Results tagged “astronomy”

Scientists have, for the first time, directly detected part of the invisible dark matter skeleton of the universe, where more than half of all matter is believed to reside.

Flying along the Vela ridge

A beautiful blue butterfly flutters towards a nest of warm dust and gas, above an intricate network of cool filaments in this image of the Vela C region by ESA's Herschel space observatory.

A new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shows the candle-like Flame nebula lighting up a cavern of dust. The Flame nebula is part of the Orion complex, a turbulent star-forming area located near the constellation's star-studded belt.

Resembling a Fourth of July skyrocket, Herbig-Haro 110 is a geyser of hot gas from a newborn star that splashes up against and ricochets off the dense core of a cloud of molecular hydrogen.

X-ray observations have revealed something curious about the young star that illuminates McNeil's Nebula, a glowing jewel of cosmic dust in the Orion constellation: The object is a protostar rotating once a day, or 30 times faster than the Sun. The stellar baby also has distinct birthmarks -- two X-ray-emitting spots, where gas flows from a surrounding disk, fueling the infant star.

Though the KELT North telescope in southern Arizona carries a lens no more powerful than a high-end digital camera, it's just revealed the existence of two very unusual faraway planets.

NGC 3314A and B might look like they are in the midst of a galactic pile-up, but they are in fact separated by tens of millions of light years of void. Their apparent proximity is simply a trick of perspective.

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).

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