Astrophysics News

The Search for Variable Stars in Globular Cluster M4

July 25, 2014

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In a newly published study, astronomers detail the results of a photometric search for variable stars in the core of the globular cluster M4. A globular cluster is a roughly spherical ensemble of stars, as many as several million of them, gravitationally bound together in groups whose diameters can be as small as only tens […]

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Astronomers Map Galaxy Cluster More Precisely Than Ever Before

July 25, 2014

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Astronomers used almost 200 images of distant galaxies combined with Hubble data to measure the total mass of galaxy cluster MCS J0416.1–2403 more precisely than ever before. Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations from Hubble’s Frontier Fields observing […]

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New Images and 3D Model of Comet 67P

July 25, 2014

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New images from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft reveal surface structures of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, allowing scientists to create a 3D shape model of the nucleus. As the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) for an August rendezvous, the comet’s core is coming into sharper focus. Today, ESA released a new set of images and […]

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Most Precise Measurement Ever of the Radius of a Planet Outside Our Solar System

July 24, 2014

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Scientists have made most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system, confirming Kepler-93b as a “super-Earth” that is about one-and-a-half times the size of our planet. Thanks to NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside […]

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Hubble Reveals That Three Hot Jupiters Are Surprisingly Dry

July 24, 2014

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Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers reveal that three exoplanets that were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres contain far less water than predicted by standard planet-formation theories. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar […]

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A New Approach in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

July 23, 2014

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Scientists are taking a new approach in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, studying exoplanet atmospheres for signs of pollution. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist […]

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No New Cosmological Concordance with Massive Sterile Neutrinos

July 23, 2014

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A newly published study shows that modifying the standard cosmological model in order to include fairly massive neutrinos does not explain all the physical observations simultaneously. Neutrinos, also known as ‘ghost particles’ because they barely interact with other particles or their surroundings, are massless particles according to the standard model of particle physics. However, there […]

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NASA Releases Four New Images to Celebrate Chandra’s 15th Anniversary

July 23, 2014

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To celebrate Chandra’s 15th anniversary, NASA has released four new images of supernova remnants – the Crab Nebula, Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58. Fifteen years ago, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through […]

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Hubble Probes the Extreme Outskirts of Elliptical Galaxy Centaurus A

July 22, 2014

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A team of scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the outskirts of elliptical galaxy Centaurus A, revealing that the galaxy’s halo spreads far further into space than expected. Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have probed the extreme outskirts of the stunning elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. The galaxy’s halo of stars has […]

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Astronomers Discover Transiting Exoplanet with Longest Known Year, Kepler-421b

July 22, 2014

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Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year, circling its star once every 704 days. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 […]

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Fermi Discovers a Pulsar That Switched from Radio Emissions to High-Energy Gamma Rays

July 22, 2014

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New measurements by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal a binary star system whose pulsar switched from radio emissions to high-energy gamma rays. Zoom into an artist’s concept of AY Sextantis, a binary star system whose pulsar switched from radio emissions to high-energy gamma rays in 2013. This transition likely means the pulsar’s spin-up process […]

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Dwarf Galaxy Movement Challenges to Our Understanding the Universe

July 21, 2014

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A newly published study examines the movement of small galaxies throughout the universe, finding that they ‘dance’ in orderly disc-shaped orbits around larger galaxies. The discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not ‘swarm’ around larger ones like bees do but ‘dance’ in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of […]

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