Features

Is There a Size Limit for Supermassive Black Holes?

Supermassive black holes — which often weigh in at millions to billions of solar masses — can accrete matter as they lurk at the centers of galaxies. Is there a maximum mass that these monsters can attain?

Project Starshot

How will the tiny spacecraft of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative fare against dust, as they speed through interstellar space on their way to Proxima Centauri? Astrobites reports on the potentially catastrophic consequences of the interstellar medium for the mission.

DISCO tests
Images

Featured Image: Tests of an MHD Code

Creating the codes that are used to numerically model astrophysical systems takes a lot of work — and a lot of testing! Here’s a brief look at the some of the entrancing test outputs from the new DISCO code.

Phobos and Deimos
Features

Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

Were Mars’s two moons once main-belt asteroids, now captured into orbit? Or were they created when a large body slammed into Mars?

NS merger

Where do the heavy elements — the chemical elements beyond iron — in our universe come from? The mergers of neutron stars could be responsible.

Lava Rivers
Astrobites

An Ocean of Magma

When rocky exoplanets form, they are initially believed to have molten surfaces. Astrobites reports on how this ocean of magma could affect a planet’s atmosphere.

blue straggler/white dwarf
Features

Building an Unusual White-Dwarf Duo

Could a white-dwarf duo have formed from a trio of main-sequence stars? Scientists explore the birth of an unusual binary system.

comet swarm
Features

Update On the Puzzling Boyajian’s Star

What’s causing the mysterious light-curve dips of the so-called “alien megastructure” star? Here are a few of the latest possible explanations.

CME at Earth

M dwarfs like V374 Peg or even the nearby Proxima Centauri are likely to have major stellar storms. What impact could this activity have on planets in the stars’ habitable zones?