Astronomy News

Messenger Spacecraft Reveals Mercury’s Bizarre Magnetic Field

July 30, 2014

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Scientists used data from NASA’s Messenger spacecraft to reveal how Mercury’s core is different from Earth’s, explaining why the planet has such a bizarre magnetic field. Earth and Mercury are both rocky planets with iron cores, but Mercury’s interior differs from Earth’s in a way that explains why the planet has such a bizarre magnetic […]

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Silicon-Capped Hydrocarbons Possible Source of Mysterious “Diffuse Interstellar Bands”

July 30, 2014

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In a newly published study, scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveal silicon-capped hydrocarbons as the possible source of the mysterious “diffuse interstellar bands.” Washington D.C. – Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient stars and ejected […]

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Astrophysicists Devise Precise Method for Calculating the Mass of Galaxies

July 30, 2014

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An international group of researchers has demonstrated a more accurate method for measuring the mass of galaxies, revealing that the Milky Way has only about half the mass of the Andromeda Galaxy. Pittsburgh — Does the Milky Way look fat in this picture? Has Andromeda been taking skinny selfies? It turns out the way some […]

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Latest Hubblecast Video Explores the Merging of Galaxies

July 29, 2014

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In this six minute Hubblecast video, scientists explore the merging of elliptical galaxies. Hubblecast 76: Merging galaxies and droplets of starbirth This Hubblecast explores the ‘beads on a string’ star formation found between two merging elliptical galaxies in the cluster known as SDSS J1531+3414. Source: Hubble Space Telescope Credit: Directed by: Georgia Bladon Visual design […]

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New Findings from X-Ray Instrument Settle Decades-Old Interstellar Debate

July 29, 2014

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New research resolves a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky, confirming the long-held suspicion that much of this glow stems from a region of million-degree interstellar plasma known as the local hot bubble. New findings from a NASA-funded instrument have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of […]

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Cassini Reveals Geysers on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

July 29, 2014

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Using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, two newly published studies detail the discovery of 101 distinct geysers on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s […]

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Newly Released Herschel Image of Spiral Galaxy M33

July 28, 2014

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This newly released image from ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory shows the Triangulum Galaxy, which is home to some forty billion stars and is located three million light-years away. The spiral galaxy M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is one of our closest cosmic neighbours, just three million light-years away. Home to some forty billion […]

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Hubble Views Two Spiral Galaxies Engaged in a “Cosmic Tug-of-War”

July 28, 2014

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This newly released Hubble image shows two spiral galaxies engaged in a cosmic tug-of-war. From objects as small as Newton’s apple to those as large as a galaxy, no physical body is free from the stern bonds of gravity, as evidenced in this stunning picture captured by the Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera […]

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The Search for Variable Stars in Globular Cluster M4

July 25, 2014

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In a newly published study, astronomers detail the results of a photometric search for variable stars in the core of the globular cluster M4. A globular cluster is a roughly spherical ensemble of stars, as many as several million of them, gravitationally bound together in groups whose diameters can be as small as only tens […]

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Astronomers Map Galaxy Cluster More Precisely Than Ever Before

July 25, 2014

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Astronomers used almost 200 images of distant galaxies combined with Hubble data to measure the total mass of galaxy cluster MCS J0416.1–2403 more precisely than ever before. Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations from Hubble’s Frontier Fields observing […]

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New Images and 3D Model of Comet 67P

July 25, 2014

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New images from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft reveal surface structures of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, allowing scientists to create a 3D shape model of the nucleus. As the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) for an August rendezvous, the comet’s core is coming into sharper focus. Today, ESA released a new set of images and […]

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New ESO Image of Star Cluster NGC 3293

July 24, 2014

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This newly released image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile shows star cluster NGC 3293, which is located 8,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina. In this striking new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile young stars huddle together against a backdrop of clouds of glowing gas and lanes of […]

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