Astronomy News

VLT Confirms G2 Survived Close Approach of Supermassive Black Hole

March 27, 2015

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Best View Yet of Dusty Cloud Passing Galactic Center Black Hole

New VLT observations confirm that the dusty gas cloud G2 made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way in May 2014 and has survived the experience. The new result from ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows that the object appears not to have been significantly stretched and that […]

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New Findings Will Help Light the Way to Understanding Dark Energy

March 27, 2015

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New Research Analyzes Several Sites Where Dead Stars Once Exploded

Astronomers used data from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer to analyze several sites where dead stars once exploded, revealing that the Type Ia supernovae affiliated with the hot, young stars were significantly more reliable at indicating distances than their counterparts. The brilliant explosions of dead stars have been used for years to illuminate the far-flung reaches […]

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Chandra and Hubble Find Clues that May Help Identify Dark Matter

March 27, 2015

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Astronomers Find Clues that May Help Identify Dark Matter

In a newly published study, astronomers used X-rays from Chandra and optical data from Hubble to help narrow down the possibilities of what dark matter can be and to set new limits on how dark matter interacts with itself. Using observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have found that dark […]

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A Geologic History of an Ancient Martian Lake System in Jezero Crater

March 26, 2015

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Ancient Martian Lake System Records Two Water-Related Events

Using NASA data, researchers from Brown University created a geologic history of flowing water on the surface of Mars. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Researchers from Brown University have completed a new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet’s equator. The study finds that the onslaught of water […]

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Black Hole ‘Wind’ Influences Evolution of Its Host Galaxy

March 26, 2015

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Astronomers Link Black-Hole Wind to a Galactic Gush of Star-Forming Gas

A newly published study is the first to directly connect a galaxy’s actively ‘feeding’ black hole to features found at much larger physical scales, revealing that it’s responsible for blowing star-forming gas out of the galaxy’s central regions. By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite and the European Space Agency’s infrared Herschel Space […]

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APEX Observations Unravel the Mystery of Nova Vulpeculae 1670

March 25, 2015

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APEX Unravels the Mystery of Nova Vulpeculae 1670

New observations reveal that the star that astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful […]

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Astronomers View an Outbursting Class 0 Protostar

March 24, 2015

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NASA Views Growth Spurt from Newborn Protostar

Satellite and ground-based data has revealed an outburst from HOPS 383. This is the first outburst astronomers have ever seen from a Class 0 object, and it appears to be the youngest protostellar eruption ever recorded. Using data from orbiting observatories, including NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities, an international team of astronomers has […]

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Curiosity Finds Evidence of Nitrates on Mars

March 24, 2015

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Curiosity Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of nitrates in scooped samples of windblown sand and dust at the “Rocknest” site, providing further evidence that the ingredients needed for life were present on Mars billions of years ago. Nitrogen is essential for all known forms of life, since it is used in the building blocks of […]

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Experimental Evidence That Stars May Generate Sound

March 23, 2015

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Researchers Discover the Sound of Stars

A chance discovery by a team of physicists has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. The study of fluids in motion – now known as hydrodynamics – goes back to the Egyptians, so it is not often that new discoveries are made. However when examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a […]

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Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite – The Search for Planets Outside Our Solar System

March 23, 2015

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TESS — Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is set to discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an Explorer-class planet finder. In the first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey, TESS will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, orbiting a wide range of […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – A Galaxy on the Edge

March 23, 2015

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Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy NGC 5023

This newly released Hubble image shows an edge-on view of the spiral galaxy NGC 5023. Due to its orientation we cannot appreciate its spiral arms, but we can admire the elegant profile of its disc. The galaxy lies over 30 million light-years away from us. NGC 5023 is part of the M51 group of galaxies. […]

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“Chemical Fingerprints” Could Help Scientists Recognize Life on the Surface of Exoplanets

March 20, 2015

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Surface Biosignatures of Exoplanets May Help Detect Extraterrestrial Life

A new catalog of reflectance spectra for a diverse range of pigmented microorganisms may help scientists recognize life on the surface of planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. A team of astronomers and biologists has recorded the “chemical fingerprints” of 137 different species of microorganism. In future, this could help to recognize life on […]

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Astronomers Use Globular Clusters to Measure Galaxy Evolution

March 20, 2015

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Measuring Galaxy Evolution

A new study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals that globular clusters are often gathered into distinct groupings whose shapes reflect the formation of the clusters and the histories of the galaxies. Globular clusters are gravitationally bound ensembles of stars, as many as a million stars in some cases, grouped in roughly spherical clusters […]

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SOFIA Reveals Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

March 20, 2015

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Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

A newly published study reveals that supernovae are capable of producing enough material to form planets. Using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an international scientific team discovered that supernovae are capable of producing a substantial amount of the material from which planets like Earth can form. These findings are published in the March […]

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Research Shows Billions of Planets in the Milky Way Have the Potential for Life

March 19, 2015

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Planets in the Habitable Zone around Most Stars

Astronomers reveal that billions of the stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and life to exist. Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple […]

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Young Star Cluster Displays Highly Efficient Star Formation

March 19, 2015

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Stars Forming in a Nearby Galaxy

An international team discovers a remarkable star cluster where more than a million young stars are forming in a hot, dusty cloud of molecular gases. The star cluster is buried within a supernebula in a dwarf galaxy known as NGC 5253, in the constellation Centaurus. The cluster has one billion times the luminosity of our […]

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LRO Spacecraft Finds New Impact Craters on The Moon

March 19, 2015

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LRO Spacecraft Finds Recent Impact Crater on the Moon

By comparing pictures taken early in the mission with more recent images, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed more than two-dozen new impact craters – including an 18-meter-wide crater caused by a bright flash on March 17, 2013. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s powerful cameras are enabling scientists to find present-day impact craters on the Moon. […]

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