Results tagged “astronomy”

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have obtained a remarkable new view of a whopper of an elliptical galaxy that may have been puffed up by the actions of one or more black holes in its core.

Dark Matter Halos May Contain Stars

Could it be that dark matter "halos" -- the huge, invisible cocoons of mass that envelop entire galaxies and account for most of the matter in the universe -- aren't completely dark after all but contain a small number of stars?

Scientists at the University of Arizona and in California have completed the most challenging large astronomical mirror ever made.

The Color of an Exoplanet

The search for extrasolar planets has already detected rocky planets and interesting planetary candidates in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Astrobiologists are pioneering new ways of imaging and examining these worlds, including how to assess their habitability.

Elliptical Galaxy Holds a Hidden Spiral

Most big galaxies fit into one of two camps: pinwheel-shaped spiral galaxies and blobby elliptical galaxies. Spirals like the Milky Way are hip and happening places, with plenty of gas and dust to birth new stars.

CHEOPS Will Study Super-Earths

Studying planets around other stars will be the focus of the new Small-class Science Programme mission, Cheops, ESA announced today. Its launch is expected in 2017.

European astronomers have discovered a planet with about the mass of the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system -- the nearest to Earth. It is also the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a star like the Sun. The planet was detected using the HARPS instrument on the 3.6-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The results will appear online in the journal Nature on 17 October 2012.

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have studied a giant filament of dark matter in 3D for the first time. Extending 60 million light-years from one of the most massive galaxy clusters known, the filament is part of the cosmic web that constitutes the large-scale structure of the universe, and is a leftover of the very first moments after the Big Bang

"The data presented in this paper are the result of the efforts of the Planet Hunters volunteers, without whom this work would not have been possible. Their contributions are individually ac- knowledged at http://www.planethunters.org/authors. We also acknowledge the following list of individuals who flagged one or more of the transit events on Talk discussed in this paper before or after discovery of the planet: Hans Martin Schwengeler, Dr. Johann Sejpka, and Arvin Joseff Tan." More

A Planetary Nebula Gallery

This gallery shows four planetary nebulas from the first systematic survey of such objects in the solar neighborhood made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The planetary nebulas shown here are NGC 6543, also known as the Cat's Eye, NGC 7662, NGC 7009 and NGC 6826. In each case, X-ray emission from Chandra is colored purple and optical emission from the Hubble Space Telescope is colored red, green and blue.

Refining The Hubble Constant

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have announced the most precise measurement yet of the Hubble constant, or the rate at which our universe is stretching apart.

"Technology has radically changed the contributions that amateurs can make to the field of astronomy. Using a readily-available 'hobby' telescope, off-the-shelf camera and computer equipment, plus experienced observing skills, Emmanuel I. Kardasis of the Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association has produced the first amateur albedo map of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This demonstration has implications for the future role of amateur astronomers. The work will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid. An albedo map details higher areas of reflectivity on an object's surface recording where material is brighter or darker. Kardasis' albedo map closely aligns with professional images of Ganymede's surface, indicating features such as Phrygia Sulcus (furrows and ridges 3700km across) and the Nicholson region (a low-lying darker area)." More

Peering to the Edge of a Black Hole

Using a continent-spanning telescope, an international team of astronomers has peered to the edge of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. For the first time, they have measured the black hole's "point of no return" - the closest distance that matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black hole.

Fireworks in the Early Universe

Galaxies in the early universe grew fast by rapidly making new stars. Such prodigious star formation episodes, characterized by the intense radiation of the newborn stars, were often accompanied by fireworks in the form of energy bursts caused by the massive central black hole accretion in these galaxies.

Cause of Supernova SN 1006 Revealed

Between 30 April and 1 May of the year 1006 the brightest stellar event ever recorded in history occurred: a supernova, or stellar explosion, that was widely observed by various civilizations from different places on the Earth.

The first two of the 18 primary mirrors to fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope arrived at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to find evidence our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light years. The estimated mass of the halo is comparable to the mass of all the stars in the galaxy.

Using Bots to Chart the Universe

"Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us with unprecedented accuracy. The team, led by Francisco Kitaura of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, report their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Scientists routinely use large telescopes to scan the sky, mapping the coordinates and estimating the distances of hundreds of thousands of galaxies and so enabling them to create a map of the large-scale structure of the universe. But the distribution that astronomers see is intriguing and hard to explain, with galaxies forming a complex 'cosmic web' showing clusters, filaments connecting them, and large empty regions in between." More

Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us with unprecedented accuracy. The team, led by Francisco Kitaura of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, report their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

NASA-funded astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars. The findings offer the best evidence yet planets can sprout up in dense stellar environments. Although the newfound planets are not habitable, their skies would be starrier than what we see from Earth.

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