Astronomy & Space News

  • 3-D map of the adolescent universe
    23 October 2014, 9:41 pm
    Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, three-dimensional maps of a slice of the adolescent universe. The map shows a web of hydrogen gas that varies from low to high density at a time when the universe was made of a fraction of the dark matter we see.
  • Lucky star escapes black hole with minor damage: Closest near-miss event to be spotted near the Milky Way
    23 October 2014, 5:08 pm
    Astronomers have gotten the closest look yet at what happens when a black hole takes a bite out of a star—and the star lives to tell the tale.
  • The perfume of the comet
    23 October 2014, 3:18 pm
    How does a comet smell? Since early August the Rosetta Orbiter Sensor for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) is sniffing the fumes of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko with its two mass spectrometers. The detected chemistry in the coma of the comet is surprisingly rich already at more than 400 million kilometers from the Sun. 
  • Titan glowing at dusk and dawn
    22 October 2014, 11:01 pm
    New maps of Saturn's moon Titan reveal large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles. These regions are curiously shifted off the poles, to the east or west, so that dawn is breaking over the southern region while dusk is falling over the northern one.
  • Two families of comets found around nearby star: Biggest census ever of exocomets around Beta Pictoris
    22 October 2014, 7:06 pm
    The HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has been used to make the most complete census of comets around another star ever created. Astronomers have studied nearly 500 individual comets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris and has discovered that they belong to two distinct families of exocomets: old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star, and younger exocomets that probably came from the recent breakup of one or more larger objects.
  • New window on the early Universe
    22 October 2014, 2:43 pm
    Scientists see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from  galaxies at the edge of the Universe. Using two world-class supercomputers, the researchers were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach by simulating the formation of a massive galaxy at the dawn of cosmic time. The ALMA radio telescope – which stands at an elevation of 5,000 meters in the Atacama Desert of Chile, one of the driest places on earth – was then used to forge observations of the galaxy, showing how their method improves upon previous efforts.
  • NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test
    22 October 2014, 3:07 am
    After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module and its sensitive instruments, emerged unscathed from the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions
    21 October 2014, 7:50 pm
    Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new article.
  • Big black holes can block new stars
    21 October 2014, 5:07 pm
    Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.
  • POLARBEAR detects B-modes in the cosmic microwave background: Mapping cosmic structure, finding neutrino masses
    21 October 2014, 4:11 pm
    The POLARBEAR experiment has made the most sensitive and precise measurements yet of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background and found telling twists called B-modes in the patterns, signs that this cosmic backlight has been warped by intervening structures in the universe.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran