Keyword: astronomers

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  • Astronomers discover new kind of supernova

    03/26/2013 3:17:46 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 22 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 3/26/13
    Astronomers discover new kind of supernova March 26, 2013 EnlargeThis artist's conception shows the suspected progenitor of a new kind of supernova called Type Iax. Material from a hot, blue helium star at right is funneling toward a carbon/oxygen white dwarf star at left, which is embedded in an accretion disk. In many cases the white dwarf survives the subsequent explosion. Credit: Christine Pulliam (CfA) (Phys.org) —Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties. But a team of astronomers including Carnegie's Wendy Freedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson is reporting the discovery of a new type of supernova...
  • How Big is the Sun, Really?

    03/23/2012 1:29:41 AM PDT · by U-238 · 28 replies · 3+ views
    Sky and Telescope ^ | 3/21/2012 | Kelly Beatty
    With all the attention that astronomers have lavished on old Sol over the centuries, you'd think that by now they'd know its diameter to, oh, 10 or 12 significant digits. During the past 40 years, astronomers have attempted to measure the Sun's sizedozens of times using various methods. The dashed line corresponds to a radius of 696,000 km, the value most often used. While the Sun's girth has indeed been measured dozens of times over the past 40 years, the results haven't converged on a single value and scatter by as much as ± 0.1%. One big reason is that,...
  • Astronomers discover planet made of diamond

    08/25/2011 12:32:57 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 36 replies
    Reuters.com ^ | 8/25/11 | Ben Hirschler - Reuters
    Astronomers have spotted an exotic planet that seems to be made of diamond racing around a tiny star in our galactic backyard. The new planet is far denser than any other known so far and consists largely of carbon. Because it is so dense, scientists calculate the carbon must be crystalline, so a large part of this strange world will effectively be diamond. "The evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon -- i.e. a massive diamond orbiting a neutron star every two hours in an orbit so tight it would fit inside...
  • Astronomers Find Largest, Oldest Mass of Water in Universe

    07/22/2011 8:44:00 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 43 replies
    Space.com ^ | 7/22/11
    Astronomers have discovered the largest and oldest mass of water ever detected in the universe — a gigantic, 12-billion-year-old cloud harboring 140 trillion times more water than all of Earth's oceans combined. The cloud of water vapor surrounds a supermassive black hole called a quasar located 12 billion light-years from Earth. The discovery shows that water has been prevalent in the universe for nearly its entire existence, researchers said. "Because the light we are seeing left this quasar more than 12 billion years ago, we are seeing water that was present only some 1.6 billion years after the beginning of...
  • US astronomers launch search for alien life on 86 planets

    05/14/2011 9:41:28 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 14 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 5/14/11 | Kerry Sheridan
    A massive radio telescope in rural West Virginia has begun listening for signs of alien life on 86 possible Earth-like planets, US astronomers said Friday.The giant dish began this week pointing toward each of the 86 planets -- culled from a list of 1,235 possible planets identified by NASA's Kepler space telescope -- and will gather 24 hours of data on each one. "It's not absolutely certain that all of these stars have habitable planetary systems, but they're very good places to look for ET," said University of California at Berkeley graduate student Andrew Siemion. The mission is part of...
  • Crab Nebula's gamma-ray flare mystifies astronomers

    05/11/2011 9:03:57 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 26 replies
    BBC News ^ | 5/11/11 | Jason Palmer
    The Crab Nebula has shocked astronomers by emitting an unprecedented blast of gamma rays, the highest-energy light in the Universe. The cause of the 12 April gamma-ray flare, described at the Third Fermi Symposium in Rome, is a total mystery. It seems to have come from a small area of the famous nebula, which is the wreckage from an exploded star. The object has long been considered a steady source of light, but the Fermi telescope hints at greater activity. The gamma-ray emission lasted for some six days, hitting levels 30 times higher than normal and varying at times from...
  • Two respected astronomers go to duel over astronomical event.

    03/09/2011 6:31:10 AM PST · by New Zealender · 14 replies
    In the most important professional astronomy forum two respected astronomers duel over astronomical event. quote ''So you are a chemist and well respected, good that you come here to question my calculations. But instead i have a challenge for you. You are saying that the event will not be visible at Fatima , i say it will be. If i am right and the event is visible then you will admit you incompetence publicly, and i will do the same if its not visible. Do you agree?'' http://cs.astronomy.com/asycs/forums/t/50571.aspx http://cs.astronomy.com/asycs/forums/t/50613.aspx
  • Australian Aborigines 'world's first astronomers'

    09/18/2010 1:58:35 PM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 18 replies · 2+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | Fri Sep 17, 5:39 am ET | U/A
    SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian study has uncovered signs that the country's ancient Aborigines may have been the world's first stargazers, pre-dating Stonehenge and Egypt's pyramids by thousands of years. Professor Ray Norris said widespread and detailed knowledge of the stars had been passed down through the generations by Aborigines, whose history dates back tens of millennia, in traditional songs and stories. "We know there's lots of stories about the sky: songs, legends, myths," said Norris, an astronomer for Australia's science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO). "We wondered how much further does it go than that. It...
  • Moon is shrinking, say astronomers

    08/19/2010 3:20:01 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 24 replies · 1+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 8/19/10 | AFP
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Man in the Moon has become the latest victim of contraction in the housing market. Astronomers reporting on Thursday in the US journal Science said they had found previous undetected landforms which indicate that Earth's satellite has been shrinking... albeit by only a tiny amount. The intriguing features, called lobate scarps, are faults created when the Moon's once-molten interior began to cool, causing the lunar surface to contract and then crinkle, they said. Relative to the Moon's age, estimated at around 4.5 billion years, the contraction is recent, occurring less than a billion years ago, and...
  • The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram of Astronomers

    07/22/2010 7:32:20 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 4 replies · 1+ views
  • Astronomers discover most massive stars to date (300 times more massive than the sun)

    07/21/2010 2:04:57 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 3 replies
    GeoJunk ^ | 7/21/10
    Using a combination of instruments on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered the most massive stars to date, one weighing at birth more than 300 times the mass of the Sun, or twice as much as the currently accepted limit of 150 solar masses. The existence of these monsters — millions of times more luminous than the Sun, losing weight through very powerful winds — may provide an answer to the question “how massive can stars be?” A team of astronomers led by Paul Crowther, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Sheffield, has used ESO’s Very Large Telescope...
  • Sun's Strange Behavior Baffles Astronomers

    06/14/2010 7:43:23 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 119 replies · 2,129+ views
    Space.com ^ | 6/14/10 | Denise Chow
    The sun's temper ebbs and flows on what scientists had thought was a pretty predictable cycle, but lately our closest star has been acting up. Typically, a few stormy years would knock out a satellite or two and maybe trip a power grid on Earth. Then a few years of quiet, and then back to the bad behavior. But an extremely long stretch of low activity in recent years has scientists baffled and scrambling for better forecasting models. An expected minimum of solar activity, between 2008 and 2009, was unusually deep. And while the sun would normally ramp up activity...
  • Astronomers find loads of ice on big asteroid

    04/28/2010 10:13:32 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 22 replies · 503+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 4/28/10 | AP
    WASHINGTON – Scientists have lots of ice in an unexpected place in our solar system: an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. The discovery of significant asteroid ice has several consequences. It could help explain how Earth first got its water. It makes asteroids more attractive to explore. And it muddies the definition between comets and asteroids.
  • Astronomers Discover Fog At Titan's South Pole

    12/21/2009 3:08:04 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 8 replies · 481+ views
    Aside from Earth, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, looks to be the only place in the solar system with copious quantities of liquid (largely, liquid methane and ethane) sitting on its surface. But that's not the only similarity our home and Titan share. A team of planetary astronomers recently announced that the two share yet another feature, which is inextricably linked with that surface liquid: common fog. The team discussed their findings in a recent paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters as well as in a presentation at the American Geophysical Union's 2009 Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Astronomers say...
  • XMM-Newton takes astronomers to a black hole’s edge (swallowing equivalent of two Earths per hour)

    05/27/2009 12:26:10 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 22 replies · 928+ views
    European Space Agency ^ | 5/27/09 | ESA
    Using new data from ESA’s XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, astronomers have probed closer than ever to a supermassive black hole lying deep at the core of a distant active galaxy. The galaxy – known as 1H0707-495 – was observed during four 48-hr-long orbits of XMM-Newton around Earth, starting in January 2008. The black hole at its centre was thought to be partially obscured from view by intervening clouds of gas and dust, but these current observations have revealed the innermost depths of the galaxy. “We can now start to map out the region immediately around the black hole,” says Andrew Fabian,...
  • Astronomers Aim to Grasp Mysterious Dark Matter (In search of WIMPs)

    12/29/2008 2:46:01 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 6 replies · 484+ views
    Space.com on Yahoo ^ | 12/29/08 | Clara Moskowitz
    For the past quarter century, dark matter has been a mystery we've just had to live with. But the time may be getting close when science can finally unveil what this befuddling stuff is that makes up most of the matter in the universe. Dark matter can't be seen. Nobody even knows what it is. But it must be there, because without it galaxies would fly apart. Upcoming experiments on Earth such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator in Switzerland, and a new spacecraft called Gaia set to launch in 2011, could be the key to closing the...
  • Astronomers find a planet denser than lead

    10/06/2008 4:12:13 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 32 replies · 947+ views
    Bad Astronomy ^ | 10/6/08 | Phil Plait
    Planets circle the stars that dot the heavens. Before 1995, we couldn’t have said that with any certainty. Now we know of more than 300 planets orbiting distant stars, and we have a fleet of telescopes looking for them. The ultimate goal is to find another Earth orbiting a star like the Sun, but the quest on the way to that Holy Grail has yielded some strange benchmarks. CoRoT-exo3b, a dense planet orbiting another star COROT-exo-3b compared to Jupiter Meet the planet COROT-exo-3b. It orbits a star slightly larger, hotter, and brighter than the Sun. The star is not an...
  • Astronomers Find a New "Minor Planet" near Neptune

    08/18/2008 12:16:43 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 24 replies · 234+ views
    Universe Today ^ | 8/18/08 | Nancy Atkinson
    Orbit of solar system object SQ372 (blue) compared with the orbits of Neptune Pluto and Sedna (white, green, red). Credit: N. Kaib. Astronomers announced today that a new "minor planet" with an unusual orbit has been found just two billion miles from Earth, closer than Neptune. Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, astronomers detected a small, comet-like object called 2006 SQ372, which is likely made of rock and ice. However, its orbit never brings it close enough to the sun for it to develop a tail. Its unusual orbit is an ellipse that is four times longer than it...
  • Astronomers discover clutch of 'super-Earths'

    06/16/2008 10:57:17 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 45 replies · 645+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 6/16/08 | AFP
    NANTES, France (AFP) - European scientists on Monday said they had located five 'super-Earths', each of them between four and 30 times bigger than our planet, in a trio of distant solar systems. The discovery suggests that at least one third of stars similar to our own Sun host these difficult-to-detect celestial bodies, multiplying previous estimates by five. It also brings astronomers closer to finding planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets, that could potentially duplicate the conditions that gave rise to life on Earth. "In a year or two, it is likely that we will find habitable planets circling...
  • Astronomers re-discover an ignored celestial gem

    06/10/2008 3:03:34 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 1 replies · 81+ views
    ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has re-discovered an ignored celestial gem. The object in question is one of the youngest and brightest supernova remnants in the Milky Way, the corpse of a star that exploded around 1000 years ago. Its shape, age and chemical composition will allow astronomers to better understand the violent ways in which stars end their lives. Exploding stars seed the Universe with heavy chemical elements necessary to build planets and create life. The expanding cloud of debris that each explosion leaves behind, known as a supernova remnant (SNR), is a bright source of X-rays and radio...
  • Astronomers baffled by weird, fast-spinning pulsar

    05/15/2008 9:00:18 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 17 replies · 148+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 5/15/08 | Will Dunham
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Astronomers are baffled after finding an exotic type of star called a pulsar apparently locked in an elongated orbit around a star much like the sun -- an arrangement defying what had been known about such objects. The rapidly spinning pulsar -- an extraordinarily dense object created when a massive star exploded as a supernova -- is called J1903+0327 and is located about 21,000 light years from Earth, the astronomers said. A light year is about 6 trillion miles, the distance light travels in a year. "The big question is -- how in the heck did this...
  • Astronomers Capture Rare Video Of Meteor Falling To Earth; Hunt For Meteorite

    03/08/2008 3:07:17 PM PST · by blam · 12 replies · 1,611+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-8-2008 | University of Western Ontario.
    Astronomers Capture Rare Video Of Meteor Falling To Earth; Hunt For Meteorite ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2008) — Astronomers from The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, have captured rare video of a meteor falling to Earth. The Physics and Astronomy Department at Western has a network of all-sky cameras in Southern Ontario that scan the sky monitoring for meteors. Associate Professor Peter Brown, who specializes in the study of meteors and meteorites, says that Wednesday evening (March 5) at 10:59 p.m. EST these cameras captured video of a large fireball and the department has also received a number of...
  • Airborne Astronomers To Track Intense Meteor Shower (Tonight, 1-3-2008)

    01/03/2008 4:58:10 PM PST · by blam · 14 replies · 470+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 1-3-2008 | Steeve Meacham
    Airborne astronomers to track intense meteor shower 16:59 03 January 2008 NewScientist.com news service Stephen Battersby The most intense meteor shower of the year hits Earth tonight. If the skies are clear and you live at high northern latitudes, then you could see dozens of Quadrantid meteors streaking over the pole. Or you might spot a plane full of astronomers racing northward, trying to find out how this unusual meteor shower was created, and whether it is the shrapnel of a celestial explosion witnessed in the 15th century. Like other meteor showers, the Quadrantids appear when Earth moves through an...
  • Alien Astronomers Could Discern Earth's Features

    12/22/2007 3:13:38 PM PST · by blam · 38 replies · 252+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 12-21-2007 | Stephen Battersby
    Alien astronomers could discern Earth's features 14:58 21 December 2007 NewScientist.com news service Stephen Battersby Aliens spying on us from another star system might be able to discern continents and oceans on our planet, using technology barely more advanced than our own. In imaginary form, these inquisitive extraterrestrials have been helping astronomers work out how much detail the next generation of space telescopes could reveal on Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Seeing any detail at all is a tough task. Even at the distance of the nearest stars, only a few light years away, terrestrial planets would appear so small...
  • Small planets forming in the Pleiades: astronomers

    11/14/2007 6:36:43 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 109+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 11/15/07 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Small, rocky planets that could resemble the Earth or Mars may be forming around a star in the Pleiades star cluster, astronomers reported on Wednesday. One of the stars in the cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters, is surrounded by an extraordinary number of hot dust particles that could be the "building blocks of planets" said Inseok Song, a staff scientist at NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology. "This is the first clear evidence for planet formation in the Pleiades, and the results we are presenting may well be the first observational...
  • Astronomers puzzled by cosmic black hole (patches in the universe where nobody's home)

    08/23/2007 7:36:01 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 63 replies · 1,453+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 8/23/07 | Seth Borenstein - ap
    WASHINGTON - Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That's got them scratching their heads about what's just not there. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That's an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday. Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the universe where nobody's home. In fact, one such place is practically a neighbor, a mere 2 million light years...
  • Astronomers Find Farthest Known Galaxies

    07/10/2007 2:52:26 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 23 replies · 1,213+ views
    Space.com on Yahoo ^ | 7/10/07 | Robert Roy Britt
    Astronomers have found evidence for the most distant galaxies ever detected. The galaxies are seen as they existed just 500 million years after the birth of the universe. Their light, traversing the cosmos for more than 13 billion years, was seen only because it was distorted in a natural "gravitational lens" created by the gravity-bending mass of a nearer cluster of galaxies. "Gravitational lensing is the magnification of distant sources by foreground structures," explained Caltech astronomer Richard Ellis, who led the international team. "By looking through carefully selected clusters, we have located six star-forming galaxies seen at unprecedented distances, corresponding...
  • Astronomers Spot 28 New Planets Orbiting Far-Off Stars

    05/29/2007 11:57:52 AM PDT · by bedolido · 10 replies · 433+ views
    foxnews ^ | 5-29-2007 | Jeanna Bryner
    HONOLULU — Astronomers have discovered 28 new planets outside of our solar system, increasing to 236 the number of known exoplanets, revealing that planets can exist around a broad spectrum of stellar types, from tiny, dim stars to giants.An artist's concept of the Neptune-sized planet GJ436b (right) orbiting the M-class dwarf star Gliese 436 at a distance of 3 million miles.
  • Hubble astronauts meet with astronomers

    05/09/2007 9:43:51 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 8 replies · 366+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/9/07 | Alex Dominguez - ap
    BALTIMORE - The astronauts who will service the Hubble Space Telescope were greeted enthusiastically Wednesday by astronomers who had faced the loss of the orbiting observatory when NASA canceled their mission. The seven astronauts will be "doing as much as we can cram in" to the September 2008 servicing mission that will keep the Hubble alive, mission commander Scott Altman told a crowded auditorium at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which coordinates the use of the telescope. "We will do our absolute best to leave the telescope in the most phenomenal condition that it can be when we let go...
  • Astronomers zoom in on black hole during 'eclipse'

    04/16/2007 11:11:24 AM PDT · by bedolido · 2 replies · 336+ views
    space.newscientist.com ^ | 4-13-2007 | Stephen Battersby
    A speedy gas cloud has allowed astronomers to probe closer than ever before to a supermassive black hole, confirming ideas about how these formidable objects can generate vast quantities of X-rays and other radiation. The black hole is thought to lie at the heart of a galaxy called NGC 1365, around 60 million light years away. NGC 1365 is a relatively nearby example of a galaxy with an active nucleus – a small, intensely bright spot at its core. These active galactic nuclei are among the brightest objects in the universe.
  • Astronomers swarm southern Ariz. to watch as Pluto blots out star

    03/17/2007 8:33:14 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 651+ views
    TUCSON, Ariz. -- Swarms of astronomers are expected to pack major observatories in Arizona this weekend hoping to see a rare "occultation" as Pluto crosses in front of a star and blots out its light. Sunday morning's event is exciting for scientists because it will give them a better idea of the size and makeup of Pluto's atmosphere. In an occultation -- not an eclipse, mind you -- the nearer object blots out the light and is backlit. If there is no atmosphere, it will blink out almost instantly, said Don McCarthy of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. But...
  • Waterless planets surprise astronomers

    02/21/2007 11:40:53 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 63 replies · 1,487+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 2/21/07 | Seth Borenstein - ap
    WASHINGTON - Scientists taking their first "sniffs of air" from planets outside our solar system are a bit baffled by what they didn't find: water. One of the more basic assumptions of astronomy is that the two distant, hot gaseous planets they examined must contain water in their atmospheres. The two suns the planets orbit closely have hydrogen and oxygen, the stable building blocks of water. These planets' atmospheres — examined for the first time using light spectra to determine the air's chemical composition — are supposed to be made up of the same thing, good old H2O. But when...
  • Astronomers find distant, fluffy planet - dubbed HAT-P-1

    09/14/2006 9:59:07 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 30 replies · 646+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 9/14/06 | AP
    WASHINGTON - The largest planet ever found orbiting another star is so puffy it would float on water, astronomers said Thursday. The newly discovered planet, dubbed HAT-P-1, is both the largest and least dense of the nearly 200 worlds astronomers have found outside our own solar system. HAT-P-1 orbits one of a pair of stars in the constellation Lacerta, about 450 light-years from Earth. "This new planet, if you could imagine putting it in a cosmic water glass, it would float," said Robert Noyes, a research astrophysicist with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. HAT-P-1 is an oddball planet, since it orbits...
  • Scientists blame sun for global warming (February 13, 1998)

    04/07/2006 12:09:17 PM PDT · by george76 · 120 replies · 3,609+ views
    BBC News ^ | Climatologists and astronomers
    Climate changes such as global warming may be due to changes in the sun rather than to the release of greenhouse gases on Earth. Climatologists and astronomers speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Philadelphia say the present warming may be unusual - but a mini ice age could soon follow. The sun provides all the energy that drives our climate, but it is not the constant star it might seem. Careful studies over the last 20 years show that its overall brightness and energy output increases slightly as sunspot activity rises to the peak...
  • Astronomers Detect First Split-Second of the Universe (WMAP & CMB)

    03/16/2006 6:35:03 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 74 replies · 1,721+ views
    LiveScience.com on yahoo ^ | 3/16/06 | Ker Than
    Scientists announced today new evidence supporting the theory that the infant universe expanded from subatomic to astronomical size in a fraction of a second after its birth. The finding is based on new results from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite, launched in 2001 to measure the temperature of radiant heat left over from the Big Bang, which is the theoretical beginning to the universe. This radiation is known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), and it is the oldest light in the universe. Using WMAP data, researchers announced in 2003 that they had pieced together a very detailed...
  • Astronomers Discover Peek-A-Boo Stars

    02/15/2006 9:48:05 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 389+ views
    Space.com ^ | 2/15/06 | Bjorn Carey
    A newfound type of rotating stars played peek-a-boo with astronomers, appearing and disappearing a few times each day. The stars seem to act like faulty cosmic lighthouses, spinning and emitting brief and bright flashes of radio waves that are among the brightest objects in the sky, then disappearing from the heavens entirely. The discovery is detailed in the Feb. 16 issue of the journal Nature. An international team of researchers spotted the new stars, called rotating radio transients, or RRATs, using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia. They were searching for radio pulsars—rotating neutron stars emitting radiation—at the time, but...
  • Astronomers Get First Glimpse of New Stars (Christmas Tree Cluster)

    12/26/2005 12:44:46 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 19 replies · 1,031+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 12/26/05 | AP
    TUCSON, Ariz. - Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a perfectly decorated Christmas tree 2,500 light years from earth. Scientists at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory said the remarkable star cluster gives them the first glimpse of newborn stars acting just as predicted - patterned geometrically and spaced according to density, temperature and gravity. "If you look at the very young stars in the cluster and the spacing between them, it isn't random spacing," said Erick T. Young, an astronomer at the Steward Observatory. "They're all about the same distance apart." The stars are less than 100,000...
  • Astronomers discover possible miniature solar system

    11/29/2005 6:20:23 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 32 replies · 1,052+ views
    ap on San Diego Union Tribune ^ | 11/29/05 | AP - Los Angeles
    LOS ANGELES – Astronomers peering through ground- and space-based telescopes have discovered what they believe is the birth of the smallest known solar system. Scientists found a tiny brown dwarf – or failed star – less than one hundredth the mass of the sun surrounded by what appears to be a disk of dust and gas. The brown dwarf – located 500 light years away in the constellation Chamaeleon – appears to be undergoing a planet-forming process that could one day yield a miniature solar system, said Kevin Luhman of Penn State University, who led the discovery. It's long believed...
  • Astronomers detect most distant cosmic explosion (~13 billion years old)

    09/12/2005 9:57:03 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 716+ views
    Reuters on yahoo ^ | 9/12/05 | Reuters - Washington
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Astronomers said on Monday they have detected a cosmic explosion at the very edge of the visible universe, a 13-billion-year-old blast that could help them learn more about the earliest stars. The brilliant blast -- known as a gamma ray burst -- was probably caused by the death of a massive star soon after the Big Bang, but was glimpsed on September 4 by NASA's new Swift satellite and later by ground-based telescopes. The explosion occurred soon after the first stars and galaxies formed, perhaps 500 million to 1 billion years after the Big Bang explosion that...
  • Andromeda galaxy larger than thought-astronomers

    05/30/2005 6:23:52 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 123 replies · 2,322+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 5/30/05 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Andromeda galaxy just got bigger -- three times bigger, astronomers said on Monday. The galaxy is not actually expanding. But new measurements suggest that the nearest galaxy to our own Milky Way is three times broader than astronomers had thought. They now believe a thin sprinkling of stars once thought to be a halo is in fact part of Andromeda's main disk. That makes the spiral galaxy, so close to Earth that it appeared as a fuzzy blob to the ancients, more than 220,000 light-years across -- triple the previous estimate of 70,000 to 80,000 light-years....
  • Outcast Star Zooms Out of Milky Way Galaxy

    02/08/2005 10:16:16 PM PST · by anymouse · 43 replies · 1,787+ views
    Reuters ^ | Feb 8, 2005 | Deborah Zabarenko
    An outcast star is zooming out of the Milky Way, the first ever seen escaping the galaxy, astronomers reported on Tuesday. The star is heading for the emptiness of intergalactic space after being ejected from the heart of the Milky Way following a close encounter with a black hole, said Warren Brown, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The outcast is going so fast -- over 1.5 million mph -- that astronomers believe it was lobbed out of the galaxy by the tremendous force of a black hole thought to sit at the Milky Way's center. That speed...
  • Astronomers Find 'Hot Spot' on Saturn

    02/04/2005 9:33:28 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 39 replies · 1,443+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 2/4/05 | Jaymes Song - AP
    HONOLULU - Astronomers using a giant telescope atop a volcano have discovered a hot spot at the tip of Saturn's south pole. The infrared images captured by the Keck I telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island suggest a warm polar vortex — a large-scale weather pattern likened to a jet stream on Earth that occurs in the upper atmosphere. It's the first such hot vortex ever discovered in the solar system. The team of scientists say the images are the sharpest thermal views of Saturn ever taken from the ground. Their work will...
  • Camera scoops amazing Orion with Infrared Telescope in Hawaii.

    12/25/2004 4:14:43 PM PST · by ckilmer · 42 replies · 2,397+ views
    BBC News ^ | Thursday, 23 December, 2004, 15:51 GMT
    Camera scoops amazing Orion snaps Astronomers have produced some amazing pictures using a remarkable new instrument on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope in Hawaii. The Wide Field Camera (WFCAM), built at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, is the world's most powerful infrared survey camera. WFCAM was trained on a region of star formation in the Orion constellation about 1,500 light-years away. The stunning images cover an area of sky that was unobtainable before. "The ability to see such a large area at once, with state-of-the-art detectors, makes WFCAM the fastest infrared survey instrument in the world, bar none,"...
  • Astronomers Chart Asteroid Threat

    10/30/2004 7:38:57 AM PDT · by blam · 14 replies · 485+ views
    BBC ^ | 10-30-2004
    Astronomers chart asteroid threat The team will be tracking asteroids with high-performance telescopes A team of astronomers has stepped up a project which one day could help to preserve the Earth from annihilation. The team from Queen's University in Belfast is monitoring asteroids in space to see if they are on a collision course with our planet. Their crucial data will be fed into an international programme for protecting the Earth from any future impact. On average 30 to 40 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) - asteroids or comets moving close to Earth - are found each month. High-performance telescopes More than...
  • Probe To 'Look Inside' Asteroids

    07/28/2004 8:22:08 AM PDT · by blam · 28 replies · 956+ views
    BBC ^ | 7-28-2004 | Paul Rincon
    Probe to 'look inside' asteroids By Paul Rincon BBC News Online science staff in Paris, France Studies of asteroids would aid Earth-protection strategies A new space mission concept unveiled at a Paris conference aims to look inside asteroids to reveal how they are made. Deep Interior would use radar to probe the origin and evolution of two near-Earth objects less than 1km across. The mission, which could launch some time later this decade, would also give clues to how the planets evolved. The perceived threat of asteroids colliding with our planet has renewed interest in space missions to understand these...
  • Earth almost put on impact alert

    02/24/2004 10:30:57 PM PST · by Stoat · 149 replies · 745+ views
    BBC News ^ | Tuesday, 24 February, 2004 | Dr David Whitehouse
    Earth almost put on impact alert By Dr David Whitehouse BBC News Online science editor Astronomers have revealed how they came within minutes of alerting the world to a potential asteroid strike last month. Some scientists believed on 13 January that a 30m object, later designated 2004 AS1, had a one-in-four chance of hitting the planet within 36 hours. It could have caused local devastation and the researchers contemplated a call to President Bush before new data finally showed there was no danger. The procedures for raising the alarm in such circumstances are now being revised. At the time, the...
  • Smoking Supernovae: Astronomers Claim Solution To A Mystery Of The Universe

    07/24/2003 1:52:46 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 27 replies · 377+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 7/24/03
    Astronomers from Cardiff University, in Wales, and the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, Scotland, believe they have solved one of the long-standing mysteries of the Universe - the origins of cosmic dust. In the latest issue of the science journal Nature, they explain how they have found that some supernovae, or exploding stars, belch out huge quantities of this dust - a discovery which suggests that supernovae were responsible for producing the first solid particles in the Universe. Originally astronomers thought that dust was mostly made in the winds from cool, giant stars in the late stages of their lives. Cosmic dust...
  • Space science contains big void - Astronomers admit they don't understand dark energy and matter

    06/30/2003 7:04:52 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 93 replies · 633+ views
    Mercury News ^ | 6/30/03 | Robert S. Boyd - Knight Ridder
    <p>WASHINGTON - In ``Star Wars,'' Darth Vader rules the ``dark side'' of a fantasy universe. In real life, astronomers are exploring the ``dark side'' of our own universe. They find it a mystifying place.</p> <p>According to a batch of new reports published in a special ``Welcome to the Dark Side'' issue of the journal Science, most of the cosmos cannot be seen, even with the most powerful telescopes. All but a tiny fraction of creation consists of two exotic, invisible ingredients called ``dark energy'' and ``dark matter.''</p>
  • Astronomers complete massive online digital sky survey

    03/27/2003 3:28:43 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies · 544+ views
    SJ Mercury News ^ | 3/27/03 | AP - Pasadena
    <p>PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Astronomers have completed the most thorough high-resolution digital survey of the heavens and released its 5 million images on the Internet.</p> <p>The map of the sky took four years of observations and $40 million to complete. It contains an estimated 500 million celestial objects, mostly stars but also galaxies, asteroids and comets.</p>
  • Shuttle Lost Parts Over Calif. (finally confirming what amateur skywatchers from Day One said)

    02/18/2003 7:23:50 PM PST · by TLBSHOW · 195 replies · 498+ views
    ap ^ | 2/18/2002 | MARCIA DUNN
    Board: Shuttle Lost Parts Over Calif. SPACE CENTER, Houston - Space shuttle Columbia began losing pieces over the California coast well before it disintegrated over Texas, the accident investigation board reported Tuesday, finally confirming what astronomers and amateur skywatchers have been saying from Day One. But board member James Hallock, a physicist and chief of the Transportation Department's aviation safety division, said the fragments were probably so small they burned up before reaching the ground. He said the conclusion that the space shuttle was shedding pieces a full six minutes before it came apart over Texas was based on images...