Astronomy News

Small-Scale Jets from the Solar Chromosphere Are Possible Sources of the Solar Wind

October 22, 2014

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Astronomers Detect Sources of the Solar Wind

In a newly published study, astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveal the detection of intermittent, small-scale jets from the solar chromosphere and their possible contribution to the stellar wind. The solar chromosphere is the region between the Sun’s surface and its hot, million-degree corona. Within this complex interface zone, only a few thousand […]

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Chandra Celebrates a Decade and a Half in Space

October 22, 2014

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Chandra Archive Images

To celebrate Chandra’s decade and a half in space, a variety of composite images have been released from Chandra’s archive. Every year, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory looks at hundreds of objects throughout space to help expand our understanding of the Universe. Ultimately, these data are stored in the Chandra Data Archive, an electronic repository that […]

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Fermi Detects Hints of Starquakes in Magnetar ‘Storm’

October 22, 2014

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Fermi Discovers Signs of Starquakes in Magnetar Storm

Using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered underlying signals related to the rapid-fire “storm” of high-energy blasts detected in 2009 from a highly magnetized neutron star. Such signals were first identified during the fadeout of rare giant flares produced by magnetars. Over the past 40 years, giant flares have been observed […]

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Research Shows Black Holes Can Block the Formation of New Stars

October 21, 2014

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Study Reveals Black Holes Can Block the Formation of New Stars

A new study from Johns Hopkins University reveals that massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, providing crucial new evidence that it is these jets of “radio-frequency feedback” streaming from mature galaxies’ central black holes that prevent hot free gas from cooling and […]

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New Optical Device to Speed the Search for Earth-Like Exoplanets

October 21, 2014

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New Optical Device Should Speed the Search for Earth-Like Exoplanets

A new laser-based technology known as the green astro-comb will allow astronomers to determine whether distant exoplanets they discover are rocky Earth-like worlds or less dense gas giants like Jupiter. Astronomers Chih-Hao Li and David Phillips of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics want to rediscover Venus—that familiar, nearby planet stargazers can see with the naked […]

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First Resolved Image of the Nucleus of a Long-Period Comet

October 21, 2014

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New NASA MRO Images of Comet Siding Spring

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured new images of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, resulting in the first resolved image of the nucleus of a long-period comet. These images were taken of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on October 19, 2014, during the comet’s close flyby of Mars and the […]

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Scientists Simulate Astrophysical Jets

October 20, 2014

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Cosmic Jets of Young Stars Formed by Magnetic Fields

Using laser light and intense magnetic fields, an international team of scientists has simulated astrophysical jets in a laboratory environment for the first time. Astrophysical jets are counted among our Universe’s most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space. Now, […]

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Astronomers Discover New Clues to the Mystery of Coronal Heating

October 20, 2014

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Tiny Nanoflares Heat the Sun's Corona

Using observations from the recently launched Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, astronomers found new clues to the mystery of coronal heating. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Why is the Sun’s million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun’s surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa of the […]

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Hubble Views the Whirling Disc of NGC 4526

October 20, 2014

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The Whirling Disc of NGC 4526

This new Hubble image of the week shows NGC 4526, which is one of the brightest known lenticular galaxies. This neat little galaxy is known as NGC 4526. Its dark lanes of dust and bright diffuse glow make the galaxy appear to hang like a halo in the emptiness of space in this new image […]

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New SDO Image of the Sun Resembles Jack-o-Lantern Face

October 17, 2014

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New SDO Jack-o-Lantern Sun Image

This new image captured on October 8, 2014 by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows active regions on the sun combining to look something like a jack-o-lantern face. The active regions in this image appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy. They are markers of an intense and complex set of […]

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Hubble Finds Small Galaxy More Than 13 Billion Light-Years Away

October 17, 2014

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Hubble Finds Extremely Distant Galaxy More Than 13 Billion Light Years Away

Using the gravitational lensing power of galaxy cluster Abell 2744, Hubble has detected one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen. The small galaxy is estimated to be more than 13 billion light-years away. This galaxy offers a peek back to the very early formative years of the universe and may just be […]

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Saturn’s Moon Mimas May Have a Liquid Water Ocean Beneath the Surface

October 17, 2014

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Saturn Moon Mimas May Have a Fossil Core or an Ocean

New data from NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft reveal that Saturn’s moon Mimas may have a liquid water ocean beneath the moon’s impact-battered surface. A new study focused on the interior of Saturn’s icy moon Mimas suggests its cratered surface hides one of two intriguing possibilities: Either the moon’s frozen core is shaped something like a football, […]

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