Results tagged “astronomy”

Spitzer's Orion

Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away.

Messier 83: A Galaxy with Two Hearts

This new Hubble image shows the spiral galaxy Messier 83, otherwise known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy.

This new Hubble image is the best-ever view of a cosmic creepy-crawly known as the Tarantula Nebula, a region full of star clusters, glowing gas, and dark dust.

Recent observations by NASA's Swift spacecraft have provided scientists a unique glimpse into the activity at the center of our galaxy and led to the discovery of a rare celestial entity that may help them test predictions of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope joined forces to discover and characterize four unusually bright galaxies as they appeared more than 13 billion years ago, just 500 million years after the big bang.

An international team of astronomers, using NASA's Fermi observatory, has made the first-ever gamma-ray measurements of a gravitational lens, a kind of natural telescope formed when a rare cosmic alignment allows the gravity of a massive object to bend and amplify light from a more distant source.

Gaia Launched From Kourou

ESA's Gaia mission blasted off this morning on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its exciting mission to study a billion suns.

South Pole Telescope scientists have detected for the first time a subtle distortion in the oldest light in the universe, which may help reveal secrets about the earliest moments in the universe's formation.

A Stellar Nursery

Illuminated by the light of nearby stars, the nebula M-78 exhibits a ghostly appearance in this 10-minute exposure taken with a 6" refractor at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed faint remnants of a supernova explosion and helped researchers determine Circinus X-1 -- an X-ray binary -- is the youngest of this class of astronomical objects found to date.

Hubble Sees Anemic Spiral NGC 4921

How far away is spiral galaxy NGC 4921? Although presently estimated to be about 310 million light years distant, a more precise determination could be coupled with its known recession speed to help humanity better calibrate the expansion rate of the entire visible universe.

Hot Gas Sloshing in a Galactic Cauldron

Galaxies are social beasts that are mostly found in groups or clusters - large assemblies of galaxies that are permeated by even larger amounts of diffuse gas.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed the first visual evidence of how our home galaxy, the Milky Way, assembled itself into the majestic pinwheel of stars we see today.

Stellar Explosions in NGC 6984

Supernovae are intensely bright objects. They are formed when a star reaches the end of its life with a dramatic explosion, expelling most of its material out into space.

3C 397 (also known as G41.1-0.3) is a Galactic supernova remnant with an unusual shape. Researchers think its box-like appearance is produced as the heated remains of the exploded star -- detected by Chandra in X-rays (purple) -- runs into cooler gas surrounding it.

NGC 3576: Glowing Gas in the Milky Way

A region of glowing gas in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way galaxy, NGC 3576 is located about 9,000 light years from Earth.

3C353: Giant Plumes of Radiation

Jets generated by supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies can transport huge amounts of energy across great distances. 3C353 is a wide, double-lobed source where the galaxy is the tiny point in the center and giant plumes of radiation can be seen in X-rays from Chandra (purple) and radio data from the Very Large Array (orange).

Most of the universe's heavy elements, including the iron central to life itself, formed early in cosmic history and spread throughout the universe, according to a new study of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster using Japan's Suzaku satellite.

X-ray Images of Sagittarius A*

Researchers have found evidence that the normally dim region very close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy flared up with at least two bright outbursts in the past few hundred years.

ESA's Planck space telescope has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang and studying the evolution of stars and galaxies throughout the Universe's history.

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