Astrophysics News

The Interior Chemistry of Distant Planet’s May Differ from Earth

September 1, 2015

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Exoplanet Chemistry May Differ from Earth

New research suggests that magnesium peroxide may be abundant in extremely oxidized mantles and cores of rocky planets outside our Solar System. Washington, DC — As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from […]

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White Dwarf PG1149+057 Displays ‘Irregular Heartbeats’

August 30, 2015

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White Dwarf PG1149+057 Displays Arrhythmic Massive Outbursts

Using Kepler data, a team of astronomers has observed a white dwarf star displaying massive arrhythmic outbursts, which broke the star’s regular pulse and significantly heated up its surface for many hours. Some dying stars suffer from ‘irregular heartbeats’, research led by astronomers at the University of Warwick has discovered. The research confirms rapid brightening […]

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LMT Reveals Gas and Dust Properties of Distant Galaxies

August 28, 2015

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LMT Reveals Gas and Dust Properties of Luminous Galaxies

Using the Large Millimeter Telescope in its first stages of operation, astronomers study the gas and dust properties of luminous galaxies in the early stages of the universe. In the 1980’s, observations of nearby galaxies made with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, along with observations of the far-infrared /submillimeter background with the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite, […]

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Hubble Reveals That Markarian 231 is Powered by a Double Black Hole

August 28, 2015

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Hubble RevealsThat Mrk 231 is Powered by a Double Black Hole

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers discovered that Markarian 231 is powered by two central black holes furiously whirling about each other. Markarian 231 is the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar, located 581 million light-years away. The finding suggests that quasars—the brilliant cores of active galaxies – may commonly […]

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If Life Can Travel Between The Stars We Should Be Able To Detect It

August 27, 2015

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Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys

A new study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggests that if life can travel between the stars (in a process called panspermia), it would spread in a characteristic pattern that we could potentially identify. Cambridge, Massachusetts – We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it […]

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Chandra Reveals the Birth of a “Radio Phoenix”

August 27, 2015

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Chandra Discovers a Radio Phoenix Abell 1033

Using X-ray, radio, and optical data, a team of astronomers has discovered a “radio phoenix” in Abell 1033. This system contains the collision of two galaxy clusters located about 1.6 billion light years from Earth. Astronomers have found evidence for a faded electron cloud “coming back to life,” much like the mythical phoenix, after two […]

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Ten Facts About Supernovae

August 26, 2015

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Many of the Elements We’re Made of Come from Supernovae

Here are ten facts about supernovae that you may have not known. Somewhere in the cosmos, a star is reaching the end of its life. Maybe it’s a massive star, collapsing under its own gravity. Or maybe it’s a dense cinder of a star, greedily stealing matter from a companion star until it can’t handle […]

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IceCube Collaboration Confirms Cosmic Neutrino Sighting

August 25, 2015

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Evidence for Astrophysical Muon Neutrinos

Using data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, scientists have confirmed the existence of astrophysical neutrinos from our galaxy as well as cosmic neutrinos from sources outside the Milky Way. Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful […]

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Astronomers Observe a Long-Hypothesized Mechanism for Coronal Heating

August 25, 2015

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Researchers Observe a Long-Hypothesized Mechanism for Coronal Heating

A team of astronomers has observed a long-hypothesized mechanism for coronal heating in which magnetic waves are converted into heat energy. Modern telescopes and satellites have helped us measure the blazing hot temperatures of the sun from afar. Mostly the temperatures follow a clear pattern: The sun produces energy by fusing hydrogen in its core, […]

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XMM-Newton Views Turbulent Events at the Center of the Milky Way

August 22, 2015

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The Galactic Black Hole and Its Surrounding Emission in the Milky Way

Using the XMM-Newton X-ray Satellite, astronomers from the Max Planck Institute observe the events around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Who left the deep scars on the heart of our Milky Way? In their hunt for elusive clues that might reveal the culprit, an international team of astronomers at the […]

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Gradual Accumulation Planetary Pebbles Formed Gas-Giant Planets

August 20, 2015

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Study Reveals Planetary Pebbles Were the Building Blocks for the Largest Planets

In a newly published study a team of astronomers reveals the mystery of how Jupiter and Saturn likely formed. This discovery, which changes our view of how all planets might have formed, is published in the August 20 issue of Nature. Ironically, the largest planets in the solar system likely formed first. Jupiter and Saturn, […]

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Dark Energy Survey Finds New Dwarf Galaxy Candidates

August 18, 2015

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Dark Energy Survey Has Now Mapped One-Eighth of the Full Sky

The Dark Energy Survey has discovered 17 dwarf galaxy candidates in the past six months, leaving scientists to believe that there could be many more galaxies hiding in our cosmic neighborhood. Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near […]

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New Research Shows Pluto May Still Be Geologically Active

August 14, 2015

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Pluto May Still Be Geologically Active

New research hints that Pluto may still be geologically active, a theory that could explain how Pluto’s escaping atmosphere remains flush with nitrogen. The latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal diverse features on Pluto’s surface and an atmosphere dominated by nitrogen gas. However, Pluto’s small mass allows hundreds of tons of atmospheric nitrogen […]

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Astronomers Discover Jupiter-Like Planet 51 Eridani b

August 14, 2015

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Jupiter-Like Exoplanet 51 Eridani b

Using the Gemini Planet Imager, astronomers have discovered a young Jupiter-like planet that is 100 light-years away. One of the best ways to learn how our solar system evolved is to look to younger star systems in the early stages of development. Now, a team of astronomers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young […]

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Astronomers Discover Supernovae in ‘Wrong Place at Wrong Time’

August 14, 2015

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Host-Galaxy Properties Suggest a Nuclear Origin for Calcium-Rich Supernova Progenitors

A new analysis of 13 supernovae is helping to reveal how some young stars exploded sooner than expected, hurling them to a lonely place far from their host galaxies. It’s a complicated mystery of double-star systems, merging galaxies, and twin black holes that began in 2000 when the first such supernova was discovered, according to […]

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GAMA Survey Reveals the Slow Death of the Universe

August 12, 2015

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GAMA Survey Reveals the Slow Death of the Universe

The Galaxy And Mass Assembly project released its first data at at the International Astronomical Union XXIX General Assembly in Hawaii, revealing that the Universe is slowly dying. An international team of astronomers studying more than 200,000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before. This […]

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Astronomers Identify the Smallest Supermassive Black Hole to Date

August 12, 2015

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Chandra Identifies the Smallest Supermassive Black Hole Ever Detected

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-meter Clay Telescope, a team of astronomers has identified the smallest supermassive black hole ever detected in the center of a galaxy. This oxymoronic object could provide clues to how larger black holes formed along with their host galaxies 13 billion years or more in the past. Astronomers […]

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Newly Discovered Planet Kepler-453b Orbits Two Stars

August 11, 2015

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Astronomers Discover A New Planet Orbiting Two Stars

Using Kepler data astronomers have discovered Kepler-453b – a circumbinary planet located within the “habitable zone.” A team of astronomers including a San Francisco State University researcher has discovered a new planet orbiting a pair of stars, the 10th “circumbinary” planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler Mission and a milestone for the 6-year-old spacecraft. The planet, […]

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