Astronomy News

ESO Views Star Forming Cloud RCW 34

May 27, 2015

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New ESO Image of RCW 34

This newly released image from the European Southern Observatory shows the young star-forming region RCW 34. In the brightest region of this glowing nebula called RCW 34, gas is heated dramatically by young stars and expands through the surrounding cooler gas. Once the heated hydrogen reaches the borders of the gas cloud, it bursts outwards […]

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12-Frame Mosaic of Europa’s Jupiter-Facing Hemisphere

May 27, 2015

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Galileo View of Jupiter's Moon Europa

This 12-frame mosaic was taken by Galileo’s camera when the spacecraft was 94,000 kilometers from Europa, providing the highest resolution view ever obtained of the side of Jupiter’s moon Europa that faces the giant planet. This 12-frame mosaic provides the highest resolution view ever obtained of the side of Jupiter’s moon Europa that faces the […]

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New Cassini View of Rhea’s Horizon

May 27, 2015

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Cassini Views the Surface of Rhea

This newly released Cassini image shows the surface of Saturn’s moon Rhea. Gazing off toward the horizon is thought-provoking no matter what body’s horizon it is. Rhea’s horizon is slightly irregular and battered by craters, so thoughts inevitably turn towards the forces that shape these icy worlds. The surface of Rhea (949 miles or 1527 […]

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Astronomers Discover Super-Jupiter Exoplanet around an Evolved Star

May 26, 2015

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Astronomers Discover Kepler-432

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered two new giant exoplanets around an evolved star. There are 565 exoplanets currently known that are as massive as Jupiter or bigger, about one third of the total known, confirmed exoplanet population. About one quarter of the massive population orbits very close to its star, with […]

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Hubble Views the Densest Known Star Cluster in the Milky Way

May 26, 2015

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The Densest Known Star Cluster in the Milky Way

This newly released Hubble image shows the Arches Cluster, the densest known star cluster in the Milky Way. The Arches Cluster is located about 25,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), close to the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It is, like its neighbour the Quintuplet Cluster, a fairly […]

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Rare Quasar Quartet Reveals Massive Structure in Distant Universe

May 22, 2015

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Quasar Quartet Reveals Rare Massive Structure in Distant Universe

Astronomers have discovered four active black holes situated in close proximity to one another in the distant universe, surrounded by a giant nebula of cool dense gas. Using the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii, a group of astronomers led by Joseph Hennawi of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have discovered the first quadruple quasar: […]

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Hubble Uncovers New Clues about a Hefty, Rapidly Aging Star

May 22, 2015

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Hubble Observations of NaSt1

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has uncovered surprising new clues about a hefty, rapidly aging star whose behavior has never been seen before in our Milky Way galaxy. Nicknamed it “Nasty 1,” a play on its catalog name of NaSt1, the star may represent a brief transitory stage in the evolution […]

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Keck Spectroscopy Confirmation of Large, Diffuse Galaxies in the Coma Cluster

May 21, 2015

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Confirmation of the Existence of Large Diffuse Galaxies in the Coma Cluster

In a newly published study, astronomers detail the discovery of large, diffuse galaxies in the Coma Cluster. A fluffy galaxy is hard to find, but that didn’t stop a Yale astronomer and an international research team from identifying the fluffiest galaxies in the universe. These “ultra diffuse” galaxies are located about 300 million light years […]

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Kepler and Swift Capture Early Moments of Baby Supernovae

May 21, 2015

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NASA Views Early Moments of Baby Supernovae

NASA’s Kepler and Swift spacecraft provides new insight into what triggers a Type Ia supernova, allowing astronomers to better calibrate Type Ia supernovae as standard candles – which may eventually lead to a better understand the mysteries of dark energy. Astronomers are going gaga over newborn supernova measurements taken by NASA’s Kepler and Swift spacecraft, […]

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Dawn Captures New Images of Ceres Bright Spots

May 21, 2015

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Up Close View of Ceres Bright Spots

New images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft show the closest view to date of the mysterious bright spots on Ceres. NASA’s Dawn mission captured a sequence of images, taken for navigation purposes, of dwarf planet Ceres on May 16, 2015. The image showcases the group of the brightest spots on Ceres, which continue to mystify scientists. […]

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New ESO Image of the Medusa Nebula

May 20, 2015

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New ESO Image of the Medusa Nebula

This newly released image from the European Southern Observatory is the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it […]

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MESSENGER Collects Important Data on Mercury during Its Orbital Decay

May 19, 2015

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MESSENGER Collects Data on Mercury During Its Orbital Decay

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft collected low-altitude magnetic field measurements during its orbital decay, revealing that magnetism generated by the Mercury’s core dates to the very early history of the planet. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Though the MESSENGER mission to Mercury ended late last month with a planned collision into the planet’s surface, analysis of […]

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Evidence of a New Type of Star Cluster

May 18, 2015

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Evidence for a Dark Side to NGC5128

Using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a new class of “dark” globular star clusters around Centaurus A. These star clusters contain much more mass and may either harbor unexpected amounts of dark matter, or contain massive black holes. Globular star clusters are huge balls of thousands of stars that orbit most […]

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Cassini Views Saturn’s Moon Janus

May 18, 2015

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Cassini Image of Janus

This image from the Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn’s moon Janus at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers. Although Janus should be the least lonely of all moons – sharing its orbit with Epimetheus – it still spends most of its orbit far from other moons, alone in the vastness of space. Janus (111 miles […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Tangled NGC 6240

May 18, 2015

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Hubble Revisits Galaxy NGC 6240

First viewed in 2008, this Hubble image shows galaxy NGC 6240. Not all galaxies are neatly shaped, as this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6240 clearly demonstrates. Hubble previously released an image of this galaxy back in 2008, but the knotted region, shown here in a pinky-red hue at the center of […]

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Kepler Observes Neptune and Its Moons Triton and Nereid

May 15, 2015

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Kepler Observes Neptune and Its Moons

Seventy days worth of solar system observations from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, taken during its reinvented “K2″ mission, are highlighted in this sped-up movie. The planet Neptune appears on day 15, followed by its moon Triton, which looks small and faint. Keen-eyed observers can also spot Neptune’s tiny moon Nereid at day 24. Neptune is not […]

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Hubble Reveals Diffusion of Stars Through the Core of the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

May 15, 2015

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Astronomers Measure the Rate of Diffusion of Stars Through the Core of the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae

New images from the Hubble Space Telescope show for the first time snapshots of white dwarf stars beginning their 40-million-year migration from the crowded center of an ancient star cluster to the less populated suburbs. White dwarfs are the burned-out relics of stars that rapidly lose mass, cool down and shut off their nuclear furnaces. […]

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