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Money Talks: The small-business owners who just started another one

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Welcome to Money Talks, a series in which we interview people about their relationship with money, their relationship with each other, and how those relationships inform one another.

Lin Jerome and Alexandra Lourdes have been in the hospitality business for the past five years. The Las Vegas-based entrepreneurs met while they were both working at the University of Nevada Las Vegas — Alexandra was working in the provost’s office and running all of the major on-campus events, and Lin was the associate director of admissions for UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law — and after collaborating on a charity event to raise money for Make-A-Wish, realized that they worked very well together.

In 2015, Lin and Alexandra launched the Refined Agency, an interactive marketing company that worked closely with hospitality brands in Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Then they decided to employ their hospitality strategies themselves, for their own concepts and brands. The Refined Agency morphed into Refined Hospitality, a 42-employee business that brought in $1,244,756 in revenue in 2019.

Refined Hospitality is the driving force behind three Las Vegas concept restaurants: Café Lola, Saint Honoré, and the newly launched Pizza Anonymous, which was developed as a way to provide a unique speakeasy-style takeout pizza experience during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to being successful BIPOC small-business owners who are learning how to pivot during an unprecedented year, Lin and Alexandra are both moms — Lin, 39 years old, has a 16-month-old daughter; Alex, 36, has a 2-year-old daughter.

Lin: In 2017 we had the idea for our first concept, Café Lola. When we started the Refined Agency, we were always working out of coffee shops, and every coffee shop we would go to, we would find things that weren’t always up to — I wouldn’t say our standards, but they just didn’t have the things that we were looking for when we were working at these spaces. They were just drab, and they were uninspiring, and they didn’t have the items that we wanted to eat. Alex is gluten-free, and they didn’t have gluten-free pastries. So we had the idea for Café Lola, which we opened in 2018.

Alexandra: The main thing we want to do is give people an experience when they walk through the door. We learned that very quickly — that people don’t want to come in somewhere and not feel something special when they walk through the door. For Café Lola, we wanted to create a space where women would feel inspired when they came in. We’ve heard so many times that people don’t want to leave because they like sitting there and enjoying the aesthetic of the whole place, with flowers all over the wall and chandeliers.

Lin: Every single concept that we’ve started thus far, we’ve kind of made it a business within a business. With the Refined Agency, we were working out of coffee shops initially, and then our company grew to eight employees and we needed to have an office. So we rented office space, and we said to ourselves, “You know, we’re paying so much in rent right now, it would be great to have a space where we could use a space as an office but still make revenue as well.” When we had the idea for Café Lola, we said, “This would be great to have the café downstairs and have The Refined Agency offices upstairs.” We knew we could pay the rent with the Refined Agency, and any revenue that the coffee shop would bring in would be additional.

For Saint Honoré, the idea was that we wanted to start making our own pastries for Café Lola. We were thinking of getting a commissary kitchen, but we came across this doughnut shop that the previous tenants had left. So we said, “Okay, why can’t we make the pastries in the back and then create a doughnut shop to get additional revenue from the front?”

When we started thinking about Pizza Anonymous, [we thought], we had this doughnut shop, we close it every day at 3 pm, why not use the space in the evening and come up with another concept? From a business standpoint, we’re always trying to utilize our spaces and our products twofold.

At first, the coronavirus was a shock for us. On the East Coast, everything was happening so rapidly but it hadn’t really made its way out West yet. We were kind of hearing the news, and when things were starting to get shut down we didn’t really understand the impact it would have on Las Vegas. We didn’t know how it would affect our community. Then, overnight, we woke up, and it was, “as of 5 pm today you are curbside only,” and that’s it.

For me, it was a huge shock at first. One, because we have this global pandemic, which, you know, worrying about health and safety and us being new moms and having these young children, and me having my 70-year-old mom who lives with us, and having all of that go through your head on top of owning all of these businesses and having all of these employees and what do we do? I just shut down for a minute because I was scared.

But we’ve always just figured things out, so we pivoted rather quickly. The weekend before [the shutdown], we did have some insight into what was happening, so Alex and I came up with these to-go boxes and started uploading them into our point-of-sale system and asking ourselves how we were going to market them.

Alexandra: We switched Café Lola to curbside, but Saint Honoré we just shut down completely. The amount of staff required to open our business is a lot, for doughnuts, especially because we’re doing everything from scratch. To have someone come in at 3 am to make donuts when we’re not sure if anyone is going to come in [to buy them] was a little risky. We said, “We’re going to have to close Saint Honoré because we don’t know if anyone’s even going to come out of their house.”

I came up with these fun birthday boxes for people who were celebrating at home. They were cute pink boxes with specialty items from Café Lola, but I would make them inside Saint Honoré. Cupcakes, our baked doughnuts, cake pops, and some chocolate truffles. We have this really awesome machine that can print customized logos and names and everything, so I printed “Happy Birthday” on the cupcakes and took a picture of them and posted it and it went crazy. I never would have imagined that kind of support. Honestly, I think it was a lot of the community helping us, but people we didn’t even know were asking for these boxes.

I couldn’t do it all myself, so I asked one of our staff members back. Sometimes we would have, like, 20 boxes to do in the morning. We were actually making more money than we did as a doughnut shop. I never thought it would happen like that.

Then I needed two staff members to help make the boxes, and we expanded from birthday boxes into Mommy and Me, Princess Tea — Café Lola has these princess teas, and I know people were missing them — I did a unicorn box, a lot of different fun things so people could still feel a bit of Café Lola at home.

Lin: We wanted to make everyone comfortable with their new world and their new surroundings and the new way of doing things, but still have the things that they enjoy. Just a way to bring joy to everyone in this unbelievably stressful time. For Las Vegas it was stressful times 10 because our city is centered around tourism and hospitality. If you could have seen the Las Vegas Strip during that time, when nothing was open, to go down there and be able to hear a pin drop on Las Vegas Boulevard was unbelievably frightening. We just wanted to bring a little joy to everyone.

Alex: After a while, it started getting to the point where people didn’t want to be at home anymore — so we learned how to keep everyone safe in our environments. Everyone wore masks, everyone wore gloves, everyone sanitized their hands when they walked in; we’re not accepting cash anymore, we were taking every single precaution possible. We were like, “How can we still give back to the community by being open?” We had 10 calls a day asking for the doughnuts. People wanted us to be open. So Lin and I had a meeting and decided to open again, with all of our precautions and limited menu items. We could see that people really wanted to support us, especially because we were being so open and honest about what we were doing.

Lin: The other thing we decided to do during the pandemic was to market like nothing happened. We’re still going to post three times a day, we’re going to still do stories, we’re going to still do photos, we’re going to still do videos, we’re going to market like we never even closed. A lot of other businesses just kind of went silent for eight weeks, which, just doing some research and going back to pandemics in the past or the Great Depression, the businesses that made it through those times were the ones that went on like nothing happened.

That’s where Pizza Anonymous came from. Before the pandemic even happened, my husband Steve — he’s Italian, his mom is from Southern Italy, so he grew up making pizzas with his family every Sunday. He likes to make family meals for the staff, so he made pizzas one day [pre-pandemic], and everyone loved them. When the pandemic happened, I was wracking my brain to think of other ideas that we could utilize our spaces and make additional revenue. I literally sat up for two nights straight, so stressed out, and then I woke Steve up and said, “What if we did pizzas out of Café Lola?” He said, “No, let’s do them out of Saint Honoré.”

Alex: We were, like, what if we did it like a secret? What if we didn’t even tell people it was us? We were going back and forth on the idea of, like, hiding the owners and all of that. That’s how the Pizza Anonymous name came up. We were going to launch it delivery-only, so people didn’t even know where it was, but we thought, “No, our following is so loyal, we need to share who we are.”

We’re a dough shop — we make beignets, we make our doughnuts — so we had all of the items we needed to make pizza. We got what we needed for the toppings from Café Lola, because at Café Lola we serve meat and cheese boards. All of the high-quality ingredients we were putting on the meat and cheese boards went on our pizzas. The only thing we had to bring in was cauliflower, because I wanted to make a gluten-free option. We make our cauliflower crust from scratch, and people say it’s the best they’ve ever had.

Lin: On July 31, we launched Pizza Anonymous out of Saint Honoré. We were sold out before we even opened. We shared clues on Instagram to “where could this location possibly be, look for the pizza slice on the door.” It was really, really cool. The first day, we were sitting up in the office, and I opened my email and we had 20 orders. I didn’t even know if we could fulfill them all, because the whole premise was “we make a limited number of pies, and when we sell out, we sell out.” We had sold out before 5 pm and we had people lined up in front waiting to come in.

The concept took off so well that we decided we wanted to launch it in Henderson, too. So on September 5, which is National Cheese Pizza Day, we launched Pizza Anonymous 2 out of Café Lola Henderson.

Alexandra: The startup costs were very low. One of the main reasons we did this was to give our staff more hours, because we were closed. We were able to bring back the other half of our staff, and they’re working the nights at Saint Honoré, and they’re super grateful.

Lin: Some of our Café Lola staff are also able to pick up additional hours. It really has become a way for all of the staff members in the Refined Hospitality group to have additional hours and work on this new concept. Pizza Anonymous has also brought in additional revenue for us, which has been extremely helpful because Covid, for everyone, kind of depleted — the percentages we were down, it’s frightening.

We were lucky enough to get Paycheck Protection Program funding in the second round. For businesses, that was so crucial.

Alex: We wouldn’t have been open without that.

Lin: I tell people, “Revenue went down 80 percent, but all the bills remained the same.” Landlords still need to be paid. There are still sales taxes that needed to be paid from previous quarters. None of the bills stopped, but the revenue stopped. Without PPP funding, there is no way we would be opening today. With all the marketing and sales you could have possibly done, the bills are still exorbitant.

Alex: We’re forced to be at 50 percent capacity, but the bills are still 100 percent.

Lin: We’re still busy. With Café Lola, we have people waiting to get in on the weekends, and if we could be at 100 percent capacity we wouldn’t have to do that. People still want to sit and eat at Café Lola, we just can’t accommodate them.

With Covid, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but we’re confident that we’ll eventually one day get back to where we were. But we’re behind. Everyone is behind right now.

If you have a compelling story about how money comes into play in one of your relationships — whether with a partner, a friend, a sibling, a coworker — we want to hear about it! Email alanna.okun@vox.com and karen.turner@vox.com with a little about yourself.


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US says nearly 300,000 excess deaths in 2020 as COVID-19 rages

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CDC analysis shows excess deaths were highest among Hispanic and Black people, and those aged between 25 and 44.

Nearly 300,000 more people have died in the United States during this year’s coronavirus pandemic than would be expected during a typical year, with at least two-thirds thought to be caused by COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report released on Tuesday.

The CDC said 299,028 more people died between January 26 and October 3 than the average numbers from the previous four years (2015 – 2019) would have indicated.

That compares with about 216,000 COVID-19 deaths reported by October 15.

“This might underestimate the total impact of the pandemic on mortality,” it said.

The report found excess deaths have occurred in the US every week since March 2020 reaching a peak in the weeks ended April 11 and August 8. Excess deaths are defined as the number of people who have died from all causes, in excess of the expected number of deaths for a given place and time.

In some countries, operations have been deferred and access to treatment for other illnesses has become more difficult as hospitals have struggled to cope with the burden of treating those with COVID-19. Fear of contracting the disease has also made some people wary of seeking treatment.

“Estimates of excess deaths attributed to COVID-19 might underestimate the actual number directly attributable to COVID-19 because deaths from other causes might represent misclassified COVID-19 related deaths or deaths indirectly caused by the pandemic,” the report noted.

“Specifically, deaths from circulatory diseases, Alzheimer disease and dementia, and respiratory diseases have increased in 2020 relative to past years, and it is unclear to what extent these represent misclassified COVID-19 deaths or deaths indirectly related to the pandemic (because of disruptions in health care access or utilization).”

More younger deaths

The US is battling a resurgence of the coronavirus, which has pushed the number of daily cases to levels not seen since July, at a time when the weather is getting colder and people are spending more time indoors.

The CDC data shows disproportionate increases in excess deaths among Hispanic and Black people – groups who are more likely to develop severe complications from COVID-19.

The largest average percentage increase in deaths occurred among Hispanic people (53.6 percent), with deaths 32.9 percent above average among Black people and 36.6 percent above average for Asians. For white people, deaths were 11.9 percent higher.

The CDC said the largest percentage increase in excess deaths from all causes was among adults aged 25–44 years: 26.5 percent.

“The age distribution of COVID-19 deaths shifted towards younger age groups from May through August,” the report noted, but said more studies were needed to assess the extent to which the increase in deaths was driven by the coronavirus or other causes.

The US has reported 220,921 deaths from COVID-19, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s confirmed caseload and death toll are the highest in the world and the government’s handling of the pandemic has become a key issue in the presidential elections that take place on November 3.

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Human remains found in Tulsa could be victims of racist massacre

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At least one set of human remains, possibly two, found as search for victims of the 1921 racial massacre continues.

One set of human remains, and perhaps a second, have been found in a Tulsa cemetery where investigators are searching for victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Oklahoma State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck said on Tuesday.

“We do have one confirmed individual and the possibility of a second” body found, Stackelbeck said. “We are still in the process of analysing those remains to the best of our ability … We don’t have a whole lot of details,” Stackelbeck said.

The confirmed human remains were found little more than 90 centimetres (three feet) underground in an area known as the “Original 18”, where funeral home records show massacre victims are buried.

It is not yet known if the remains, which were found in a wooden coffin, are of a victim of the massacre, Stackelbeck said.

“We are still analysing what has come out of the ground at this point in time and so no, unfortunately, we have not been able to assess the trauma at this point in time, or potential trauma,” that would indicate the person was among the massacre victims.

A group of National Guard Troops, carrying rifles with bayonets attached, escort unarmed African American men to the detention centre at Convention Hall, after the Tulsa Race Massacre, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1921 [Oklahoma Historical Society via Getty Images]

After an examination of the remains, they will be returned to the coffin and reburied, Stackelbeck said.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum, who first proposed looking for victims of the violence in 2018 and later budgeted $100,000 to fund it after previous searches failed to find victims, has said efforts will be made to find any descendants of the victims who are identified.

Oaklawn Cemetery in north Tulsa, where a search for remains of victims ended without success in July and where the excavation resumed on Monday, is near the Greenwood District where the massacre took place.

The violence took place on May 31 and June 1 in 1921, when a white mob attacked Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, killing an estimated 300, mostly Black, people and wounding 800 more while robbing and burning businesses, homes and churches.

The massacre – which happened two years after what is known as the “Red Summer”, when hundreds of African Americans died at the hands of white mobs in violence around the US – has been depicted in recent HBO shows, Watchmen, and, Lovecraft County.

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In photos: The wonders of the universe

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The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, in the constellation of Orion, experienced unprecedented dimming late in 2019. This image was taken in January using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. ESO/M. Montargès et al.

This is an infrared image of Apep, a Wolf-Rayet star binary system located 8,000 light-years from Earth. European Southern Observatory

An artist’s illustration, left, helps visualize the details of an unusual star system, GW Orionis, in the Orion constellation. The system’s circumstellar disk is broken, resulting in misaligned rings around its three stars. ESO/L. Calçada, Exeter/Kraus et al.

This is a simulation of two spiral black holes that merge and emit gravitational waves. N. Fischer, H. Pfeiffer, A. Buonanno, MPIGP, SXS Collaboration

This artist’s illustration shows the unexpected dimming of the star Betelgeuse. ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser

This extremely distant galaxy, which looks similar to our own Milky Way, appears like a ring of light. Rizzo et al./ALMA/European Southern Observatory

This artist’s interpretation shows the calcium-rich supernova 2019ehk. The orange represents the calcium-rich material created in the explosion. Purple reveals gas shed by the star right before the explosion. Aaron M. Geller, Northwestern University

The blue dot at the center of this image marks the approximate location of a supernova event which occurred 140 million light-years from Earth, where a white dwarf exploded and created an ultraviolet flash. It was located close to tail of the Draco constellation. Northwestern University

This radar image captured by NASA’s Magellan mission to Venus in 1991 shows a corona, a large circular structure 120 miles in diameter, named Aine Corona. From NASA/JPL

When a star’s mass is ejected during a supernova, it expands quickly. Eventually, it will slow and form a hot bubble of glowing gas. A white dwarf will emerge from this gas bubble and move across the galaxy. Mark Garlick/University of Warwick

The afterglow of short gamma ray burst that was detected 10 billion light-years away is shown here in a circle. This image was taken by the Gemini-North telescope. International Gemini Observatory/K. Paterson/W. Fong/Northwestern University

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows NGC 7513, a barred spiral galaxy 60 million light-years away. Due to the expansion of the universe, the galaxy appears to be moving away from the Milky Way at an accelerate rate. Hubble Space Telescope/NASA/ESA/M. Stiavelli

This artist’s concept illustration shows what the luminous blue variable star in the Kinman Dwarf galaxy may have looked like before it mysteriously disappeared. L. Calçada/ESO

This is an artist’s illustration of a supermassive black hole and its surrounding disk of gas. Inside this disk are two smaller black holes orbiting one another. Researchers identified a flare of light suspected to have come from one such binary pair soon after they merged into a larger black hole. Robert Hurt/California Institute of Technology

This image, taken from a video, shows what happens as two objects of different masses merge together and create gravitational waves. Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics/Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) Collaboration

This is an artist’s impression showing the detection of a repeating fast radio burst seen in blue, which is in orbit with an astrophysical object seen in pink. Kristi Mickaliger

Fast radio bursts, which make a splash by leaving their host galaxy in a bright burst of radio waves, helped detect “missing matter” in the universe. ICRAR

A new type of explosion was found in a tiny galaxy 500 million light-years away from Earth. This type of explosion is referred to as a fast blue optical transient. Giacomo Terreran/Northwestern University

Astronomers have discovered a rare type of galaxy described as a “cosmic ring of fire.” This artist’s illustration shows the galaxy as it existed 11 billion years ago. James Josephides/Swinburne Astronomy Productions

This is an artist’s impression of the Wolfe Disk, a massive rotating disk galaxy in the early universe. NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello

A bright yellow “twist” near the center of this image shows where a planet may be forming around the AB Aurigae star. The image was captured by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. ESO/Boccaletti et al.

This artist’s illustration shows the orbits of two stars and an invisible black hole 1,000 light-years from Earth. This system includes one star (small orbit seen in blue) orbiting a newly discovered black hole (orbit in red), as well as a third star in a wider orbit (also in blue). European Southern Observatory/ESO/L. Calçada

This illustration shows a star’s core, known as a white dwarf, pulled into orbit around a black hole. During each orbit, the black hole rips off more material from the star and pulls it into a glowing disk of material around the black hole. Before its encounter with the black hole, the star was a red giant in the last stages of stellar evolution. NASA/CXO/CSIC-INTA/G.Miniutti et al./CXC/M. Weiss

This artist’s illustration shows the collision of two 125-mile-wide icy, dusty bodies orbiting the bright star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away. The observation of the aftermath of this collision was once thought to be an exoplanet. M. Kornmesser/ESA/NASA

This is an artist’s impression of the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov as it travels through our solar system. New observations detected carbon monixide in the cometary tail as the sun heated the comet. NRAO/AUI/NSF/S. Dagnello

This rosette pattern is the orbit of a star, called S2, around the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. European Southern Observatory/ESO/L. Calçada

This is an artist’s illustration of SN2016aps, which astronomers believe is the brightest supernova ever observed. M. Weiss/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

This is an artist’s illustration of a brown dwarf, or a “failed star” object, and its magnetic field. The brown dwarf’s atmosphere and magnetic field rotate at different speeds, which allowed astronomers to determine wind speed on the object. Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

This artist’s illustration shows an intermediate-mass black hole tearing into a star. M. Kornmesser/ESA/Hubble

This is an artist’s impression of a large star known as HD74423 and its much smaller red dwarf companion in a binary star system. The large star appears to pulsate on one side only, and it’s being distorted by the gravitational pull of its companion star into a teardrop shape. Gabriel Pérez Díaz/Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands

This is an artist’s impression of two white dwarfs in the process of merging. While astronomers expected that this might cause a supernova, they have found an instance of two white dwarf stars that survived merging. University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

A combination of space and ground-based telescopes have found evidence for the biggest explosion seen in the universe. The explosion was created by a black hole located in the Ophiuchus cluster’s central galaxy, which has blasted out jets and carved a large cavity in the surrounding hot gas. S. Giacintucci, et al./NRL/CXC/NASA

This new ALMA image shows the outcome of a stellar fight: a complex and stunning gas environment surrounding the binary star system HD101584. ESO/NAOJ/NRAO/ALMA

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured the Tarantula Nebula in two wavelengths of infrared light. The red represents hot gas, while the blue regions are interstellar dust. JPL-Caltech/NASA

A white dwarf, left, is pulling material off of a brown dwarf, right, about 3,000 light-years from Earth. NASA/L. Hustak

This image shows the orbits of the six G objects at the center of our galaxy, with the supermassive black hole indicated with a white cross. Stars, gas and dust are in the background. Anna Ciurlo/Tuan Do/UCLA Galactic Center Group

After stars die, they expel their particles out into space, which form new stars in turn. In one case, stardust became embedded in a meteorite that fell to Earth. This illustration shows that stardust could flow from sources like the Egg Nebula to create the grains recovered from the meteorite, which landed in Australia. NASA/W. Sparks (STScI)/R. Sahai

The former North Star, Alpha Draconis or Thuban, is circled here in an image of the northern sky. NASA

Galaxy UGC 2885, nicknamed the “Godzilla galaxy,” may be the largest one in the local universe. NASA/ESA/B. Holwerda (University of Louisville)

The host galaxy of a newly traced repeating fast radio burst acquired with the 8-meter Gemini-North telescope. Danielle Futselaar/artsource.nl

The Milky Way’s central region was imaged using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. European Southern Observatory/ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.

This is an artist’s illustration of what MAMBO-9 would look like in visible light. The galaxy is very dusty and it has yet to build most of its stars. The two components show that the galaxy is in the process of merging. NRAO/AUI/NSF/B. Saxton

Astronomers have found a white dwarf star surrounded by a gas disk created from an ice giant planet being torn apart by its gravity. Mark A. Garlick/University of Warwick

New measurements of the black hole at the center of the Holm 15A galaxy reveal it’s 40 billion times more massive than our sun, making it the heaviest known black hole to be directly measured. Matthias Kluge/USM/MPE

This image, which combines observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Karl Jansky Very Large Array, shows a black hole that is triggering star formation nearly one million light-years away from it. The large red bubble on the left is a hot gas bubble and the dots of light to the right of it are four galaxies where star formation has increased. The host galaxy of the black hole that released the gas bubble is the bright point of light to the right of the golden light at the center. CXC/INAF/R. Gilli et al/NRAO/VLA/STScI/NASA

A close-up view of an interstellar comet passing through our solar system can be seen on the left. On the right, astronomers used an image of Earth for comparison. Pieter van Dokkum/Cheng-Han Hsieh/Shany Danieli/Gregory Laughlin

The galaxy NGC 6240 hosts three supermassive black holes at its core. P Weilbacher (AIP), NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage

Gamma-ray bursts are shown in this artist’s illustration. They can be triggered by the collision or neutron stars or the explosion of a super massive star, collapsing into a black hole. Science Communication Lab/DESY

Two gaseous clouds resembling peacocks have been found in neighboring dwarf galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. In these images by the ALMA telescopes, red and green highlight molecular gas while blue shows ionized hydrogen gas. ESO/NAOJ/NRAO/NASA/ALMA

An artist’s impression of the Milky Way’s big black hole flinging a star from the galaxy’s center. James Josephides/Swinburne Astronomy Productions

The Jack-o’-lantern Nebula is on the edge of the Milky Way. Radiation from the massive star at its center created spooky-looking gaps in the nebula that make it look like a carved pumpkin. JPL-Caltech/NASA

This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures two galaxies of equal size in a collision that appears to resemble a ghostly face. This observation was made on 19 June 2019 in visible light by the telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. ESA/Hubble/NASA

A new SPHERE/VLT image of Hygiea, which could be the Solar System’s smallest dwarf planet yet. As an object in the main asteroid belt, Hygiea satisfies right away three of the four requirements to be classified as a dwarf planet: it orbits around the Sun, it is not a moon and, unlike a planet, it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. The final requirement is that it have enough mass that its own gravity pulls it into a roughly spherical shape. This is what VLT observations have now revealed about Hygiea. P. Vernazza et al./MISTRAL algorithm/ESO

This is an artist’s rendering of what a massive galaxy from the early universe might look like. The rendering shows that star formation in the galaxy is lighting up the surrounding gas. Image by James Josephides/Swinburne Astronomy Productions, Christina Williams/University of Arizona and Ivo Labbe/Swinburne.

This is an artist’s illustration of gas and dust disk around the star HD 163296. Gaps in the disk are likely the location of baby planets that are forming. Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science

This is a two-color composite image of comet 2I/Borisov captured by the Gemini North telescope on September 10. Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA

This illustration shows a young, forming planet in a “baby-proof” star system. MPIA Graphics Department

Using a simulation, astronomers shed light on the faint gaseous filaments that comprise the cosmic web in a massive galaxy cluster. Joshua Borrow

The Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera observed Saturn in June as the planet made its closest approach to Earth this year, at approximately 1.36 billion kilometers away. A. Simon/M.H. Wong/ESA/NASA

An artist’s impression of the massive bursts of ionizing radiation exploding from the center of the Milky Way and impacting the Magellanic Stream. James Josephides/ASTRO 3D

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array captured this unprecedented image of two circumstellar disks, in which baby stars are growing, feeding off material from their surrounding birth disk. European Southern Observatory/ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO/Alves et al

This is an artist’s illustration of what a Neptune-size moon would look like orbiting the gas giant exoplanet Kepler-1625b in a star system 8,000 light-years from Earth. It could be the first exomoon ever discovered. Dan Durda/Southwest Research Institute

This infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows a cloud of gas and dust full of bubbles, which are inflated by wind and radiation from massive young stars. Each bubble is filled with hundreds to thousands of stars, which form from dense clouds of gas and dust. JPL-Caltech/NASA

This is an artist’s impression of the path of the fast radio burst FRB 181112 traveling from a distant host galaxy to reach the Earth. It passed through the halo of a galaxy on the way. M. Kornmesser/ESO

After passing too close to a supermassive black hole, the star in this artist’s conception is torn into a thin stream of gas, which is then pulled back around the black hole and slams into itself, creating a bright shock and ejecting more hot material. Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science.

Comparison of GJ 3512 to the Solar System and other nearby red-dwarf planetary systems. Planets around a solar-mass stars can grow until they start accreting gas and become giant planets such as Jupiter, in a few millions of years. But we thought that small stars such asProxima, TRAPPIST-1, TeegardernÕs star and GJ 3512, could not form Jupiter mass planets. Guillem Anglada-Escude/IEEC/SpaceEngine.org

A collision of three galaxies has set three supermassive black holes on a crash course with each other in a system one billion light-years from Earth. NASA/CXC/George Mason Univ./R. Pfeifle et al.

2I/Borisov is the first interstellar comet observed in our solar system and only the second observed interstellar visitor to our solar system. Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA

KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s Star or Tabby’s Star, is 1,000 light-years from us. It’s 50% bigger than our sun and 1,000 degrees hotter. And it doesn’t behave like any other star, dimming and brightening sporadically. Dust around the star, depicted here in an artist’s illustration, may be the most likely cause of its strange behavior. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is an artist’s impression of a massive neutron star’s pulse being delayed by the passage of a white dwarf star between the neutron star and Earth. Astronomers have detected the most massive neutron star to date due to this delay. BSaxton/NRAO/AUI/NSF

The European Southern Observatory’s VISTA telescope captured a stunning image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our nearest galactic neighbors. The near-infrared capability of the telescope showcases millions of individual stars. ESO/VMC Survey

Astronomers believe Comet C/2019 Q4 could be the second known interstellar visitor to our solar system. It was first spotted on August 30 and imaged by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Hawaii’s Big Island on September 10, 2019. Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/NASA

A star known as S0-2, represented as the blue and green object in this artist’s illustration, made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way in 2018. This provided a test for Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Nicolle R. Fuller/National Science Foundation

This is a radio image of the Milky Way’s galactic center. The radio bubbles discovered by MeerKAT extend vertically above and below the plane of the galaxy. Oxford/SARAO

A kilanova was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2016, seen here next to the red arrow. Kilanovae are massive explosions that create heavy elements like gold and platinum. E. Troja/ESA/NASA

This is an artist’s depiction of a black hole about to swallow a neutron star. Detectors signaled this possible event on August 14. Carl Knox/OzGrav ARC Centre of Excellence

This artist’s illustration shows LHS 3844b, a rocky nearby exoplanet. It’s 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits a cool M-dwarf star. The planet’s surface is probably dark and covered in cooled volcanic material, and there is no detectable atmosphere. R. Hurt/NASA

An artist’s concept of the explosion of a massive star within a dense stellar environment. Joy Pollard/Gemini

Galaxy NGC 5866 is 44 million light-years from Earth. It appears flat because we can only see its edge in this image captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Hubble Space Telescope took a dazzling new portrait of Jupiter, showcasing its vivid colors and swirling cloud features in the atmosphere. A. Simon/ M.H. Wong/ESA/Hubble/NASA

This is an artist’s impression of the ancient massive and distant galaxies observed with ALMA. NAOJ

Glowing gas clouds and newborn stars make up the Seagull Nebula in one of the Milky Way galaxy’s spiral arms. ESO/VPHAS+ team/N.J. Wright (Keele University)

An artist’s concept of what the first stars looked like soon after the Big Bang. Wise, Abel, Kaehler (KIPAC/SLAC)

Spiral galaxy NGC 2985 lies roughly over 70 million light years from our solar system in the constellation of Ursa Major. ESA/Hubble/NASA

Early in the history of the universe, the Milky Way galaxy collided with a dwarf galaxy, left, which helped form our galaxy’s ring and structure as it’s known today. Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC)

An artist’s illustration of a thin disc embedded in a supermassive black hole at the center of spiral galaxy NGC 3147, 130 million light-years away. M. Kornmesser/ESA/Hubble

Hubble captured this view of a spiral galaxy named NGC 972 that appears to be blooming with new star formation. The orange glow is created as hydrogen gas reacts to the intense light streaming outwards from nearby newborn stars. L. Ho/ESA/Hubble/NASA

This is jellyfish galaxy JO201. Callum Bellhouse and the GASP collaboration

The Eta Carinae star system, located 7,500 light-years from Earth, experienced a great explosion in 1838 and the Hubble Space Telescope is still capturing the aftermath. This new ultraviolet image reveals the warm glowing gas clouds that resemble fireworks. NASA/ESA/N. Smith/J. Morse

‘Oumuamua, the first observed interstellar visitor to our solar system, is shown in an artist’s illustration. European Southern Observatory/ESO/M. Kornmesser

This is an artist’s rendering of ancient supernovae that bombarded Earth with cosmic energy millions of years ago. NASA

An artist’s impression of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder radio telescope finding a fast radio burst and determining its precise location. CSIRO/Dr Andrew Howells

The Whirlpool galaxy has been captured in different light wavelengths. On the left is a visible light image. The next image combines visible and infrared light, while the two on the right show different wavelengths of infrared light. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Electrically charged C60 molecules, in which 60 carbon atoms are arranged in a hollow sphere that resembles a soccer ball, was found by the Hubble Space Telescope in the interstellar medium between star systems. NASA/JPL-Caltech

These are magnified galaxies behind large galaxy clusters. The pink halos reveal the gas surrounding the distant galaxies and its structure. The gravitational lensing effect of the clusters multiplies the images of the galaxies. ESO/NASA/ESA/A.Claeyssens

This artist’s illustration shows a blue quasar at the center of a galaxy. Michelle Vigeant

The NICER detector on the International Space Station recorded 22 months of nighttime X-ray data to create this map of the entire sky. NASA/NICER

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured this mosaic of the star-forming Cepheus C and Cepheus B regions. NASA

Galaxy NGC 4485 collided with its larger galactic neighbor NGC 4490 millions of years ago, leading to the creation of new stars seen in the right side of the image. ESA/Hubble/NASA

Astronomers developed a mosaic of the distant universe, called the Hubble Legacy Field, that documents 16 years of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope. The image contains 200,000 galaxies that stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the Big Bang. NASA/ESA

A ground-based telescope’s view of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy of our Milky Way. The inset was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and shows one of the star clusters in the galaxy. NASA, ESA, Adam Riess, and Palomar Digitized Sky Survey

STScI/ESA/NASA

One of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky and first discovered in 1878, nebula NGC 7027 can be seen toward the constellation of the Swan. Hubble Legacy Archive/ESA/NASA

The asteroid 6478 Gault is seen with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, showing two narrow, comet-like tails of debris that tell us that the asteroid is slowly undergoing self-destruction. The bright streaks surrounding the asteroid are background stars. The Gault asteroid is located 214 million miles from the Sun, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. NASA/ESA/K. Meech/J. Kleyna/Univ. of Hawaii/O. Hainaut/European Southern Observatory

The ghostly shell in this image is a supernova, and the glowing trail leading away from it is a pulsar. Composite by Jayanne English/University of Manitoba

Hidden in one of the darkest corners of the Orion constellation, this Cosmic Bat is spreading its hazy wings through interstellar space two thousand light-years away. It is illuminated by the young stars nestled in its core — despite being shrouded by opaque clouds of dust, their bright rays still illuminate the nebula. European Southern Observatory

In this illustration, several dust rings circle the sun. These rings form when planets’ gravities tug dust grains into orbit around the sun. Recently, scientists have detected a dust ring at Mercury’s orbit. Others hypothesize the source of Venus’ dust ring is a group of never-before-detected co-orbital asteroids. Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith/NASA

This is an artist’s impression of globular star clusters surrounding the Milky Way. ESA/Hubble, L. Watkins, L. Calçada

An artist’s impression of life on a planet in orbit around a binary star system, visible as two suns in the sky. Mark Garlick

An artist’s illustration of one of the most distant solar system objects yet observed, 2018 VG18 — also known as “Farout.” The pink hue suggests the presence of ice. We don’t yet have an idea of what “FarFarOut” looks like. Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution

This is an artist’s concept of the tiny moon Hippocamp that was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. Only 20 miles across, it may actually be a broken-off fragment from a much larger neighboring moon, Proteus, seen as a crescent in the background. NASA/ESA/J. Olmsted (STScl)

In this illustration, an asteroid (bottom left) breaks apart under the powerful gravity of LSPM J0207+3331, the oldest, coldest white dwarf known to be surrounded by a ring of dusty debris. Scientists think the system’s infrared signal is best explained by two distinct rings composed of dust supplied by crumbling asteroids. Scott Wiessinger/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

An artist’s impression of the warped and twisted Milky Way disk. This happens when the rotational forces of the massive center of the galaxy tug on the outer disk. Chao Liu/National Astronomical Observatories/Chinese Academy of Sciences

This 1.3-kilometer (0.8-mile)-radius Kuiper Belt Object discovered by researchers on the edge of the solar system is believed to be the step between balls of dust and ice and fully formed planets. Dr. Ko Arimatsu/Kyoto University/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

A selfie taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on Vera Rubin Ridge before it moves to a new location. JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope found a dwarf galaxy hiding behind a big star cluster that’s in our cosmic neighborhood. It’s so old and pristine that researchers have dubbed it a “living fossil” from the early universe. ESA/L. Bedin/NASA

How did massive black holes form in the early universe? The rotating gaseous disk of this dark matter halo breaks apart into three clumps that collapse under their own gravity to form supermassive stars. Those stars will quickly collapse and form massive black holes. John Wise/Georgia Institute of Technology

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured this image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy. Astrophysicists now believe it could collide with our galaxy in two billion years. JPL-Caltech/STScI/NASA

A mysterious bright object in the sky, dubbed “The Cow,” was captured in real time by telescopes around the world. Astronomers believe that it could be the birth of a black hole or neutron star, or a new class of object. Dustin Lang/Legacy Surveys project

An illustration depicts the detection of a repeating fast radio burst from a mysterious source 3 billion light-years from Earth. ASTRON/NOVA

Comet 46P/Wirtanen will pass within 7 million miles of Earth on December 16. It’s ghostly green coma is the size of Jupiter, even though the comet itself is about three-quarters of a mile in diameter. Alex Cherney/Terrastro

This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on December 2 by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

This image of a globular cluster of stars by the Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most ancient collections of stars known. The cluster, called NGC 6752, is more than 10 billion years old. NASA

An image of Apep captured with the VISIR camera on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. This “pinwheel” star system is most likely doomed to end in a long-duration gamma-ray burst. European Southern Observatory/University of Sydney

An artist’s impression of galaxy Abell 2597, showing the supermassive black hole expelling cold molecular gas like the pump of a giant intergalactic fountain. Courtesy of NRAO/AUI/NSF; D. Ber

An image of the Wild Duck Cluster, where every star is roughly 250 million years old. European Southern Observatory

These images reveal the final stage of a union between pairs of galactic nuclei in the messy cores of colliding galaxies. NASA, ESA, and M. Koss

A radio image of hydrogen gas in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Astronomers believe that the dwarf galaxy is slowly dying and will eventually be consumed by the Milky Way. Naomi McClure-Griffiths et al, C

Further evidence of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy has been found. This visualization uses data from simulations of orbital motions of gas swirling around about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit around the black hole. ESO/Gravity Consortium/L. Calça

Does this look like a bat to you? This giant shadow comes from a bright star reflecting against the dusty disk surrounding it. NASA/STScI

Hey, Bennu! NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, on its way to meet the primitive asteroid Bennu, is sending back images as it gets closer to its December 3 target. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

These three panels reveal a supernova before, during and after it happened 920 million light-years from Earth(from left to right). The supernova, dubbed iPTF14gqr, is unusual because although the star was massive, its explosion was quick and faint. Researchers believe this is due to a companion star that siphoned away its mass. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

An artist’s illustration of Planet X, which could be shaping the orbits of smaller extremely distant outer solar system objects like 2015 TG387. Roberto Molar Candanosa and Scott Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science

This is an artist’s concept of what SIMP J01365663+0933473 might look like. It has 12.7 times the mass of Jupiter but a magnetic field 200 times more powerful than Jupiter’s. This object is 20 light-years from Earth. It’s on the boundary line between being a planet or being a brown dwarf. Chuck Carter/NRAO/AUI/NSF

The Andromeda galaxy cannibalized and shredded the once-large galaxy M32p, leaving behind this compact galaxy remnant known as M32. It is completely unique and contains a wealth of young stars. Thomas M. Brown

Twelve new moons have been found around Jupiter. This graphic shows various groupings of the moons and their orbits, with the newly discovered ones shown in bold. Roberto Molar-Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science

Scientists and observatories around the world were able to trace a high-energy neutrino to a galaxy with a supermassive, rapidly spinning black hole at its center, known as a blazar. The galaxy sits to the left of Orion’s shoulder in his constellation and is about 4 billion light-years from Earth. IceCube/NASA

Planets don’t just appear out of thin air — but they do require gas, dust and other processes not fully understood by astronomers. This is an artist’s impression of what “infant” planets look like forming around a young star. S. Dagnello/NRAO/AUI/NSF

These negative images of 2015 BZ509, which is circled in yellow, show the first known interstellar object that has become a permanent part of our solar system. The exo-asteroid was likely pulled into our solar system from another star system 4.5 billion years ago. It then settled into a retrograde orbit around Jupiter. C. Veillet/Large Binocular Telescope Observatory

A close look at the diamond matrix in a meteorite that landed in Sudan in 2008. This is considered to be the first evidence of a proto-planet that helped form the terrestrial planets in our solar system. Dr. F. Nabiei/Dr. E. Oveisi, EPFL, Switzerland

2004 EW95 is the first carbon-rich asteroid confirmed to exist in the Kuiper Belt and a relic of the primordial solar system. This curious object probably formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter before being flung billions of miles to its current home in the Kuiper Belt. ESO/M. Kornmesser

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 28th anniversary in space with this stunning and colorful image of the Lagoon Nebula 4,000 light-years from Earth. While the whole nebula is 55 light-years across, this image only reveals a portion of about four light-years. ESA/Hubble/NASA/STScI

This is a more star-filled view of the Lagoon Nebula, using Hubble’s infrared capabilities. The reason you can see more stars is because infrared is able to cut through the dust and gas clouds to reveal the abundance of both young stars within the nebula, as well as more distant stars in the background. ESA/Hubble/NASA/STScI

The Rosette Nebula is 5,000 light-years from Earth. The distinctive nebula, which some claim looks more like a skull, has a hole in the middle that creates the illusion of its rose-like shape. Nick Wright/Keele University

This inner slope of a Martian crater has several of the seasonal dark streaks called “recurrent slope lineae,” or RSL, that a November 2017 report interprets as granular flows, rather than darkening due to flowing water. The image is from the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/USGS

This artist’s impression shows a supernova explosion, which contains the luminosity of 100 million suns. Supernova iPTF14hls, which has exploded multiple times, may be the most massive and longest-lasting ever observed. M. Kornmesser/ESO

This illustration shows hydrocarbon compounds splitting into carbon and hydrogen inside ice giants, such as Neptune, turning into a “diamond (rain) shower.” Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

This striking image is the stellar nursery in the Orion Nebula, where stars are born. The red filament is a stretch of ammonia molecules measuring 50 light-years long. The blue represents the gas of the Orion Nebula. This image is a composite of observation from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope and NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explore telescope. “We still don’t understand in detail how large clouds of gas in our Galaxy collapse to form new stars,” said Rachel Friesen, one of the collaboration’s co-Principal Investigators. “But ammonia is an excellent tracer of dense, star-forming gas.” R. Friesen, Dunlap Institute; J. Pineda, MPIP; GBO/AUI/NSF

This is an illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. The NASA probe will explore the sun’s atmosphere in a mission that begins in the summer of 2018. NASA
See that tiny dot between Saturn’s rings? That’s Earth, as seen by the Cassini mission on April 12, 2017. “Cassini was 870 million miles away from Earth when the image was taken,” according to NASA. “Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.” Much like the famous “pale blue dot” image captured by Voyager 1 in 1990, we are but a point of light when viewed from the furthest planet in the solar system. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, using infrared technology, reveals the density of stars in the Milky Way. According to NASA, the photo — stitched together from nine images — contains more than a half-million stars. The star cluster is the densest in the galaxy. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team
This photo of Saturn’s large icy moon, Tethys, was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which sent back some jaw-dropping images from the ringed planet. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

This is what Earth and its moon look like from Mars. The image is a composite of the best Earth image and the best moon image taken on November 20, 2016, by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The orbiter’s camera takes images in three wavelength bands: infrared, red and blue-green. Mars was about 127 million miles from Earth when the images were taken. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

PGC 1000714 was initially thought to be a common elliptical galaxy, but a closer analysis revealed the incredibly rare discovery of a Hoag-type galaxy. It has a round core encircled by two detached rings. Ryan Beauchemin

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took these images of the planet’s mysterious hexagon-shaped jetstream in December 2016. The hexagon was discovered in images taken by the Voyager spacecraft in the early 1980s. It’s estimated to have a diameter wider than two Earths. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

A dead star gives off a greenish glow in this Hubble Space Telescope image of the Crab Nebula, located about 6,500 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. NASA released the image for Halloween 2016 and played up the theme in its press release. The agency said the “ghoulish-looking object still has a pulse.” At the center of the Crab Nebula is the crushed core, or “heart” of an exploded star. The heart is spinning 30 times per second and producing a magnetic field that generates 1 trillion volts, NASA said. NASA/ESA

Peering through the thick dust clouds of the galactic bulge, an international team of astronomers revealed the unusual mix of stars in the stellar cluster known as Terzan 5. The new results indicate that Terzan 5 is one of the bulge’s primordial building blocks, most likely the relic of the very early days of the Milky Way. European Southern Observatory/F. Ferraro

An artist’s conception of Planet Nine, which would be the farthest planet within our solar system. The similar cluster orbits of extreme objects on the edge of our solar system suggest a massive planet is located there. Courtesy Robin Dienel

An illustration of the orbits of the new and previously known extremely distant Solar System objects. The clustering of most of their orbits indicates that they are likely be influenced by something massive and very distant, the proposed Planet X. Courtesy Robin Dienel

Say hello to dark galaxy Dragonfly 44. Like our Milky Way, it has a halo of spherical clusters of stars around its core. Pieter van Dokkum, Roberto Abraham, Gemini Observatory/AURA

A classical nova occurs when a white dwarf star gains matter from its secondary star (a red dwarf) over a period of time, causing a thermonuclear reaction on the surface that eventually erupts in a single visible outburst. This creates a 10,000-fold increase in brightness, depicted here in an artist’s rendering. K. Ulaczyk/Warsaw University Observatory

Gravitational lensing and space warping are visible in this image of near and distant galaxies captured by Hubble. NASA

At the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, researchers discovered an X-shaped structure within a tightly packed group of stars. From NASA/JPL-Caltech/D.Lang

Meet UGC 1382: What astronomers thought was a normal elliptical galaxy (left) was actually revealed to be a massive disc galaxy made up of different parts when viewed with ultraviolet and deep optical data (center and right). In a complete reversal of normal galaxy structure, the center is younger than its outer spiral disk. NASA/JPL/Caltech/SDSS/NRAO

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the Crab Nebula and its “beating heart,” which is a neutron star at the right of the two bright stars in the center of this image. The neutron star pulses 30 times a second. The rainbow colors are visible due to the movement of materials in the nebula occurring during the time-lapse of the image. ESA/NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a hidden galaxy that is fainter than Andromeda or the Milky Way. This low surface brightness galaxy, called UGC 477, is over 110 million light-years away in the constellation of Pisces. ESA/Hubble & NASA

On April 19, NASA released new images of bright craters on Ceres. This photo shows the Haulani Crater, which has evidence of landslides from its rim. Scientists believe some craters on the dwarf planet are bright because they are relatively new. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

This illustration shows the millions of dust grains NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has sampled near Saturn. A few dozen of them appear to have come from beyond our solar system. JPL-Caltech/NASA

This image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile shows a stunning concentration of galaxies known as the Fornax Cluster, which can be found in the Southern Hemisphere. At the center of this cluster, in the middle of the three bright blobs on the left side of the image, lies a cD galaxy — a galactic cannibal that has grown in size by consuming smaller galaxies. ESO

This image shows the central region of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The young and dense star cluster R136, which contains hundreds of massive stars, is visible in the lower right of the image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. ESA/Hubble/NASA

In March 2016, astronomers published a paper on powerful red flashes coming from binary system V404 Cygni in 2015. This illustration shows a black hole, similar to the one in V404 Cygni, devouring material from an orbiting star. ESO/L. Calçada

A new map of the Milky Way was released February 24, 2016, giving astronomers a full census of the star-forming regions within our own galaxy. The APEX telescope in Chile captured this survey. ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL

This image shows the elliptical galaxy NGC 4889, deeply embedded within the Coma galaxy cluster. There is a gigantic supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. NASA/ESA

An artist’s impression of 2MASS J2126, which takens 900,000 years to orbit its star, 1 trillion kilometers away. University of Hertfordshire / Neil Cook

Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune. CNN, Nasa, Caltech

An international team of astronomers may have discovered the biggest and brightest supernova ever. The explosion was 570 billion times brighter than the sun and 20 times brighter than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy combined, according to a statement from The Ohio State University, which is leading the study. Scientists are straining to define the supernova’s strength. This image shows an artist’s impression of the supernova as it would appear from an exoplanet located about 10,000 light years away. Jin Ma/Beijing Planetarium/The Kavli Foundation/AP
Astronomers noticed huge waves of gas being “burped” by the black hole at the center of NGC 5195, a small galaxy 26 million light years from Earth. The team believes the outburst is a consequence of the interaction of NGC 5195 with a nearby galaxy. NASA
An artist’s illustration shows a binary black hole found in the quasar at the center of the Markarian 231 galaxy. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope discovered the galaxy being powered by two black holes “furiously whirling about each other,” the space agency said in a news release. NASA/ESA/G. Bacon (STScl)

An artist’s impression of what a black hole might look like. In February, researchers in China said they had spotted a super-massive black hole 12 billion times the size of the sun. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Are there are oceans on any of Jupiter’s moons? The Juice probe shown in this artist’s impression aims to find out. Picture courtesy of ESA/AOES ESA/AOES

Astronomers have discovered powerful auroras on a brown dwarf that is 20 light-years away. This is an artist’s concept of the phenomenon. Chuck Carter and Gregg Hallinan/Caltech

Venus, bottom, and Jupiter shine brightly above Matthews, North Carolina, on Monday, June 29. The apparent close encounter, called a conjunction, has been giving a dazzling display in the summer sky. Although the two planets appear to be close together, in reality they are millions of miles apart. Chuck Burton/AP

Jupiter’s icy moon Europa may be the best place in the solar system to look for extraterrestrial life, according to NASA. The moon is about the size of Earth’s moon, and there is evidence it has an ocean beneath its frozen crust that may hold twice as much water as Earth. NASA’s 2016 budget includes a request for $30 million to plan a mission to investigate Europa. The image above was taken by the Galileo spacecraft on November 25, 1999. It’s a 12-frame mosaic and is considered the the best image yet of the side of Europa that faces Jupiter. University of Arizona/JPL/NASA

This nebula, or cloud of gas and dust, is called RCW 34 or Gum 19. The brightest areas you can see are where the gas is being heated by young stars. Eventually the gas burst outward like champagne after a bottle is uncorked. Scientists call this champagne flow. This new image of the nebula was captured by the European Space Organization’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. RCW 34 is in the constellation Vela in the southern sky. The name means “sails of a ship” in Latin. ESO

The Hubble Space Telescope captured images of Jupiter’s three great moons — Io, Callisto, and Europa — passing by at once. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team/STScI/AURA

A massive galaxy cluster known as SDSS J1038+4849 looks like a smiley face in an image captured by the Hubble Telescope. The two glowing eyes are actually two distant galaxies. And what of the smile and the round face? That’s a result of what astronomers call “strong gravitational lensing.” That happens because the gravitational pull between the two galaxy clusters is so strong it distorts time and space around them. NASA & ESA

Using powerful optics, astronomers have found a planet-like body, J1407b, with rings 200 times the size of Saturn’s. This is an artist’s depiction of the rings of planet J1407b, which are eclipsing a star. University of Rochester/Ron Miller

A patch of stars appears to be missing in this image from the La Silla Observatory in Chile. But the stars are actually still there behind a cloud of gas and dust called Lynds Dark Nebula 483. The cloud is about 700 light years from Earth in the constellation Serpens (The Serpent). european southern observatory

This is the largest Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled. It’s a portion of the galaxy next door, Andromeda (M31). ESA/Nasa

NASA has captured a stunning new image of the so-called “Pillars of Creation,” one of the space agency’s most iconic discoveries. The giant columns of cold gas, in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, were popularized by a similar image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

Astronomers using the Hubble Space pieced together this picture that shows a small section of space in the southern-hemisphere constellation Fornax. Within this deep-space image are 10,000 galaxies, going back in time as far as a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. NASA

Planetary nebula Abell 33 appears ring-like in this image, taken using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. The blue bubble was created when an aging star shed its outer layers and a star in the foreground happened to align with it to create a “diamond engagement ring” effect. courtesy European Southern Observatory

This long-exposure image from the Hubble Telescope is the deepest-ever picture taken of a cluster of galaxies. The cluster, called Abell 2744, contains several hundred galaxies as they looked 3.5 billion years ago; the more distant galaxies appear as they did more than 12 billion years ago, not long after the Big Bang. ESA/NASA

This Hubble image looks a floating marble or a maybe a giant, disembodied eye. But it’s actually a nebula with a giant star at its center. Scientists think the star used to be 20 times more massive than our sun, but it’s dying and is destined to go supernova. ESA/NASA

Composite image of B14-65666 showing the distributions of dust (red), oxygen (green), and carbon (blue), observed by ALMA and stars (white) observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. ALMA/NASA/ESA/Hashimoto

Artist’s impression of the merging galaxies B14-65666 located 13 billion light years-away. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

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