Tag Archive: astronomy

Jan 01 2012

Googling the Moon

Jan 01 2012

The best of Hubble

All the very best images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Well worth it.


Galactic wreckage in Stephan's Quintet

Dec 31 2011

Hubble Confirms New Moons of Pluto

Anxiously awaited follow-up observations with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of two new moons around the distant planet Pluto.

Hubble Confirms New Moons of Pluto

via Hubble Confirms New Moons of Pluto

Dec 21 2011

Hubble spots complex carbon compounds, possibly organic, on Pluto’s surface

The Hubble Space Telescope has sniffed out evidence of complex carbon molecules, the building blocks of life in this corner of the cosmos, lying on the frozen surface of Pluto.

Nov 03 2011

‘Invisible’ stars & amazingly bright pulsar

NASA Telescope’s Big Haul: ‘Invisible’ Stars & Amazingly Bright Pulsar

Oct 24 2011

Telescopes solve 2,000-year-old stellar mystery

Why there is that huge ring in the sky.


Aug 24 2011

Researchers detail how a distant black hole devoured a star

NASA’s Swift satellite first alerted astronomers to intense and unusual high-energy flares from the new source in the constellation Draco…

Astronomers soon realized the source, known as Swift J1644+57, was the result of a truly extraordinary event — the awakening of a distant galaxy’s dormant black hole as it shredded and consumed a star. The galaxy is so far away, it took the light from the event approximately 3.9 billion years to reach Earth.

via NASA – Researchers Detail How A Distant Black Hole Devoured A Star

Apr 22 2011

Fantastic movies of the Sun

Wonderful gallery of videos from the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Dec 14 2010

Voyager 1 reaches edge of the solar system: the heliosphere stagnation region

“Voyager tells us now that we’re in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back. We shouldn’t have long to wait to find out what the space between stars is really like.”

Although Voyager 1 is about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun, it is not yet in interstellar space. In the latest data, the direction of the magnetic field lines has not changed, indicating Voyager is still within the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. The data do not reveal exactly when Voyager 1 will make it past the edge of the solar atmosphere into interstellar space, but suggest it will be in a few months to a few years.

Nov 22 2010

Huge boomerang-shaped galaxy with enormous radio emissions

…observations have been bolstered by the discovery, inside this same filament, of a galaxy that has a rare boomerang shape and unusual light emissions…

via Astronomers Probe ‘Sandbar’ Between Islands of Galaxies – NASA Spitzer Space Telescope

Nov 15 2010

The youngest nearby black hole – younger than you

Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood…The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light-years from Earth…”If our interpretation is correct, this is the nearest example where the birth of a black hole has been observed,” said Daniel Patnaude of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. who led the study…The scientists think SN 1979C, first discovered by an amateur astronomer in 1979, formed when a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun collapsed.

via Chandra Press Room :: NASA’s Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole

Nov 09 2010

Fermi telescope finds huge gamma ray bubbles from Milky Way center

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy…

The structure spans more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus, and it may be millions of years old.

via NASA – NASA’s Fermi Telescope Finds Giant Structure in our Galaxy

Nov 07 2010

The galaxy (probably) abounds in Earth-like planets

What percentage of Sun-like stars have earth-like planets orbiting them? As many as one-fourth, according to a new survey performed by astronomers at the University of California. This result contradicts previous theories of planet formation, but is a tantalizing prediction that finding extraterrestrial life, or at least Earth’s twin, is not impossible.

via The galaxy (probably) abounds in Earth-like planets

Sep 03 2010

Stephen Hawking on God, the universe, and everything

Hawking“Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago. In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was also greatly influenced by Aristotle, who believed “in an intelligent natural world that functions according to some deliberate design.”

That is not the answer of modern science. As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

via Stephen Hawking on God, Science and the Origins of the Universe – WSJ.com.

Aug 01 2010

New cosmological model: no bang, no time, and no constants

There are four distinguishing features of these models: 1) the speed of light and the gravitational “constant” are not constant, but vary with the evolution of the universe, 2) time has no beginning and no end, 3) the spatial section of the universe is a 3-sphere, and 4) the universe experiences phases of both acceleration and deceleration…

via [1007.1750] Cosmological Models with No Big Bang

Aug 01 2010

Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

…the universe is just one of many in a cyclical chain, with each Big Bang starting up a new universe in place of the one before.

via Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

Jul 29 2010

What’s that weird thing around Saturn’s second-largest moon?

May 23 2010

Jupiter cloud belt missing (but it keeps running away and coming home)

So Jupiter’s cloud belts come and go like wayward children. Still, no one knows why.Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt started fading late last year, NASA said in a story on its website.

Jul 13 2009

Australian astronomers reveal image of a cosmic “blue whale”

Centaurus A, a vast galaxy 14 million light-years distant, holding a gigantic black hole in its center 50 million times larger than the Sun, is emitting a radio glow that covers an area of the sky 200 times larger than the Moon. And not a single part of it is visible to the eye – only radio astronomers even know it exists.

File:Centaurus A.jpg


Apr 30 2009

Huge impact crater discovered on Mercury

A giant crater, named Rembrandt basin, was photographed by the MESSENGER spacecraft on a mission to Mercury, so large that “…if formed on the east coast of the United States would span the distance between Washington, D.C., and Boston.” Let’s hope that never happens here.

Presenter 4 imagePresenter 4 image


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