Results tagged “astronomy”

Astronomers Map 40 Million Stars

"Astronomers will soon have access to a new map of the sky that accurately measures the brightness and position of over 40 million stars. This map is a result of the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey, which has completely covered the sky at a level 100 times fainter than any prior stellar catalog. Millions of stars will have their brightness and color measured accurately for the first time in this survey. The survey is predominantly a pro-am volunteer effort. A team of professional astronomers is primarily responsible for the photometry while a team of amateur astronomers is helping with the equipment, purchased with support from the Robert Martin Ayers Sciences Fund."

Building a terrestrial planet requires raw materials that weren't available in the early history of the universe.

NuSTAR Black Hole Seeker Lifts Off

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched into the morning skies over the central Pacific Ocean at 9:00:35 a.m. PDT (12:00:35 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, beginning its mission to unveil secrets of buried black holes and other exotic objects.

Two of our Milky Way's neighbor galaxies may have had a close encounter billions of years ago, recent studies with the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) indicate.

Astronomers are getting to know the neighbors better. Our Sun resides within a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy about two-thirds of the way out from the center.

NASA astronomers announced Thursday they can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.

ALMA Turns Its Eyes to Centaurus A

A new image of the center of the distinctive galaxy Centaurus A, made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), shows how the new telescope, which is still under construction, allows astronomers to see with unprecedented quality through the opaque dust lanes that obscure the galaxy's center.

As galaxies go, our Milky Way is pretty quiet. Active galaxies have cores that glow brightly, powered by supermassive black holes swallowing material, and often spit twin jets in opposite directions.

A Deeper Look at Centaurus A

The strange galaxy Centaurus A is pictured in a new image from the European Southern Observatory. With a total exposure time of more than 50 hours this is probably the deepest view of this peculiar and spectacular object ever created.

Cubesats and Extrasolar Planets

How a Pocket-Size Satellite Could Find Another Earth, Time

What makes ExoplanetSat even more un-NASA-like is that it began as a class project -- although admittedly, the class was at MIT. It was a design-and-build course, which the university's engineering students have to take in order to graduate. In a recent semester, the class was co-taught by Sara Seager, an astrophysicist who has done groundbreaking research studying how the atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars might look like from earthly telescopes. Seager recruited five science undergrads to join her engineers, on the theory that out in the real world, they'd eventually have to work with engineers anyway.

NASA Is Lending Satellites

NASA Lends Galaxy Evolution Explorer to Caltech

"NASA is lending the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, where the spacecraft will continue its exploration of the cosmos. In a first-of-a-kind move for NASA, a Space Act Agreement was signed May 14 so the university soon can resume spacecraft operations and data management for the mission using private funds."

Keith's note: Wow. Is NASA going to adopt this approach for the reuse of other spacecraft? This could be very interesting.

NASA is lending the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, where the spacecraft will continue its exploration of the cosmos.

Fuel For Black Holes

An international research team led by Gerd Weigelt from the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie in Bonn reports on high-resolution studies of an active galactic nucleus in the near-infrared. The observations were carried out with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Dwarf Galaxy with a Bright Nebula

The starry mist streaking across this image obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the central part of the dwarf galaxy known as NGC 2366.

The exploding stars known as Type Ia supernovae serve an important role in measuring the universe, and were used to discover the existence of dark energy. They're bright enough to see across large distances, and similar enough to act as a "standard candle" -- an object of known luminosity.

Kicking Stars Out of the Galaxy

In fact, the primary mechanism that astronomers have come up with that can give a star the two-million-plus mile-per-hour kick it takes requires a close encounter with the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's core.

Sombrero Galaxy: Split Personality

While some galaxies are rotund and others are slender disks like our spiral Milky Way, new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is both.

NGC 6604: A Cluster Within a Cluster

The star cluster NGC 6604 is shown in this new image taken by the Wide Field Imager attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. It is often overlooked in favour of its more prominent neighbour, the Eagle Nebula (also known as Messier 16), that lies a mere wingspan away.

Have You Seen This Meteorite?

NASA Asks Public to Provide Videos and Photos of Meteor (with photos of fresh finds)

"NASA and the SETI Institute are asking the public for more information to help find amateur photos and video footage of the daylight meteor that illuminated the sky over the Sierra Nevada mountains and created sonic booms that were heard over a wide area at 7:51 a.m. PDT Sunday, April 22, 2012."

Fireball Over California/Nevada: How Big Was It?

"The object was about the size of a minivan, weighed in at around 154,300 pounds (70 metric tons) and at the time of disintegration released energy equivalent to a 5-kiloton explosion."

A new NASA outreach project will enlist the help of amateur astronomers to discover near-Earth objects (NEOs) and study their characteristics. NEOs are asteroids with orbits that occasionally bring them close to the Earth.

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