Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $31,543
35%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 35% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Keyword: haltonarp

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Two giant black holes might crash into each other in 21 years

    05/28/2015 6:23:02 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 57 replies
    Geek.com ^ | 5/23/15 | Ryan Whitwam
    In the center of most galaxies (ours included) there is a supermassive black hole that holds everything together. However, one galaxy 10.5 billion light years away looks like it might have two black holes, and just like in Highlander, there can be only one. Scientists believe the pair are going to crash into each other in just 21 years. This could provide an unprecedented opportunity to observe the mind-boggling physics of such an event. The galaxy in question doesn’t have a snazzy name — it’s known only as PSO J334.2028+01.4075. It’s what is known as a quasar, or an “active...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Supernova 1994D and the Unexpected Universe

    05/31/2015 8:55:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | May 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Long ago, far away, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae. In fact, the light emitted during the weeks after its explosion caused it to be given the familiar designation of a Type Ia supernova. If all Type 1a supernovae have the same intrinsic brightness, then the dimmer a supernova appears, the farther away it must be. By calibrating a precise brightness-distance...
  • NASA’s Hubble Finds Giant Halo Around the Andromeda Galaxy

    05/09/2015 6:27:38 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    nasa ^ | Rob Gutro
    Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that the immense halo of gas enveloping the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest massive galactic neighbor, is about six times larger and 1,000 times more massive than previously measured. The dark, nearly invisible halo stretches about a million light-years from its host galaxy, halfway to our own Milky Way galaxy. This finding promises to tell astronomers more about the evolution and structure of majestic giant spirals, one of the most common types of galaxies in the universe. “Halos are the gaseous atmospheres of galaxies. The properties of these gaseous halos control the rate...
  • Accelerating universe? Not so fast

    04/12/2015 9:14:56 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    Eurekalert ^ | 4/10/15
    Certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought, a University of Arizona-led team of astronomers has discovered. The results, reported in two papers published in the Astrophysical Journal, have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say. The team, led by UA astronomer Peter A. Milne, discovered that type Ia supernovae, which have been considered so uniform that cosmologists...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Voorwerpjes in Space

    04/04/2015 4:02:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | April 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Mysterious Hanny's Voorwerp, Dutch for "Hanny's Object", is really enormous, about the size of the Milky Way Galaxy and glowing strongly in the greenish light produced by ionized oxygen atoms. It is thought to be a tidal tail of material left by an ancient galaxy merger, illuminated and ionized by the outburst of a quasar inhabiting the center of distant spiral galaxy IC 2497. Its exciting 2007 discovery by Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel while participating online in the Galaxy Zoo project has since inspired a search and discovery of eight more eerie green cosmic features. Imaged in these...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pillars and Jets in the Pelican Nebula

    03/04/2015 3:02:06 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What dark structures arise from the Pelican Nebula? Visible as a bird-shaped nebula toward the constellation of a bird (Cygnus, the Swan), the Pelican Nebula is a place dotted with newly formed stars but fouled with dark dust. These smoke-sized dust grains formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars and were dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by a star on the right that is helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of ionized nitrogen, oxygen,...
  • Black hole 12bn times more massive than sun is discovered

    02/28/2015 10:32:14 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 60 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | Feb 25, 2015 | Press Association
    Scientists name new ‘object’ SDSS J0100+2802 and say it is 12.8bn light years from Earth and was formed just 900m years after the Big Bang *************************************************************A monster black hole powering “the brightest lighthouse in the distant universe” has been discovered that is 12bn times more massive than the sun, scientists have revealed.The extraordinary object is at the centre of a quasar - an intensely powerful galactic radiation source - with a million billion times the sun’s energy output.For years the nature of quasars, discovered in 1963, remained a mystery. Today scientists believe they are generated by matter heating up as...
  • Monster Black Hole Is the Largest and Brightest Ever Found

    02/26/2015 5:24:51 AM PST · by C19fan · 27 replies
    Space.com ^ | February 25, 2015 | Charles Q. Choi
    Astronomers have discovered the largest and most luminous black hole ever seen — an ancient monster with a mass about 12 billion times that of the sun — that dates back to when the universe was less than 1 billion years old. It remains a mystery how black holes could have grown so huge in such a relatively brief time after the dawn of the universe, researchers say.
  • The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

    01/20/2015 4:43:30 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 99 replies
    Medium ^ | 1/20/15
    Some simple observations about the universe seem to contradict basic physics. Solving these paradoxes could change the way we think about the cosmos Revolutions in science often come from the study of seemingly unresolvable paradoxes. An intense focus on these paradoxes, and their eventual resolution, is a process that has leads to many important breakthroughs. So an interesting exercise is to list the paradoxes associated with current ideas in science. It’s just possible that these paradoxes will lead to the next generation of ideas about the universe. Today, Yurij Baryshev at St Petersburg State University in Russia does just this...
  • Spooky Alignment of Quasars Across Billions of Light-years — Science Release — ESO1438

    11/25/2014 10:36:03 PM PST · by Swordmaker · 34 replies
    VLT reveals alignments between supermassive black hole axes and large-scale structure New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years. The team has also found that the rotation axes of these quasars tend to be aligned with the vast structures in the cosmic web in which they reside.See Full Size Photo Quasars are galaxies with...
  • Big Bang's afterglow fails intergalactic 'shadow' test

    09/01/2006 8:10:03 AM PDT · by PatrickHenry · 192 replies · 2,883+ views
    University of Alabama in Huntsville ^ | 01 September 2006 | Staff (press release)
    The apparent absence of shadows where shadows were expected to be is raising new questions about the faint glow of microwave radiation once hailed as proof that the universe was created by a "Big Bang." In a finding sure to cause controversy, scientists at UAH found a lack of evidence of shadows from "nearby" clusters of galaxies using new, highly accurate measurements of the cosmic microwave background. A team of UAH scientists led by Dr. Richard Lieu, a professor of physics, used data from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to scan the cosmic microwave background for shadows caused by...
  • Not So Far

    11/12/2014 7:19:53 PM PST · by Swordmaker · 28 replies
    October 24, 2014 | Stephen Smith
    Galaxy cluster Abell 2744 (Pandora’s Cluster), with X-ray emissions in red. Credit: NASA, ESA, ESO, CXC and D. COE (STSCI) J. Merten (Heidelberg/Bologna) If redshift equals distance calculations are incorrect, the Universe could be a much different looking place. “Of course, if one ignores contradictory observations, one can claim to have an ‘elegant’ or ‘robust’ theory. But it isn’t science.” — Halton Arp The speed of light is used as a benchmark for defining cosmological distance calculations. As discussed in past Picture of the Day articles, the shifting of Fraunhofer lines into the red end of electromagnetic spectra is...
  • 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...