Astronomy News

Astronomers Reveal Nine Large Concentrations of Dark Matter

July 4, 2015

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Nine Large Concentrations of Dark Matter Revealed

Using weak gravitational lensing the newly developed Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru telescope has revealed nine large concentrations of dark matter, each the mass of a galaxy cluster. Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo and other institutions have begun a wide-area survey of the distribution of dark matter […]

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New ESA Image of the Milky Way and of Its Neighboring Magellanic Clouds

July 3, 2015

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An Outline of the Milky Way and of Its Neighboring Magellanic Clouds

This newly released image from the European Space Agency shows the outline of our Galaxy and of its neighboring Magellanic Clouds. This image, based on housekeeping data from ESA’s Gaia satellite, is no ordinary depiction of the heavens. While the image portrays the outline of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and of its neighboring Magellanic […]

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Dwarf Planet Pluto: The ‘Other’ Red Planet

July 3, 2015

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Pluto Another Red Planet

Observations from the New Horizons Spacecraft reveal that Mars isn’t the only red planet in our solar system; dwarf planet Pluto has a reddish color as well. What color is Pluto? The answer, revealed in the first maps made from New Horizons data, turns out to be shades of reddish brown. Although this is reminiscent […]

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Astronomers View a Young Open Cluster of Stars

July 2, 2015

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New ESO Image of Star Cluster NGC 2367

This newly released ESO image shows star cluster NGC 2367, an infant stellar grouping that lies at the center of an immense and ancient structure on the margins of the Milky Way. This rich view of an array of colorful stars and gas was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO […]

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Hubble Image of Wolf-Rayet Galaxy SBS 1415+437

July 2, 2015

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Hubble Views Wolf-Rayet Galaxy SBS 1415+437

Hubble gets a closer look Wolf-Rayet galaxy SBS 1415+437, a star-bursting galaxy with an unusually high number of extremely hot and massive stars known as Wolf-Rayet stars. This NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope picture shows a galaxy named SBS 1415+437 (also called SDSS CGB 12067.1), located about 45 million light-years from Earth. These […]

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Scientists Expect High-Energy Explosions When Pulsar J2032 Swings Around Its Companion Star

July 2, 2015

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Expect High-Energy Explosions When Pulsar J2032 Swings Around Its Massive Companion Star

NASA scientists are expecting high-energy explosions when pulsar J2032 swings around its massive companion star and plunges through a disk of gas and dust surrounding the star. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Astronomers are gearing up for high-energy fireworks coming in early 2018, when a stellar remnant the size of a city meets one […]

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New Horizons Spacecraft Reveals Series of Spots on Pluto That Fascinate

July 2, 2015

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New Horizons Reveals Two Distinct Faces of Pluto

The New Horizons Spacecraft has captured new color images of mysterious spots on Pluto. The new color images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft show two very different faces of the mysterious dwarf planet, one with a series of intriguing spots along the equator that are evenly spaced. Each of the spots is about 300 miles […]

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Rosetta Monitors Active Pits on Comet 67P

July 1, 2015

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Active Pits on Comet 67P

A newly published study reveals that 18 quasi-circular pits in the northern hemisphere of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s are responsible for its halo of dust and gas. A number of the dust jets emerging from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits that were likely formed by a sudden collapse of the surface. These ‘sinkholes’ […]

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New Cosmic Model Favors “Big Rip” Demise of Universe

July 1, 2015

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Big Bang to Big Rip Illustration

A fundamentally new mathematical formulation from Vanderbilt University has some significant implications for the ultimate fate of the universe. The universe can be a very sticky place, but just how sticky is a matter of debate. That is because for decades cosmologists have had trouble reconciling the classic notion of viscosity based on the laws […]

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New Horizons Detects Methane on Pluto’s Surface

July 1, 2015

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New Horizons on its Approach to Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has detected frozen methane on Pluto’s surface. Yes, there is methane on Pluto, and, no, it doesn’t come from cows. The infrared spectrometer on NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has detected frozen methane on Pluto’s surface; Earth-based astronomers first observed the chemical compound on Pluto in 1976. “We already knew there […]

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Astronomers Discover Disilicon Carbide in Space

June 30, 2015

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Astronomers Discover Dust-Forming Molecule Si-C-Si

After decades of speculation and searching, astronomers have discovered the important dust-forming molecule Si-C-Si (disilicon carbide) in space. The space between stars is not empty — it contains a vast reservoir of diffuse material with about 5-10% of the total mass of our Milky Way galaxy. Most of the material is gas, but about 1% […]

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NASA Monitors a Rare X-ray Outburst from a Stellar-Mass Black Hole

June 30, 2015

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NASA Monitors a Waking Black Hole

Astronomers around the world are watching the onset of a rare X-ray outburst from a stellar-mass black hole in the binary system V404 Cygni. On June 15, NASA’s Swift caught the onset of a rare X-ray outburst from a stellar-mass black hole in the binary system V404 Cygni. Astronomers around the world are watching the […]

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11 Billion Year Old Stars Have Earth-like Planets

June 29, 2015

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Study Shows Even Stars Older Than 11 Billion Years Have Earth-Like Planets

A newly published study has shown with high precision that even stars older than 11 billion years have Earth-like planets. A new study of 33 Kepler stars with solar-like oscillations to be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. According to lead author of the article Víctor Silva Aguirre from the Stellar Astrophysics […]

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SOFIA Telescope Preparing for Pluto’s Occultation

June 29, 2015

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SOFIA to View Pluto Occultation

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy will attempt to view the dwarf planet Pluto as it passes in front of a distant star. The Stratosphere Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that makes celestial observations with its German-built 100-inch telescope. The telescope is enhanced to collect infrared radiation, and is […]

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Cassini Reveals the Spirals in Saturn’s D Ring

June 29, 2015

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Cassini Views Spirals in the D Ring

In this image NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft reveals the spiral structures in Saturn’s D ring. Although the D ring of Saturn is so thin that it’s barely noticeable compared to the rest of the ring system, it still displays structures seen in other Saturnian rings. Here the spiral structures in the D ring are on display. […]

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Hubble Views Starbursting Galaxy SBS 1415+437

June 29, 2015

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Hubble Space Telescope Views Galaxy SBS 1415+437

This Hubble image of the week shows a galaxy named SBS 1415+437 or SDSS CGB 12067.1, which is located roughly 45 million light-years from Earth. SBS 1415+437 is a Wolf–Rayet galaxy, a type of starbursting galaxy with an unusually high number of extremely hot and massive stars known as Wolf–Rayet stars. These stars can be […]

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Spitzer Reveals Possible “Rejuvenated” Planet

June 26, 2015

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Evidence of a Rejuvenated Planet

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has detected excess infrared light around white dwarf PG 0010+280. Scientists aren’t sure where the light is coming from, but one possibility is a rejuvenated planet. Future observations may help solve this mystery. For a planet, this would be like a day at the spa. After years of growing old, a […]

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Hubble Telescope Views Nitrogen-Rich Planetary Nebula

June 26, 2015

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Hubble Views Nitrogen-Rich Nebula

This newly released Hubble image shows planetary nebula NGC 6153, which is located about 4,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Scorpius. The faint blue haze across the frame shows what remains of a star like the sun after it has depleted most of its fuel. When this happens, the outer layers of the […]

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