Results tagged “astronomy”

Astronomers have detected cold streams of primordial hydrogen, vestigial matter left over from the Big Bang, fueling a distant star-forming galaxy in the early universe. Profuse flows of gas onto galaxies are believed to be crucial for explaining an era 10 billion years ago, when galaxies were copiously forming stars.

Magnetic Field May Shape 'Blooming' Star

An old star, IRAS 15445-5449, has begun to push out a jet of charged particles that glow with radio waves. A few old stars are known to have jets, "but this is the first one where the radio waves tell us the jet is held together by a strong magnetic field", said Dr Jessica Chapman of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, a member of the research team.

Dating Our Galaxy's Dormant Volcano

A dormant volcano -- a supermassive black hole -- lies at the heart of our galaxy. Fresh evidence suggests that it last erupted two million years ago. Astronomers have long suspected such an outburst occurred, but this is the first time they've been able to date it.

Clues to the Growth of the Colossus in Coma

A team of astronomers has discovered enormous arms of hot gas in the Coma cluster of galaxies by using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton. These features, which span at least half a million light years, provide insight into how the Coma cluster has grown through mergers of smaller groups and clusters of galaxies to become one of the largest structures in the universe held together by gravity.

Astronomers have discovered light echoing off material surrounding a recent supernova explosion, SN 2009ig. The dust and gas that are reflecting the light are so close to the eruption center that it is likely related to the progenitor star. This discovery supports the theory that exploding white dwarfs become unstable from matter donated by large, non-degenerate stars.

Cosmic Collision Between Galaxies

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures an ongoing cosmic collision between two galaxies -- a spiral galaxy is in the process of colliding with a lenticular galaxy.

A flash of light from a stellar outburst has been used to probe for the first time the 3-D structure of material ejected by an erupting nova.

One of the densest objects in the universe, a neutron star about 10,000 light-years from Earth, has been discovered suddenly putting the brakes on its spinning speed. The event is a mystery that holds important clues for understanding how matter reacts when it is squeezed more tightly than the density of an atomic nucleus -- a state that no laboratory on Earth has achieved. The discovery, by an international team of scientists that includes a Penn State University astronomer, will be published in the journal Nature on 30 May 2013.

A University of Alberta physicist brought together backyard astronomers and professionals to confirm the mysterious behavior of two stars more than 300 light-years from Earth.

Formed by a star throwing off its outer layers as it runs out of fuel, the Ring Nebula is an archetypal planetary nebula. It is both relatively close to Earth and fairly bright, and so was first recorded in the late 18th century.

Photo: Admiring the Galaxy

It is difficult for even the most seasoned astronomer to resist taking time out of a busy observing schedule to stop and stare up at the gloriously rich southern sky. This image is a self portrait taken by astronomer Alan Fitzsimmons, who took this photo between observing sessions at ESO's La Silla Observatory.

Amateur contributions to professional publications have increased exponentially over the last decades in the field of Planetary Astronomy. Here we review the different domains of the field in which collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers are effective and regularly lead to scientific publications.

Less than a year after the decision to site the revolutionary Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in both Southern Africa and Australia, the SKA Organisation has opened its new international headquarters.

NGC 6559: Anarchic Star Formation

The Danish 1.54-metre telescope located at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a striking image of NGC 6559, an object that showcases the anarchy that reigns when stars form inside an interstellar cloud.

Birth of a Black Hole

When a massive star exhausts its fuel, it collapses under its own gravity and produces a black hole, an object so dense that not even light can escape its gravitational grip.

Supernova Remnant SNR 0519

These delicate wisps of gas make up an object known as SNR B0519-69.0, or SNR 0519 for short. The thin, blood-red shells are actually the remnants from when an unstable progenitor star exploded violently as a supernova around 600 years ago.

Staring at a small patch of sky for more than 50 hours with the ultra-sensitive Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), astronomers have for the first time identified discrete sources that account for nearly all the radio waves coming from distant galaxies. They found that about 63 percent of the background radio emission comes from galaxies with gorging black holes at their cores and the remaining 37 percent comes from galaxies that are rapidly forming stars.

ESA's Herschel space observatory has exhausted, as planned, its supply of liquid helium coolant, concluding over three years of pioneering observations of the cool Universe.

Astronomers have used ESO's Very Large Telescope, along with radio telescopes around the world, to find and study a bizarre stellar pair consisting of the most massive neutron star confirmed so far, orbited by a white dwarf star.

This year, astronomers around the world have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of X-ray astronomy. Few objects better illustrate the progress of the field in the past half-century than the supernova remnant known as SN 1006.

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