Astrophysics News

Chandra Measures Massive Galaxy Cluster in Distant Universe

December 18, 2014

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Chandra Weighs the Most Massive Galaxy Cluster to Date

Using Chandra data, researchers were able to accurately determine the mass and other properties of the most distant massive galaxy cluster discovered to date. Officially named XDCP J0044.0-2033, the cluster is about 9.6 billion light years from Earth. A newly discovered galaxy cluster is the most massive one ever detected with an age of 800 […]

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NASA’s Voyager 1 Experiences Three “Tsunami Waves” in Interstellar Space

December 16, 2014

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NASAs Voyager 1 Spacecraft Experiences a New Tsunami Wave from the Sun

New data show that the shock wave that NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing in February 2014 is still propagating outward. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced three “tsunami waves” in interstellar space. Listen to how these waves cause surrounding ionized matter […]

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Scientists Use Real Data to Measure the Cosmos

December 12, 2014

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Researchers Use Real Data to Measure the Cosmos

Scientists from the Imperial College London have used data, rather than calculations related to general relativity, to measure large distances in the Universe for the first time. A research team from Imperial College London and the University of Barcelona has used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our […]

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Astronomers Detect Pluto-Size Objects around a Sun-Like Star

December 12, 2014

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Astronomers Detect Pluto-Size Objects swarming Around an Adolescent Sun

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have detected Pluto-size objects around an adolescent Sun-like star. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to make detailed observations of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star known as HD 107146, detecting an unexpected increase in the concentration […]

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Astronomers Detect Magnetic Fields on Solar-Type Stars

December 12, 2014

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Astronomers Study the Magnetic Fields Stars

A team of astronomers that has just completed the most extensive polarization survey of stars to date, detecting magnetic fields on sixty-seven stars with twenty-one of them being classified as solar-type. That is about four times as many solar-type stars as had been previously classified. The Sun rotates slowly, about once every 24 days at […]

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Chandra Views Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources

December 11, 2014

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New Chandra Image of NGC 2207 and IC 2163

This new Chandra image shows NGC 2207 and IC 2163, which have hosted three supernova explosions in the past 15 years and have produced one of the most bountiful collections of super bright X-ray lights known. At this time of year, there are lots of gatherings often decorated with festive lights. When galaxies get together, […]

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ALMA Reveals Gas Spirals as a Nursery of Twin Stars

December 9, 2014

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ALMA Identifies Gas Spirals as a Nursery of Twin Stars

Astronomers used observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array to identify spiral arms of molecular gas and dust around binary protostars, revealing for the first time the mechanism of the birth and growth of binary stars. Overview With the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observation, astronomers led by Shigehisa Takakuwa, Associate Research Fellow at the […]

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Astronomers Reveal a New Feature in the Evolution of Galaxies

December 8, 2014

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Astronomers Find a New Feature in the Evolution of Galaxies

Using data from ESA’s Herschel space observatory and NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, astronomers have uncovered a new feature in the evolution of galaxies. Some like it hot, but for creating new stars, a cool cosmic environment is ideal. As a new study suggests, a surge of warm gas into a nearby galaxy — […]

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Planets in Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs May Have Burned Away Chances for Life

December 5, 2014

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Exoplanets May Have Burned Away Chances for Life

New research reveals that planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars may have long since lost their chance at hosting life because of intense heat during their formative years. Planets orbiting close to low-mass stars — easily the most common stars in the universe — are prime targets in the search for extraterrestrial life. […]

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New Observations Confirm Variability of Young Stellar Objects

December 5, 2014

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Rho Ophiuchi

Using the Spitzer Space Telescope to monitor the variability of light from 882 previously identified young stellar objects, astronomers confirm that probably all YSOs are variable at infrared wavelengths to some degree, and moreover that the younger, more deeply embedded stars often have longer and larger intensity variations, consistent with the current disk evolution picture. […]

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A Pulsar Orbiting a Black Hole Could be the ‘Holy Grail’ for Testing Gravity

December 4, 2014

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Neutron Star-Black Hole Binary

A new study examines in what sense a neutron star-black hole binary could the ‘holy grail’ for testing gravity. The intermittent light emitted by pulsars, the most precise timekeepers in the universe, allows scientists to verify Einstein’s theory of relativity, especially when these objects are paired up with another neutron star or white dwarf that […]

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Astronomers Find a New Example of a Very Rare Type of Galaxy

December 3, 2014

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Strange Galaxy Perplexes Astronomers

Astronomers have discovered a new example of a very rare type of galaxy that may yield valuable insight on how galaxies developed in the early Universe. The galaxy they studied, named J1649+2635, nearly 800 million light-years from Earth, is a spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, but with prominent “jets” of subatomic particles propelled […]

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Scientists Develop a New Way of Measuring Distances to Galaxies

December 2, 2014

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Eye of Sauron Provides New Way of Measuring Distances to Galaxies

Using the W. M. Keck Observatory, scientists have developed a new way of measuring precise distances to galaxies tens of millions of light years away. The method is similar to what land surveyors use on earth, by measuring the physical and angular, or ‘apparent’, size of a standard ruler in the galaxy, to calibrate the […]

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Astronomers Develop a New Method to Evaluate the Turbulence of the Hot Intracluster Gas

December 1, 2014

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New Method to Evaluate the Turbulence of the Hot Intracluster Gas

Using data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have pioneered a new method to evaluate the turbulence of the hot intracluster gas. Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of a few to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the “Local Group,” a […]

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Astronomers Use Ground-Based Telescope to Measure Super-Earth Transit

December 1, 2014

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Astronomers Measure Super-Earth Transit Using a Ground-Based Telescope

Using the 2.5-meter Nordic Optical Telescope, astronomers have measured transit of exoplanet 55 Cancri e – this is the first time that a super-Earth transit has been measured from a ground-based telescope. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Astronomers have measured the passing of a super-Earth in front of a bright, nearby Sun-like star using a ground-based telescope […]

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