Accroding to David Charbonneau, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) could be used as a powerful tool that will enable astronomers to sniff the atmospheres of alien planets.
In this year astronomers could discover planets in other solar systems, also amateur astronomers discovered new asteroids, comets, and some comet fly at minimum distance from our planet.
An international group of astronomers, using multiple telescopes, was recently able to collect an impressive view of the Ring of Fire at the core of the spiral galaxy NGC 4151.
The European Southern Observatory’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 253 in sharp detail.
Astronomers have found the first direct evidence that some star explosions are triggered by compact stars called white dwarfs. Scientists studying the youngest type of Ia supernova ever found worked backward to pinpoint its explosion time with unparalleled accuracy.
Using the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, astronomers have found that the shattered remains of the 1572 supernova event known as Tycho supernova live on in high-energy gamma rays, providing vital insight into the generation of cosmic rays.
But on December 2, 2011, the discovery of a new Kreutz-family comet was announced. Discovering a comet before it moves into view of space-based telescopes, gives scientists the opportunity to prepare the telescopes for the best possible observations. Indeed, since comet Lovejoy was visible from the ground, scientists have high hopes that this might be an exceptionally bright comet,
A comet C/2011 W3, which was discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy on November 27 using a C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, working with a QHY9 CCD camera, is racing toward a mid-December rendezvous with the sun, a rendezvous that it will likely not survive.
Astronomers have spotted the fastest rotating star yet found, a massive and bright young star located in our neighboring dwarf galax, the Large Magellanic Cloud.