Astrophysics News

Scientists Reveal Neutron Star Glitches Have a Minimum Size

April 17, 2014

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New research reveals that sudden speed jumps in the rotational velocity of pulsars have a minimum size, and that they are caused not by the unpinning and displacement of just one sub-surface superfluid vortex, but by billions. A team of astronomers, including Danai Antonopoulou and Anna Watts from the Anton Pannekoek Institute of Astronomy (UvA), […]

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Supercomputers Help Researchers Understand Black Holes

April 15, 2014

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Using supercomputers like Stampede at the Texas Advanced Computing Center and Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences, researchers try to predict and better understand the observational signatures of events like black holes devouring stars. Somewhere in the cosmos an ordinary galaxy spins, seemingly at slumber. Then all of a sudden, WHAM! A flash […]

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Researchers Develop Model to Reconstruct Spatial Structure of Molecule Clouds

April 11, 2014

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A team of astronomers from the Max Planck Institute and Monash University has developed a new model to reconstruct spatial structure of molecule clouds. Astronomers have found a new way of predicting the rate at which a molecular cloud – a stellar nursery – will form new stars. Using a novel technique to reconstruct a […]

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Astronomers Detect Dramatic Flow of Rapidly Moving Molecular Gas in Abell 1835

April 11, 2014

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Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ALMA radio array, astronomers have detected a flow of about ten billion solar-masses of rapidly moving molecular gas in galaxy cluster Abell 1835. Galaxy clusters are groupings of several to thousands of galaxies. Most galaxies are members of a cluster. In our own case, the Milky Way is […]

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Supernova Remnant G352.7-0.1 Displays Several Unusual Properties

April 11, 2014

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Astronomers have discovered that supernova remnant G352.7-0.1 is sweeping up a remarkable amount of material as it expands, an amount equivalent to about 45 times the mass of the Sun. Supernovas are the spectacular ends to the lives of many massive stars. These explosions, which occur on average twice a century in the Milky Way, […]

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Researchers Discover the First Exomoon Candidate

April 11, 2014

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By using gravitational microlensing and taking advantage of chance alignments between stars, an international team of researchers has spotted the first signs of an exomoon. Titan, Europa, Io and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system’s pantheon of moons. Are there are other moons out there, orbiting planets beyond our sun? NASA-funded […]

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Astronomers Make the Most Precise Measurement Yet of the Expanding Universe

April 8, 2014

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Using 140,000 distant quasars, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey have made the most precise measurement to date of the expanding Universe. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), pioneered the use of quasars to map density variations in intergalactic gas at high redshifts, […]

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CfA Scientists Measure the Rate of Expansion of the Universe

April 7, 2014

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Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, CfA scientists examined 264,283 galaxies and measured the signature of the acoustic waves left behind. Perhaps the most astonishing and revolutionary discovery in cosmology was that galaxies are moving away from us. Hubble’s 1929 paper provides the underpinning of the big bang picture of creation in which […]

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Astronomers Ready for G2’s Encounter with Supermassive Black Hole Sgr A*

April 4, 2014

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As the gas cloud, called G2, edges closer to the supermassive black hole Sgr A*, astronomers at Northwestern University are hoping to learn new information on growth of supermassive black holes. Evanston, Illinois — Right now a doomed gas cloud is edging ever closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky […]

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Hubble Measures “El Gordo” Galaxy Cluster, Bigger Than Previously Thought

April 4, 2014

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Researchers have measured the mass of the El Gordo Galaxy Cluster, calculating the cluster’s mass to be as much as 3 million billion times the mass of our sun. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has weighed the largest known galaxy cluster in the distant universe, cataloged as ACT-CL J0102-4915, and found it definitely lives up to […]

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Fermi Data Reveal New Clues to Dark Matter

April 4, 2014

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New maps from the Fermi-LAT Collaboration show that the galactic center produces more high-energy gamma rays than can be explained by known sources, suggesting that this excess emission is consistent with some forms of dark matter. A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that […]

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Astronomers View Shell of Escaping Material Around Sakurai’s Object

April 3, 2014

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Using the Altair adaptive optics system with the Gemini North Telescope, two NOAO astronomers were able to observe the shell of escaping material around the star known as Sakurai’s Object (V4334 Sgr). Stellar lifetimes are measured in billions of years, so changes in their appearance rarely take place on a human timescale. Thus an opportunity […]

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