Astrophysics News

Supermassive Black Holes in ‘Red Geyser’ Galaxies Suppress Star Formation

May 26, 2016

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Supermassive Black Holes Cause Galactic Warming

New research details the discovery of a new class of galaxies, called “red geysers,” with supermassive black hole winds so hot and energetic that stars can’t form. Over the last few billion years, a mysterious kind of “galactic warming” has caused many galaxies to change from a lively place where new stars formed every now […]

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Astronomers Discover Clues For How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly

May 25, 2016

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Evidence That Some Early Supermassive Black Holes Formed Directly from the Collapse of a Gas Cloud

Using the combined data from Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer, atronomers have found evidence that some early supermassive black holes formed directly from the collapse of a gas cloud. Astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes. Researchers combined data from NASA’s Chandra […]

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NASA Astronomer Reveals Possible Link Between Primordial Black Holes and Dark Matter

May 24, 2016

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Astronomers Suggest Possible Link Between Primordial Black Holes and Dark Matter

A newly published study from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center suggests a possible link between primordial black holes and dark matter. Dark matter is a mysterious substance composing most of the material universe, now widely thought to be some form of massive exotic particle. An intriguing alternative view is that dark matter is made of […]

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Astronomers Reveal the Secret Life of the Orion Nebula

May 16, 2016

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Secrets of the Orion Nebula Revealed

A team of astronomers reveal how the interplay of magnetic fields and gravitation in the gas cloud lead to the birth of new stars. Space bears witness to a constant stream of star births. And whole star clusters are often formed at the same time – and within a comparatively short period. Amelia Stutz and […]

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Astronomers Examine the Circumstellar Dust Around KIC 8462852

May 13, 2016

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Constraints on the Circumstellar Dust around KIC 8462852

A new measurement of the dust around KIC 8462852 reveals that it seems to be consistent with the breakup of a cluster of Halley-like comets. The Kepler satellite was designed to search for Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of stars by measuring dips in a star’s brightness as orbiting planets move across the stellar […]

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Chandra Captures Expanding Debris from a Stellar Explosion

May 12, 2016

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Tycho's Supernova Remnant Chandra Movie Captures Expanding Debris From a Stellar Explosion

By combining the Chandra data with 30 years worth of observations, scientists have made a movie of the evolution of Tycho’s supernova remnant. When the star that created this supernova remnant exploded in 1572, it was so bright that it was visible during the day. And though he wasn’t the first or only person to […]

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Astronomers Explain Mystery Star’s Unusual Behavior

May 10, 2016

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Astronomers Explain Mystery Star’s Behavior

New research clarifies the mystery of the unusual fluctuations in light coming from distant star KIC 8462852. Sorry, E.T. lovers, but the results of a new study make it far less likely that KIC 8462852, popularly known as Tabby’s star, is the home of industrious aliens who are gradually enclosing it in a vast shell […]

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Astronomers Examine the Processes Involved in Generating Turbulence

May 6, 2016

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Astronomers Examine the Physical Processes Involved in Generating Turbulence

A new study of turbulence in galaxies concludes that in many cases it is generated not by star formation but by gravitational effects alone. The gas in galaxies is typically seen to be moving at very rapid, even supersonic velocities, providing clear evidence that the medium is highly turbulent. Looking more closely at gas clouds […]

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Evidence Points to Planet Nine Existing, But How Was it Produced?

May 3, 2016

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Update on Planet Nine

New research examines Planet Nine and the mystery behind its existence. Earlier this year scientists presented evidence for Planet Nine, a Neptune-mass planet in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto. Since then theorists have puzzled over how this planet could end up in such a distant orbit. New research by […]

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Fermi Helps Link Cosmic Neutrino to Blazar Blast

April 28, 2016

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NASA's Fermi Helps Link Cosmic Neutrino to Blazar Blast

Nearly 10 billion years ago, the black hole at the center of a galaxy known as PKS B1424-418 produced a powerful outburst. Light from this blast began arriving at Earth in 2012. Now astronomers using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have shown that a record-breaking neutrino seen around the same time likely was […]

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Galaxy Clusters Reveal Information About Dark Energy

April 28, 2016

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Russian Doll Galaxy Clusters Reveal Information About Dark Energy

Researchers are using a large sample of galaxy cluster to investigate dark energy, showing that dark energy has not changed over billions of years. Astronomers have used data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s Planck and a large list of optical telescopes to develop a powerful new method for investigating dark energy, the mysterious energy […]

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Astronomers Discover Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

April 26, 2016

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Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

Using the Hubble Space Telescope a team of astronomers just discovered a moon orbiting dwarf planet Makemake — the third largest known object past the orbit of Neptune, about two thirds the size of Pluto. Peering to the outskirts of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, […]

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Astronomers Use Light Echoes to Measure Protoplanetary Disk

April 26, 2016

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Spitzer Uses Light Echoes to Give Clues to Protoplanetary Disk

Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and four ground-based telescopes, astronomers determine the distance from a star to the inner rim of its surrounding protoplanetary disk. Imagine you want to measure the size of a room, but it’s completely dark. If you shout, you can tell if the space you’re in is relatively big […]

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Astronomers Gain a Better Understanding of Spica

April 26, 2016

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Stellar Modelling of Spica

A newly published study details Spica, an eccentric double-lined spectroscopic binary system with a β Cep type variable primary component. The familiar star Spica (Alpha Virginis) is the fifteenth brightest star in the night sky, in part because it is relatively nearby, only about 250 light-years away. It is easy to find by following the […]

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Fermi Observations Poised to Pin Down Gravitational Wave Sources

April 19, 2016

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Fermi Telescope Poised to Pin Down Gravitational Wave Sources

Fermi observations are helping researchers gain a much deeper understanding of gravitational waves. On September 14, waves of energy traveling for more than a billion years gently rattled space-time in the vicinity of Earth. The disturbance, produced by a pair of merging black holes, was captured by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) facilities in […]

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New Discovery Challenges Dark Matter, Stellar Acceleration Models

April 13, 2016

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New Hypervelocity Binary Star Challenges Dark Matter, Stellar Acceleration Models

Astronomers have discovered a hypervelocity binary star that challenges dark matter and stellar acceleration models. A team of astronomers at the Friedrich Alexander University led by Péter Németh has discovered a binary star moving nearly at the escape velocity of our galaxy. There are about two dozen so-called hypervelocity stars known to be escaping the […]

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Stars Strip Away the Atmosphere of Super-Earths

April 13, 2016

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Stars Strip Away the Atmosphere of Nearby Super-Earths

Even a super-Earth can fly too close to the sun, according to a new study from Yale University. An international team of astronomers has found a new category of planets beyond our solar system whose atmosphere has been stripped bare by the radiation from their own sun. The findings will appear in the journal Nature […]

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Astronomers Discover a 17 Billion Solar-Mass Black Hole in an Unlikely Place

April 11, 2016

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A 17 Billion Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, a team of astronomers has uncovered one of the biggest supermassive black holes in an unlikely place: the center of a galaxy that lies in a quiet backwater of the Universe. Until now, the biggest supermassive black holes — those having more than 10 […]

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