Astronomy & Space News

  • Supernovas help 'clean' galaxies
    26 May 2015, 9:57 pm
    Astronomers have found that the black holes located at the cores of galaxies launch fountains of charged particles, which can stir up gas throughout the galaxy and temporarily interrupt star formation. But unless something intervenes, the gas will eventually cool and start forming stars again.
  • Hubble revisits tangled NGC 6240
    25 May 2015, 4:08 pm
    NGC 6240 lies 400 million light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Holder). This galaxy has an elongated shape with branching wisps, loops and tails. This mess of gas, dust and stars bears more than a passing resemblance to a butterfly and a lobster. New research is untangling the reasons for its odd shape.
  • Auroras on Mars
    23 May 2015, 4:21 pm
    One day, when humans go to Mars, they might find that, occasionally, the Red Planet has green skies. NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has detected evidence of widespread auroras in Mars's northern hemisphere. Unlike Earth, Mars does not have a global magnetic field that envelops the entire planet. Instead, Mars has umbrella-shaped magnetic fields that sprout out of the ground like mushrooms, here and there, but mainly in the southern hemisphere. These umbrellas are remnants of an ancient global field that decayed billions of years ago.
  • Most luminous galaxy in universe discovered
    21 May 2015, 7:35 pm
    A remote galaxy shining brightly with infrared light equal to more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The galaxy, which belongs to a new class of objects recently discovered by WISE -- nicknamed extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs -- is the most luminous galaxy found to date.
  • One-of-a-kind star discovered, nicknamed 'Nasty'
    21 May 2015, 7:35 pm
    Astronomers have spent decades trying to determine the oddball behavior of an aging star nicknamed "Nasty 1" residing in our Milky Way galaxy. Looking at the star using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers had expected to see a bipolar outflow of twin lobes of gas from the star. The astronomers were surprised, however, to find a pancake-shaped disk of gas encircling the star. The vast disk is nearly 1,000 times the diameter of our solar system.
  • Galaxy’s snacking habits revealed
    21 May 2015, 1:38 am
    Astronomers have caught a greedy galaxy gobbling on its neighbors and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past.
  • Supernova ignition surprises scientists
    20 May 2015, 7:36 pm
    Scientists have captured the early death throes of supernovae for the first time and found that the universe's benchmark explosions are much more varied than expected.The scientists used the Kepler space telescope to photograph three type 1a supernovae in the earliest stages of ignition. They then tracked the explosions in detail to full brightness around three weeks later, and the subsequent decline over the next few months.
  • Supernova collides with its companion star
    20 May 2015, 7:35 pm
    Type Ia supernovae, one of the most dazzling phenomena in the universe, are produced when small dense stars called white dwarfs explode with ferocious intensity. At their peak, these supernovae can outshine an entire galaxy. Although thousands of supernovae of this kind were found in the last decades, the process by which a white dwarf becomes one has been unclear.
  • Asteroid research benefits from Gaia satellite mission
    20 May 2015, 4:05 pm
    Astronomical research on asteroids, i.e. minor planets, is also benefiting from the large-scale Gaia mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). Even though the astrometry satellite's main purpose is to precisely measure nearly one billion stars in the Milky Way, it has tracked down a multitude of minor dwarf planets in our solar system.To determine its current position in space and thus ensure Gaia's extremely high measurement accuracy, images are taken every day of the regions of the sky where the very faint satellite is located.
  • Astronomy: The dreadful beauty of Medusa
    20 May 2015, 2:31 pm
    Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming a colorful cloud. The image foreshadows the final fate of the Sun, which will eventually also become an object of this kind.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran