Cosmology News

VISTA Survey Reveals Hidden Secrets of Orion’s Clouds

January 17, 2017

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VISTA Reveals Hidden Secrets of Orion’s Clouds

The VISTA infrared survey telescope reveals the most detailed view of Orion A molecular cloud in the near-infrared. The new image from the VISION survey (VIenna Survey In Orion) is a montage of images taken in the near-infrared part of the spectrum by the VISTA survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It covers […]

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Astronomers Discover a Cosmic Particle Accelerator in Abell 3411 and 3412

January 13, 2017

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Astronomers Discover Powerful Cosmic Double Whammy

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes, a team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic one-two punch unlike any ever seen before. The phenomena occurred in a pair of colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. This result shows that an eruption from a supermassive black hole combined with […]

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Astronomers Discover Giant Halos Around Early Galaxies

January 12, 2017

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Photons Struggle to Escape Distant Galaxies

Using the Isaac Newton Telescope, a team of astronomers has discovered giant halos of photons around early Milky Way type galaxies. In order to understand how our own Milky Way galaxy formed and evolved, astronomers rely on observing distant galaxies. As their light takes billions of years to reach us, telescopes can be used as […]

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Hubble Detects ‘Exocomets’ Plunging Into Young Star HD 172555

January 10, 2017

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Hubble Reveals Exocomets Plunging into a Young Star

The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging into young star HD 172555, which resides 95 light-years from Earth. The exocomets — comets outside our solar system — were not directly seen around the star, but their presence was inferred by detecting gas that is likely the vaporized remnants of their icy nuclei. HD 172555 […]

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Hubble Views Shadow Caused by Possible Planet Encircling TW Hydrae

January 9, 2017

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Hubble Views 'Shadow Play' Caused by Possible Planet

A team of astronomers view a shadow sweeping around a gas-and-dust disk encircling the young star TW Hydrae. Searching for planets around other stars is a tricky business. They’re so small and faint that it’s hard to spot them. But a possible planet in a nearby stellar system may be betraying its presence in a […]

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Chandra’s Newest Image Reveals Black Hole Treasure Trove

January 5, 2017

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Chandra Deep Field South Deepest X-ray Image Ever Reveals Black Hole Treasure Trove

An unparalleled image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory gives astronomers the best look yet at the growth of black holes over billions of years beginning soon after the Big Bang. This is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, made with over 7 million seconds of observing time with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. These data give […]

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New NASA Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

January 5, 2017

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NASA Selects Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

A new NASA mission will allow astronomers to explore the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars. Objects such as black holes can heat surrounding gases to more than a million degrees. The high-energy X-ray radiation from this gas […]

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Astronomers Determine Orbit of Proxima Centauri

December 29, 2016

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Orbit of Proxima Centauri Determined After 100 Years

Using ESO’s planet-hunting HARPS instrument, astronomers have the strongest evidence to date that Proxima Centauri orbits Alpha Centauri A and B. Interest in our neighboring Alpha Centauri star system has been particularly high since the recent discovery of an Earth-mass planet, known as Proxima b, orbiting the system’s third star — and the closest star […]

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Band 5 Receivers Improve ALMA’s Ability to Search for Water in the Universe

December 29, 2016

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ALMA’s Ability to Search for Water in the Universe Improved

With the newly installed Band 5 receivers, ALMA has now opened its eyes to a whole new section of this radio spectrum, creating exciting new observational possibilities and improving the telescope’s ability to search for water in the Universe. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has begun observing in a new range of […]

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Astronomers Release the Largest Digital Sky Survey

December 27, 2016

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Pan-STARRS Releases Largest Digital Sky Survey

The Pan-STARRS project is publicly releasing the world’s largest digital sky survey from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). “The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys allow anyone to access millions of images and use the database and catalogs containing precision measurements of billions of stars and galaxies,” said Dr. Ken Chambers, Director of the Pan-STARRS Observatories. “Pan-STARRS has […]

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A New Approach to Detecting Earth-Like Worlds

December 26, 2016

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Searching a Sea of ‘Noise’ to Find Exoplanets

Researchers from Yale University have developed a new approach to detect distant planets and refine the search for worlds similar to Earth. The new approach, outlined in a study published December 20 in The Astronomical Journal, relies on mathematical methods that have their foundations in physics research. Rather than trying to filter out the signal […]

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Hubble Views Two Festive-Looking Emission Nebulae

December 26, 2016

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Festive Nebulae Light Up Milky Way Galaxy Satellite

The Hubble Space Telescope captured two festive-looking emission nebulae conjoined so they appear as one. The sheer observing power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is rarely better illustrated than in an image such as this. This glowing pink nebula, named NGC 248, is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, just under 200,000 light-years away […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Megamaser IRAS 16399-0937

December 26, 2016

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Megamaser IRAS 16399-0937

This newly released Hubble image shows megamaser IRAS 16399-0937, which is located over 370 million light-years away. This galaxy has a far more exciting and futuristic classification than most — it is a megamaser. Megamasers are intensely bright, around 100 million times brighter than the masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. The entire […]

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Antarctic Site Dome A Promises to Open a New Window on the Cosmos

December 13, 2016

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Antarctic Site Promises to Open a New Window on the Cosmos

Researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are eyeing a new location to study the universe at little-explored terahertz radio frequencies. Antarctica might be one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet, but it is a mecca for astronomers. Its cold, dry air enables observations that can’t be done elsewhere on Earth. The South […]

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Hubble Reveals a Black Hole Ripping Apart a Passing Star

December 12, 2016

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Spinning Black Hole Swallowing Star Explains Superluminous Event

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers reveal a rapidly spinning black hole ripping apart a passing star that came too close. An extraordinarily brilliant point of light seen in a distant galaxy, and dubbed ASASSN-15lh, was thought to be the brightest supernova ever seen. But new observations from several observatories, including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space […]

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Hubble Takes a Closer Look at Spiral Galaxy IC 5201

December 12, 2016

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Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy IC 5201

This newly released Hubble image shows spiral galaxy IC 5201, which is located 40 million light-years away. In 1900, astronomer Joseph Lunt made a discovery: Peering through a telescope at Cape Town Observatory, the British–South African scientist spotted this beautiful sight in the southern constellation of Grus (The Crane): a barred spiral galaxy now named […]

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Kepler Reveals Solar-Like Oscillations in Other Stars

December 9, 2016

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Asteroseismology of the Hyades with K2

Using the refurbished Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers studied solar-like oscillations in the Hyades open star cluster in Taurus. Our Sun vibrates due to pressure waves generated by turbulence in its upper layers (the layers dominated by convective gas motions). Helioseismology is the name given to the study of these oscillations, which can shed light on […]

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Distant Galaxy SPT 0346-52 Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

December 8, 2016

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SPT 0346-52 Distant Galaxy Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

Using several telescopes including Chandra, astronomers have shown that a galaxy in the early Universe called SPT0346-52 is undergoing an extraordinary burst of star formation. The absence of X-rays from Chandra shows that there is no actively growing, supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. This means that the rate amount of infrared […]

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