Astrophysics News

Global Network of Radio Telescopes Settles Controversy Over Distance to Pleiades

August 29, 2014

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Radio Telescopes Settle Controversy Over Distance to Pleiades

Using a global network of radio telescopes, astronomers have measured the distance to the Pleiades at 443 light-years – accurate to within one percent. Astronomers have used a worldwide network of radio telescopes to resolve a controversy over the distance to a famous star cluster — a controversy that posed a potential challenge to scientists’ […]

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Seismic Analysis of Young Stars Reveals Their Evolution

August 29, 2014

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Echography of Young Stars Reveals Their Evolution

A team of astronomers studying the surface vibrations in thirty-four young stars has found a clear relationship between seismic observables and evolutionary status, and in particular they are able to infer the internal stellar processes underway and the star’s corresponding evolutionary development. The evolution of a star depends crucially on its initial birth mass and […]

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Spitzer Space Telescope Views Collision Between Large Asteroids

August 29, 2014

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Spitzer Telescope Views Asteroid Smashup

Data from the Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed a huge amount of fresh dust around NGC 2547-ID8, leaving scientists to believe that two large asteroids crashed into each other, creating a huge cloud of grains the size of very fine sand, which are now slowly leaking away from the star. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has […]

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Proof That White Dwarfs Can Reignite and Explode as Supernovae

August 28, 2014

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Astronomers Find Proof that Type Ia Supernova is Caused by a White Dwarf Star Reigniting and Exploding

New research shows without a doubt that white dwarf stars can reignite and explode as supernovae. Astronomers using ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory have demonstrated beyond doubt that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae. The finding came after the unique signature of gamma rays from the radioactive elements created in […]

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Pebble-Size Particles May Represent a New Class of Interstellar Particles

August 27, 2014

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New GBT Observations Show Pebble-Size Particles May Jump Start Planet Formation

A team of astronomers has discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles. If confirmed, these particles may represent a new class of interstellar particles that could help jump-start planet formation. Rocky planets like Earth start out as microscopic bits of dust tinier than a grain of […]

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Indications of Water Clouds in a Brown Dwarf 7 Light-Years from Earth

August 27, 2014

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Astronomers Detect Evidence of Water Clouds in Brown Dwarf Atmosphere 7 Light Years from Earth

A team of astronomers has discovered indications of water clouds in the coldest known brown dwarf, which is located 7.3 light-years from Earth. Astronomers have found signs of water ice clouds on a brown dwarf located just 7.3 light-years from Earth. If confirmed, the discovery is the first sighting of water clouds beyond our solar […]

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New ScienceCasts Video: Evidence for Supernovas Near Earth

August 27, 2014

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The Local Bubble and the Galactic Neighborhood

A new four minute ScienceCasts video examines evidence that our solar system is inside a bubble of hot gas created by supernova explosions. ScienceCasts: Evidence for Supernovas Near Earth. A NASA sounding rocket has confirmed that the solar system is inside an ancient supernova remnant. Life on Earth survived despite the nearby blasts. Once every […]

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X-Rays from Eta Carinae Reveal Clues about the Double Star System

August 27, 2014

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Chandra Views the Eta Carinae Star System

The Eta Carinae star system reveals new clues about its nature through the X-rays it generates, including how the winds from the stars interact. The Eta Carinae star system does not lack for superlatives. Not only does it contain one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the […]

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Supernova 2014J Reveals Key Information About Our Universe

August 22, 2014

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Astronomers Reveal the Mysteries of Supernova 2014J in Galaxy M82

Astronomers used a vast network of radio telescopes to obtain many images of supernova 2014J, revealing a lack of radio emission from the supernova and providing scientists the opportunity to learn more about these extremely important astrophysical phenomena and their underlying cause. The supernova, a giant explosion of a star and the closest one to […]

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A New Calibration Source for Gravitational Wave Missions

August 22, 2014

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Researchers Discover a New Gravitational Wave Source

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have detected a pair of white dwarf stars that orbit in about 20 minutes and that can be used as a verification source for gravitational wave missions. Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts that accelerating masses should radiate gravity waves in a roughly similar way that accelerating electrical […]

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LOFAR Observes Cosmic Particles and Magnetic Fields in Galaxy M51

August 21, 2014

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LOFAR Observes Cosmic Particles in Galaxy M51

Using the LOFAR High Frequency Antennas, a team of researchers has observed cosmic particles and magnetic fields in spiral galaxy M51. The object Messier 51 (M51), seen from a distance of approximately 30 million light years, is also referred to as the whirlpool galaxy because of its appearance. The ‘whirlpool’ appears almost face-on and displays […]

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A New Supernova Model Challenges the Predominant One

August 20, 2014

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New Observations of the Type Ia SN 2014J in Galaxy M82

A newly published study from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia discards possibility that type Ia supernovae might stem from explosions of white dwarfs nourished by normal stars. Were these conclusions to become generalized, type Ia supernovae might no longer serve as “standard candles” to measure astronomical distances. Type Ia supernovae happen when a white […]

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