultraviolet light may mean the difference between chowing down on a good meal versus a toxic one.
A new study published today (Sept. 6) in the Journal of Experimental Biology finds that some seafloor, or benthic, crabs can see in color. But the crustaceans live in darkness of the deep Caribbean where sunlight does not penetrate, making their sensitivity to blue and ultraviolet light mysterious.
[Full Story: Strange Deep-Sea Crabs May Color-Code Their Food]
From glowing coral to shrimp that vomit light-making chemicals, seafloor creatures can create quite the flashy visual show, according to researchers who traveled into the inky depths of the Caribbean Sea to investigate the oddballs.
Even so, the researchers reported today (Sept. 6) seafloor creatures are less flashy than their open-ocean cousins. In the open sea, an estimated 90 percent of organisms have the capacity to glow, compared with a paltry 10-20 percent of seafloor dwellers.
[Full Story: Light-Spewing Shrimp & Crabs With UV Vision Found on Seafloor]
One weird member of a nearby glob of stars in the Milky Way appears to posses the secret to eternal youth, scientists say.
This glob, scientifically known as a globular cluster, is shown in a new picture from the European Southern Observatory (ESO)'s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The photo shows the glowing orb of tens of thousands of ancient stars, all thought to have formed in the universe's distant past.
But one star shows surprising signs of youthfulness.
[Full Story: Strange Star in Nearby Cluster Resists Aging]
Astronomers have found a dusty tail streaming off a faraway alien planet, suggesting that the tiny, scorching-hot world is indeed falling apart.
In May, researchers announced the detection of a possibly distintegrating exoplanet, a roughly Mercury-size world being boiled away by the intense heat of its parent star. Now, a different team has found strong evidence in support of the find — a massive dust cloud shed by the planet, similar to the tail of a comet.
[Full Story: Disintegrating Alien Planet Has Comet-Like Tail]