Astrophysics News

Astronomers Confirm Existence of “Quiet” Quasars

October 29, 2014

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Existence of Quiet Quasars Confirmed

Using the GTC telescope, astronomers were able to confirm that, apart from the highly energetic and rapidly evolving quasars, there is another population of quasars that evolves slowly. Aeons ago, the universe was different: mergers of galaxies were common and gigantic black holes with masses equivalent to billions of times that of the Sun formed […]

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Astronomers Measure the Size and Structure of a Nova’s Nuclear Blast

October 28, 2014

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Astronomers Measure the Size and Structure of a Novas Nuclear Blast

For the first time, a team of astronomers has measured the size and structure of a nova’s nuclear blast as it happened. The discovery of Nova Delphini 2013, along with the data collected about it, could well sharpen or reshape our understanding of the nature of such blasts. The research appears online in the journal […]

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Chandra Identifies the Impact of Turbulence on Star Birth

October 28, 2014

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Turbulent Heating in Galaxy Clusters

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, a newly published study reveals evidence that heat channeled from turbulent motions in galaxy clusters is enough to offset radiative cooling and prevent the formation of stars. The same phenomenon that causes a bumpy airplane ride, turbulence, may be the solution to a long-standing mystery about stars’ birth, […]

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Chandra Confirms Active Galactic Nuclei Downsizing

October 27, 2014

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Modest AGN Tend to Peak Later in Cosmic History

A new study of 209 galaxies in the early universe with X-ray bright supermassive black holes reveals that more modest active galactic nuclei (AGN) tend to peak later in cosmic history, and that obscured and unobscured AGN evolve in similar ways. Supermassive black holes containing millions or even billions of solar-masses of material are found […]

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Astronomers Discover Two Distinct Families of Exocomets Around Beta Pictoris

October 24, 2014

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Tthe Most Complete Census of Comets Around Another Star

Astronomers make the most complete census of comets around another star, revealing that individual comets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris belong to two distinct families of exocomets. The HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has been used to make the most complete census of comets around another star ever created. A French […]

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NASA Maps of Titan Reveal Large Patches of Trace Gases

October 24, 2014

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New Maps of Saturn's Moon Titan Reveal Large Patches of Trace Gases

Researchers investigating the chemical make-up of Titan’s atmosphere have discovered large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles Saturn’s moon Titan. New maps of Saturn’s moon Titan reveal large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles. These regions are curiously shifted off the poles, to […]

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Astronomers Create 3D Map of the Distant Universe

October 24, 2014

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A 3D Map of the Adolescent Universe

Using a new technique similar to x-ray computer-tomographic imaging, a team of astronomers has created the first three-dimensional map of the adolescent Universe – just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, three-dimensional maps of a slice […]

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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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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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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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