Keyword: haltonarp

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tail

    08/24/2014 9:23:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- No X-rays from SN 2014J

    08/16/2014 4:53:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Last January, telescopes in observatories around planet Earth were eagerly used to watch the rise of SN 2014J, a bright supernova in nearby galaxy M82. Still, the most important observations may have been from orbit where the Chandra X-ray Observatory saw nothing. Identified as a Type Ia supernova, the explosion of SN2014J was thought to be triggered by the buildup of mass on a white dwarf star steadily accreting material from a companion star. That model predicts X-rays would be generated when the supernova blastwave struck the material left surrounding the white dwarf. But no X-rays were seen from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Blue Bridge of Stars between Cluster Galaxies

    07/15/2014 2:02:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | July 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why is there a blue bridge of stars across the center of this galaxy cluster? First and foremost the cluster, designated SDSS J1531+3414, contains many large yellow elliptical galaxies. The cluster's center, as pictured above by the Hubble Space Telescope, is surrounded by many unusual, thin, and curving blue filaments that are actually galaxies far in the distance whose images have become magnified and elongated by the gravitational lens effect of the massive cluster. More unusual, however, is a squiggly blue filament near the two large elliptical galaxies at the cluster center. Close inspection of the filament indicates that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M51: X-Rays from the Whirlpool

    07/10/2014 8:36:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if we X-rayed an entire spiral galaxy? This was done (again) recently by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory for the nearby interacting galaxies known as the Whirlpool (M51). Hundreds of glittering x-ray stars are present in the above Chandra image of the spiral and its neighbor. The image is a conglomerate of X-ray light from Chandra and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. The number of luminous x-ray sources, likely neutron star and black hole binary systems within the confines of M51, is unusually high for normal spiral or elliptical galaxies and suggests this cosmic whirlpool has experienced...
  • Missing Light Crisis: 'Something is Amiss in the Universe'

    07/10/2014 6:57:55 AM PDT · by shove_it · 40 replies
    IBTimes ^ | 10 Jul 2014 | Hannah Osborne
    There is a "missing light crisis" taking place in the universe with a huge deficit on what there should be and what there actually is, astronomers have said. In a statement, experts from the Carnegie Institution for Science said "something is amiss in the universe" with 80% of the light missing. Lead author of the study Juna Kollmeier said: "It's as if you're in a big, brightly-lit room, but you look around and see only a few 40-watt lightbulbs. Where is all that light coming from? It's missing from our census." Published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, scientists found that the...
  • Astronomy: Planets in chaos. Standard ideas of Planet formation are being demolished

    07/08/2014 2:09:26 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    NATURE ^ | 07/02/2014 | Ann Finkbeiner
    The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory. Not so long ago — as recently as the mid-1990s, in fact — there was a theory so beautiful that astronomers thought it simply had to be true. They gave it a rather pedestrian name: the core-accretion theory. But its beauty lay in how it used just a few basic principles of physics and chemistry to account for every major feature of our Solar System. It explained why all the planets orbit the...
  • Was Einstein wrong all along? Controversial theory suggests the speed of light is SLOWER...

    06/28/2014 12:14:35 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 73 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | : 06:57 EST, 27 June 2014 | Ellie Zolfagharifard
    The University of Maryland physicist believes the delay could have been because the light was in fact slowed as it travelled due to something known as 'vacuum polarisation'. During this phenomenon, photons break down to something known as ‘positrons’ and electrons for a split second. before combining together again. When they split, quantum mechanics creates a gravitational potential between the pair of ‘virtual’ particles. Dr Franson argues that the process might have a gradual impact on the speed of the photon, meaning that over 168,000 light years, the photons may have suffered a near five-hour delay. If the physicist is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 81: 100 Million Years Later

    04/23/2014 7:04:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From planet Earth, we see this strongly distorted pair of galaxies, cataloged as Arp 81, as they were only about 100 million years after their close encounter. The havoc wreaked by their mutual gravitational interaction during the encounter is detailed in this color composite image showing twisted streams of gas and dust, a chaos of massive star formation, and a tidal tail stretching for 200 thousand light-years or so as it sweeps behind the cosmic wreckage. Also known as NGC 6622 (left) and NGC 6621, the galaxies are roughly equal in size but are destined to merge into one...
  • General relativity survives gruelling pulsar test — Einstein at least 99.95 percent right

    09/15/2006 5:16:06 AM PDT · by Renfield · 11 replies · 677+ views
    Brightsurf.com ^ | 9-14-06 | Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council
    September 14, 2006 - An international research team led by Prof. Michael Kramer of the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, UK, has used three years of observations of the “double pulsar”, a unique pair of natural stellar clocks which they discovered in 2003, to prove that Einstein’s theory of general relativity–the theory of gravity that displaced Newton’s–is correct to within a staggering 0.05%. Their results are published on the14th September in the journal Science and are based on measurements of an effect called the Shapiro Delay. The double pulsar system, PSR J0737-3039A and B, is 2000 light-years away in...
  • The Mystery of the North Star: Astronomers baffled to find Polaris is getting BRIGHTER

    02/06/2014 12:11:57 AM PST · by ApplegateRanch · 77 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | UPDATED: 16:18 EST, 5 February 2014 | MARK PRIGG
    Team found that Polaris is 2.5 times brighter today than in 137CE Experts say find is 'entirely unexpected' Astronomers have discovered that Polaris, the north star, is getting brighter. They say the star has suddenly reversed two decades of dimming. It is expanding at more than 100 times the rate they expected - and nobody is sure why. A team led by Scott Engle of Villanova University in Pennsylvania recalibrated historic measurements of Polaris by Ptolemy in 137 C.E., the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi in 964 C.E., and others. They investigated the fluctuations of the star over the course of several...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 2685

    03/14/2014 9:23:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 2685 is a confirmed polar ring galaxy - a rare type of galaxy with stars, gas and dust orbiting in rings perpendicular to the plane of a flat galactic disk. The bizarre configuration could be caused by the chance capture of material from another galaxy by a disk galaxy, with the captured debris strung out in a rotating ring. Still, observed properties of NGC 2685 suggest that the rotating ring structure is remarkably old and stable. In this sharp view of the peculiar system also known as Arp 336 or the Helix galaxy, the strange, perpendicular rings are...
  • Closing the 'free will' loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell's theorem

    02/26/2014 9:08:05 AM PST · by onedoug · 94 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 20 Feb 2014 | MIT Team
    Astronomers propose an experiment that may close the last major loophole of Bell's inequality -- a 50-year-old theorem that, if violated by experiments, would mean that our universe is based not on the textbook laws of classical physics, but on the less-tangible probabilities of quantum mechanics. Such a quantum view would allow for seemingly counterintuitive phenomena such as entanglement, in which the measurement of one particle instantly affects another, even if those entangled particles are at opposite ends of the universe. Among other things, entanglement -- a quantum feature Albert Einstein skeptically referred to as "spooky action at a distance"...
  • Big Pic: An Ultramassive Black Hole

    01/26/2014 7:26:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Popular Science ^ | January 24, 2014 | Francie Diep
    One of the most powerful things in the universe wears a sparkly purple coat. Well, at least it looks that way in this image combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. This is an image of the galaxy cluster RX J1532.9+3021... At the cluster's center is one of the most powerful black holes astronomers have ever found. The black hole is surrounded by hot gas, which appears here in purple. Normally, astronomers would expect dense, hot gas like this to form stars, but they haven't found any evidence of stars here. Instead, they think, the...
  • Big-bang-defying giant of astronomy passes away (article)

    01/02/2014 9:11:49 AM PST · by fishtank · 30 replies
    Creation.com ^ | 12-31-13 | John G. Hartnett
    Big-bang-defying giant of astronomy passes away by John G. Hartnett Published: 31 December 2013 (GMT+10) Halton Arp passed away on Saturday morning 28th December 2013 in Munich, Germany. He will be sorely missed by many but not so much by others because of his challenges to the ruling big bang paradigm. With Geoffrey Burbidge and others, Professor Halton Arp was a thorn in the side of those who held to the standard story line of the big bang. In many papers and several books1 he promoted the idea that quasars are born from the nucleus of active galaxies—parent galaxies. In...
  • Scientists witness massive gamma-ray burst, don't understand it

    11/22/2013 7:53:51 AM PST · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | November 21, 2013 | By Pete Spotts, Staff writer
    An exploded star some 3.8 billion light-years away is forcing scientists to overhaul much of what they thought they knew about gamma-ray bursts – intense blasts of radiation triggered, in this case, by a star tens of times more massive than the sun that exhausted its nuclear fuel, exploded, then collapsed to form a black hole. Last April, gamma rays from the blast struck detectors in gamma-ray observatories orbiting Earth, triggering a frenzy of space- and ground-based observations. Many of them fly in the face of explanations researchers have developed during the past 30 years for the processes driving the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 94

    10/10/2013 9:26:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | October 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This telescopic snapshot records a cosmic moment in the tumultuous lives of large spiral galaxy NGC 3227 and smaller elliptical NGC 3226. Catching them in the middle of an ongoing gravitational dance, the sensitive imaging also follows faint tidal star streams flung from the galaxies in their repeated close encounters. Over 50 million light-years distant toward the constellation Leo, the pair's appearance has earned them the designation Arp 94 in the classic catalog of peculiar galaxies. But such galactic collisions and mergers are now thought to represent a normal course in the evolution of galaxies, including our own Milky...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- All the Colors of the Sun

    10/02/2013 3:37:32 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | October 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Here are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device. The spectrum was created at the McMath-Pierce Solar Observatory and shows, first off, that although our white-appearing Sun emits light of nearly every color, it does indeed appear brightest in yellow-green light. The dark patches in the above spectrum arise from gas at or above the Sun's surface absorbing sunlight emitted below. Since different types of gas absorb different colors of light, it is possible to determine...
  • Hubble Finds Source of Magellanic Stream

    09/21/2013 10:32:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Thursday, September 19, 2013 | unattributed
    Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have solved a 40-year mystery on the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around our Milky Way galaxy. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, are at the head of the gaseous stream. Since the stream's discovery by radio telescopes in the early 1970s, astronomers have wondered whether the gas comes from one or both of the satellite galaxies. New Hubble observations reveal most of the gas was stripped from the Small Magellanic Cloud about two billion years ago, and a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Colliding Spiral Galaxies of Arp 271

    08/25/2013 6:08:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | August 25, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What will become of these galaxies? Spiral galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 are passing dangerously close to each other, but each is likely to survive this collision. Typically when galaxies collide, a large galaxy eats a much smaller galaxy. In this case, however, the two galaxies are quite similar, each being a sprawling spiral with expansive arms and a compact core. As the galaxies advance over the next tens of millions of years, their component stars are unlikely to collide, although new stars will form in the bunching of gas caused by gravitational tides. Close inspection of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Magellanic Stream

    08/16/2013 4:07:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | August 15, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In an astronomical version of the search for the source of the Nile, astronomers now have strong evidence for the origin of the Magellanic Stream. This composite image shows the long ribbon of gas, discovered at radio wavelengths in the 1970s, in pinkish hues against an optical all-sky view across the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Both Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, dwarf satellite galaxies of the the Milky Way, are seen near the head of the stream at the right. Data from Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph were used to explore abundances of elements along sightlines to quasars...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Porpoise Galaxy from Hubble

    06/24/2013 8:58:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | June 24, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening to this spiral galaxy? Just a few hundred million years ago, NGC 2936, the upper of the two large galaxies shown, was likely a normal spiral galaxy -- spinning, creating stars -- and minding its own business. But then it got too close to the massive elliptical galaxy NGC 2937 below and took a dive. Dubbed the Porpoise Galaxy for its iconic shape, NGC 2936 is not only being deflected but also being distorted by the close gravitational interaction. A burst of young blue stars forms the nose of the porpoise toward the left of the upper...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Grand Spiral Galaxy M81 and Arp's Loop

    04/16/2013 4:00:17 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 16, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earth's sky is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy: big, beautiful M81. This grand spiral galaxy lies 11.8 million light-years away toward the northern constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major). The deep image of the region reveals details in the bright yellow core, but at the same time follows fainter features along the galaxy's gorgeous blue spiral arms and sweeping dust lanes. It also follows the expansive, arcing feature, known as Arp's loop, that seems to rise from the galaxy's disk at the upper right. Studied in the 1960s,...
  • New Research Shows the Speed of Light is Variable in Real Space

    03/25/2013 11:27:40 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Cleveland Leader ^ | March 25, 2013 1:33pm | Julie Kent
    Two new studies to be published in the European Physical Journal D demonstrate that the speed of light is variable in real space. Textbook explanations of the speed of light assume that light travels in a vacuum, but space is not a vacuum. … It is not expected that the small variation in the speed of light which has been found will affect the universally accepted theories of particle physics and quantum mechanics to a large extent. However, the studies are proof that the speed of light may be variable, and shows that the mathematical treatments that have long been...
  • Thirteen little galaxies all in a row: Configuration deviates from the expected...

    01/06/2013 8:06:50 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 36 replies
    Vancouver Sun ^ | 1/6/13 | Randy Shore
    A string of 13 dwarf galaxies are in orbit around the galaxy Andromeda. The galaxies are spread across a flat plane more than one million light years wide and 30,000 light years thick, moving in synchonicity with each other. The phenomenon is unlike behaviour of other observed galaxies and suggests a hole in our knowledge of galaxy formation. A string of 13 dwarf galaxies in orbit around the massive galaxy Andromeda are not behaving as they should. The galaxies are spread across a flat plane more than one million light years wide and only 30,000 light years thick, moving...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Einstein Cross Gravitational Lens

    01/02/2013 6:47:13 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | January 02, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Most galaxies have a single nucleus -- does this galaxy have four? The strange answer leads astronomers to conclude that the nucleus of the surrounding galaxy is not even visible in this image. The central cloverleaf is rather light emitted from a background quasar. The gravitational field of the visible foreground galaxy breaks light from this distant quasar into four distinct images. The quasar must be properly aligned behind the center of a massive galaxy for a mirage like this to be evident. The general effect is known as gravitational lensing, and this specific case is known as the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Plasma Jets from Radio Galaxy Hercules A

    12/05/2012 9:30:09 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this galaxy emit such spectacular jets? No one is sure, but it is likely related to an active supermassive black hole at its center. The galaxy at the image center, Hercules A, appears to be a relatively normal elliptical galaxy in visible light. When imaged in radio waves, however, tremendous plasma jets over one million light years long appear. Detailed analyses indicate that the central galaxy, also known as 3C 348, is actually over 1,000 times more massive than our Milky Way Galaxy, and the central black hole is nearly 1,000 times more massive than the black...
  • MONSTER QUASAR BLAST blows stunned astro boffins' WIGS OFF

    11/28/2012 2:18:51 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 22 replies
    The Register ^ | 28th November 2012 16:40 GMT | Kelly Fiveash, Networks Correspondent
    Physics boffins have discovered a dying galaxy whose black hole core has emitted the biggest burst of energy ever to be found by scientists. Researchers at Virginia Tech in the US examined the record-breaking quasar, dubbed SDSS J1106+1939, using a colossal telescope in Paranal, Chile to observe what they described as a "monster outflow". They explained that the rate at which energy was carried away by the lusty mass of material ejected was equivalent to two trillion times the power output of the sun. "This is about 100 times higher than the total power output of the Milky Way galaxy,"...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tail

    11/10/2012 9:42:12 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Merging NGC 2623

    10/19/2012 5:29:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    NASA ^ | October 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 2623 is really two galaxies that are becoming one. Seen to be in the final stages of a titanic galaxy merger, the pair lies some 300 million light-years distant toward the constellation Cancer. The violent encounter between two galaxies that may have been similar to the Milky Way has produced widespread star formation near a luminous core and along eye-catching tidal tails. Filled with dust, gas, and young blue star clusters, the opposing tidal tails extend well over 50,000 light-years from the merged nucleus. Likely triggered by the merger, accretion by a supermassive black hole drives activity within...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Elliptical M60, Spiral NGC 4647

    09/15/2012 10:53:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | September 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Giant elliptical galaxy M60 and spiral galaxy NGC 4647 do look like an odd couple in this sharp cosmic portrait from the Hubble Space Telescope. But they are found in a region of space where galaxies tend to gather, on the eastern side of the nearby Virgo Galaxy Cluster. About 54 million light-years distant, bright M60's simpler egg-like shape is created by its randomly swarming older stars, while NGC 4647's young blue stars, gas and dust are organized into winding arms rotating in a flattened disk. Spiral NGC 4647 is estimated to be more distant than M60, some 63...
  • How Big is the Entire Universe?

    07/21/2012 12:57:15 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 61 replies
    Starts with a Bang ^ | 7/18/12 | Ethan Siegel
    (25) Millenium simulation from Volker Springel et al., from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” -Stephen Hawking The Universe is a vast, seemingly unending marvel of existence. Over the past century, we’ve learned that the Universe stretches out beyond the billions of stars in our Milky Way, out across billions of light years, containing close to a trillion galaxies all told.Image credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team. And yet, that’s just the observable Universe! There are good reasons to believe that the...
  • Hubble spots spiral galaxy that shouldn't exist

    07/18/2012 5:08:07 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 59 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | July 18, 2012, 1:05 p.m. | Thomas H. Maugh II
    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered the oldest known spiral galaxy, a 10.7-billion-year-old anomaly that by all rights shouldn't exist. The galaxy was present in the early universe, about 3 billion years after the Big Bang, at a time when galaxies were still forming and normally looked clumpy and irregular. … In fact, it is a so-called grand design spiral galaxy, which has prominent, well-formed spiral arms. "The fact that this galaxy exists is astounding," Law said. "Current wisdom holds that such grand design spiral galaxies didn't exist at such an early time in the history of the...
  • A Stroll Through the Lyman-Alpha Forest!

    02/19/2004 1:54:19 PM PST · by vannrox · 19 replies · 5,272+ views
    Alternate View Column AV-116 ^ | 08/06/2002 | by John G. Cramer
     As the author of these columns describing cutting edge physics and astronomy, I get quite a few letters and E-mail from readers who are more interested in ?over-the-edge physics and astronomy?.  One recurring theme is various alternatives to the standard model of Big Bang cosmology.  Perhaps the universe is not expanding; it?s just that light ?gets tired? on its path from far away and loses some of its energy.  Perhaps quasars are closer than we think, particularly since some of them appear to be linked to closer galaxies.  Perhaps relativity is wrong, and it?s the speed of light that is...
  • Chandra Discovers "Rivers Of Gravity" That Define Cosmic Landscape

    08/02/2002 4:41:48 PM PDT · by vannrox · 60 replies · 970+ views
    ScienceDaily Magazine ^ | Thursday, August 01, 2002 | Editorial Staff
    Reprinted from ScienceDaily Magazine ...Source:             NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center Date Posted:    Thursday, August 01, 2002Web Address:   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020801080835.htm Chandra Discovers "Rivers Of Gravity" That Define Cosmic Landscape NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered part of an intergalactic web of hot gas and dark matter that contains most of the material in the universe. The hot gas, which appears to lie like a fog in channels carved by rivers of gravity, has been hidden from view since the time galaxies formed. "The Chandra observations, together with ultraviolet observations, are a major advance in our understanding of how the universe evolved over the last 10 billion...
  • Revealed at last: Universe's intergalactic dark matter skeleton

    07/07/2012 2:37:39 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 16 replies
    The Register ^ | 6th July 2012 22:55 GMT | Rik Myslewski in San Francisco
    Boffins' first glimpse of the structural framework of our universe Higgs, Schmiggs... When that infinitesimal speck was sucking up all the journalistic oxygen on Independence Day, another momentous scientific discovery was also being announced: the first observation of filaments of dark matter, the stuff that forms the "skeleton" of our universe. Invisible, inexplicable dark matter makes up the vast majority of the mass of our universe. All the matter that we can see – stars, galaxies, planets, haggis, Michele Bachman – total only between 4 and 5 per cent of our universe's mass. The rest? There's dark matter and dark...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Tidal Tail of NGC 3628

    07/06/2012 9:26:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mere 30 million light-years away, large spiral galaxy NGC 3628 (center left) shares its neighborhood in the local Universe with two other large spirals, in a magnificent grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplet. In fact, fellow trio member M65 is near the center right edge of this deep cosmic group portrait, with M66 just above it and to the left. But, perhaps most intriguing is the spectacular tail stretching up and to the left for about 300,000 light-years from NGC 3628's warped, edge-on disk. Know as a tidal tail, the structure has been drawn out of the...
  • Sun Is Moving Slower Than Thought

    05/14/2012 3:47:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | May 10, 2012 | Andrew Fazekas
    The sun is moving through the Milky Way slower than previously thought, according to new data from a NASA spacecraft. From its orbit around Earth, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite measured the speeds of interstellar particles entering at the fringes of our solar system, 9 billion miles (14.5 billion kilometers) from the sun. Plugging the new data into computer models, the IBEX team calculates that the sun is moving at about 52,000 miles (83,700 kilometers) an hour -- about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) slower than thought. The discovery suggests that the protective boundary separating our solar system from the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 272

    09/22/2011 8:26:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | September 22, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Linking spiral arms, two large colliding galaxies are featured in this remarkable cosmic portrait constructed using image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive. Recorded in astronomer Halton Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 272, the pair is otherwise known as NGC 6050 near center, and IC 1179 at upper right. A third galaxy, likely also a member of the interacting system, can be spotted above and left of larger spiral NGC 6050. They lie some 450 million light-years away in the Hercules Galaxy Cluster. At that estimated distance, the picture spans over 150 thousand light-years. Although this scenario...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Jet from Galaxy M87

    08/28/2011 4:52:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    NASA ^ | August 28, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's causing a huge jet to emanate from the center of galaxy M87? Although the unusual jet was first noticed early in the twentieth century, the exact cause is still debated. The above picture taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 shows clear details, however. The most popular hypothesis holds that the jet is created by energetic gas swirling around a massive black hole at the galaxy's center. The result is a 5000 light-year long blowtorch where electrons are ejected outward at near light-speed, emitting eerily blue light during a magnetic spiral. M87 is a giant elliptical galaxy...
  • 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...
  • Possibly the most distant object known

    07/18/2011 12:34:14 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 07-18-2011 | Staff
    The most distant objects in the universe are also the oldest -- or at least that is how they appear to us, because their light has had to travel for billions of years to get here. They are also extraordinarily faint since they are so far away, and only in the last decade have astronomers been able to stretch their vision using the newest telescopes and clever techniques. One such innovation occurred with the launch of the NASA Swift satellite in 2004; it searches for bursts of gamma-ray emission, called GRBs. These flashes, thought to result from the especially spectacular...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 78: Peculiar Galaxy in Aries

    07/07/2011 3:29:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | July 07, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Peculiar spiral galaxy Arp 78 is found within the boundaries of the head strong constellation Aries, some 100 million light-years beyond the stars and nebulae of our Milky Way galaxy. Also known as NGC 772, the island universe is over 100 thousand light-years across and sports a single prominent outer spiral arm in this detailed cosmic portrait. Its brightest companion galaxy, compact NGC 770, is toward the upper right of the larger spiral. NGC 770's fuzzy, elliptical appearance contrasts nicely with a spiky foreground Milky Way star in matching yellowish hues. Tracking along sweeping dust lanes and lined with...
  • Integral challenges physics beyond Einstein

    06/30/2011 1:16:51 PM PDT · by decimon · 12 replies
    European Space Agency ^ | June 30, 2011 | Unknown
    30 June 2011 ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory has provided results that will dramatically affect the search for physics beyond Einstein. It has shown that any underlying quantum ‘graininess’ of space must be at much smaller scales than previously predicted. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity describes the properties of gravity and assumes that space is a smooth, continuous fabric. Yet quantum theory suggests that space should be grainy at the smallest scales, like sand on a beach. One of the great concerns of modern physics is to marry these two concepts into a single theory of quantum gravity. Now, Integral has...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Universe Nearby

    06/14/2011 3:03:47 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | June 14, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What does the universe nearby look like? This plot shows nearly 50,000 galaxies in the nearby universe detected by the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) in infrared light. The resulting image is anincredible tapestry of galaxies that provides limits on how the universe formed and evolved. The dark band across the image center is blocked by dust in the plane of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Away from the Galactic plane, however, each dot represents a galaxy, color coded to indicate distance. Bluer dots represent the nearer galaxies in the 2MASS survey, while redder dots indicating the more...
  • "Vampire" Stars Found in Heart of Our Galaxy—A First

    06/11/2011 5:15:07 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    NatGeoNwes ^ | June 9, 2011 | Charles Choi
    Called blue stragglers, these cannibal stars have been spotted in other parts of the Milky Way. They seem to lag in age next to the other stars with which they formed—appearing hotter, and thus younger and bluer. Astronomers suspect blue stragglers look so youthful because they've stolen hydrogen fuel from other stars, perhaps after colliding into their victims. These cannibal stars are routinely found in dense star clusters, where stars have many chances to feed off each other. Now, however, scientists have found blue stragglers in the Milky Way's galactic bulge, a dense region of stars and gas surrounding the...
  • Astronomers Discover Oldest Ever Galaxy

    01/26/2011 4:56:17 PM PST · by Red Badger · 49 replies
    Fox News ^ | 1-26-11 | Staf
    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have peered further back in time than ever before, spotting a galaxy that formed less than 500 million years after the birth of our universe, making it the oldest and most distant ever seen. The find, reported today (Jan. 26) in the journal Nature, should help astronomers better understand the early days of the universe, researchers said. In particular, the discovery should shed light on the evolution of early galaxies, which first formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang."In essence, the most important aspect of this is, it provides us...
  • ‘Blue Stragglers’ in the Galactic Bulge (a sign of ETI, as in SETI?)

    05/30/2011 12:01:07 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 9 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 5/30/11 | Paul Gilster
    ‘Blue Stragglers’ in the Galactic Bulge by Paul Gilster on May 30, 2011 I’m fascinated by how much the exoplanet hunt is telling us about celestial objects other than planets. The other day we looked at some of the stellar spinoffs from the Kepler mission, including the unusual pulsations of the star HD 187091, now known to be not one star but two. But the examples run well beyond Kepler. Back in 2006, a survey called the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS) used Hubble data to study 180,000 stars in the galaxy’s central bulge, the object being...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Mileage of Light

    05/28/2011 5:30:30 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | May 28, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    [Composite Image Credit & Copyright: Dennis L. Mammana (TWAN)] Explanation: If you're driving down a dark road on a starry night, you might want to check the odometer. Earlier this month, when traveling astronomer Dennis Mammana did he was greeted with the significant mileage reading of 186,282 miles. That's the number of miles light travels in one second. Or, if you prefer kilometers, the number you are looking for is 299,792. Mammana muses that in driving to countless observatories, star parties, and night sky photo shoots it has taken his 1998 vintage sport utility vehicle over 13 years to cover...
  • New candidate for most distant object in universe

    05/25/2011 11:58:54 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 47 replies
    www.physorg.com ^ | 05-25-2011 | Provided by Pennsylvania State University
    A gamma-ray burst detected by NASA's Swift satellite in April 2009 has been newly unveiled as a candidate for the most distant object in the universe. At an estimated distance of 13.14 billion light years, the burst lies far beyond any known quasar and could be more distant than any previously known galaxy or gamma-ray burst. Multiple lines of evidence in favor of a record-breaking distance for this burst, known as GRB 090429B for the 29 April 2009 date when it was discovered, are presented in a paper by an international team of astronomers led by former Penn State University...
  • Hubble Views the Star That Changed the Universe

    05/23/2011 8:55:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | Monday, May 23, 2011 | unattributed
    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been trained on a single variable star that in 1923 altered the course of modern astronomy. V1 is a special class of pulsating star called a Cepheid variable that can be used to make reliable measurements of large cosmic distances. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)