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Keyword: stellarscience

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  • How black holes grow

    04/03/2012 11:31:22 PM PDT · by U-238 · 19 replies
    Astronomy Magazine ^ | 3/3/2012 | University of Utah, Salt Lake City
    A study led by a University of Utah astrophysicist found a new explanation for the growth of supermassive black holes in the center of most galaxies: They repeatedly capture and swallow single stars from pairs of stars that wander too close. Using new calculations and previous observations of our Milky Way and other galaxies, “We found black holes grow enormously as a result of sucking in captured binary star partners,” said Ben Bromley from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “I believe this has got to be the dominant method for growing supermassive black holes,” he said. “There...
  • New data support Einstein on accelerating universe

    04/03/2012 1:00:38 AM PDT · by U-238 · 59 replies
    Science News ^ | 2/2/2012 | Elizabeth Quill
    Einstein is still the boss, say researchers with the BOSS project for measuring key properties of the universe. BOSS, for Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, has measured the distance to faraway galaxies more precisely than ever before, mapping the universe as it existed roughly 6 billion years ago, when it was only 63 percent of its current size. The findings suggest that the mysterious “dark energy” causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate was foreseen by Einstein, the researchers reported April 1 at the American Physical Society meeting. To keep the universe in a static state, Einstein added a...
  • German astronomers have discovered an ancient planetary system dating from 13 billion years ago

    03/30/2012 6:30:02 PM PDT · by U-238 · 37 replies ^ | 3/30/2012 |
    German astronomers have discovered an ancient planetary system thought to be a survivor of one of the earliest cosmic eras, from 13 billion years ago. The system consists of the star HIP 11952 and two planets. Such an old system will help shed light on planet formation in the early Universe, which occurred under conditions quite different from those of later planetary systems such as our own. Accepted planetary theory states that, generally speaking, a star that contains more 'metals', (i.e. chemical elements other than hydrogen and helium) is more likely to have planets; it is also widely accepted that...
  • Physicists find patterns in new state of matter

    03/29/2012 4:45:02 PM PDT · by U-238 · 20 replies ^ | 3/29/2012 |
    In a paper published in the March 29 issue of the journal Nature, the scientists describe the emergence of “spontaneous coherence,” “spin textures” and “phase singularities” when excitons—the bound pairs of electrons and holes that determine the optical properties of semiconductors and enable them to function as novel optoelectronic devices—are cooled to near absolute zero. This cooling leads to the spontaneous production of a new coherent state of matter which the physicists were finally able to measure in great detail in their basement laboratory at UC San Diego at a temperature of only one-tenth of a degree above absolute zero....
  • Pulsars: The universe's gift to physics

    03/28/2012 8:26:40 PM PDT · by U-238 · 13 replies
    Astronomy Magazine ^ | 2/20/2012 | NRAO
    Pulsars, superdense neutron stars, are perhaps the most extraordinary physics laboratories in the universe. Research on these extreme and exotic objects already has produced two Nobel Prizes. Pulsar researchers now are poised to learn otherwise-unavailable details of nuclear physics to test general relativity in conditions of extremely strong gravity, and to directly detect gravitational waves with a “telescope” nearly the size of our galaxy. Neutron stars are the remnants of massive stars that exploded as supernovae. They pack more than the mass of the Sun into a sphere no larger than a medium-sized city, making them the densest objects in...
  • The Moon’s Long Lost Twin Found

    03/24/2012 12:57:47 AM PDT · by U-238 · 79 replies · 2+ views
    International Business Times ^ | 8/11/2011 | International Business Times
    The moon maybe palely alone in the night sky today but according to scientists it is possible that the there was a second, smaller moon 4.4 billion years ago. A paper published in the journal Nature theorized that there was a smaller moon created in the same impact that created the moon. Astronomers, Martin Jutzi and Erik Asphaug of the University of California at Santa Cruz have long wondered why the moon had two incongruous sides, one smooth with flat plains and another side full of rugged mountains and craters. The astronomers started thinking that the mountainous region had been...
  • The Lost Siblings of the Sun

    03/12/2012 3:32:13 PM PDT · by U-238 · 28 replies · 1+ views
    Sky and Telescope ^ | 3/10/2009 | Alan MacRobert
    Most stars are born in clusters rather than singly, and there’s plenty of evidence that the Sun was too. For one thing, the material of the infant solar system (as preserved in the earliest meteorites) was enriched by fresh supernova debris from at least one very young, massive star (having 15 to 25 solar masses) that exploded less than 5 light-years away, no more than 2 million years after the Sun's formation. Today no such massive star exists within 300 light-years of the Sun. Clearly, the early solar system had stars close around it. But that was 4.57 billion years...
  • Betelgeuse 'not likely to explode in 2012'

    01/22/2011 8:58:26 PM PST · by Red Badger · 96 replies · 1+ views ^ | 01-22-201 | Staff
    THE super-giant red star Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion is destined to explode, but maybe not next year as some recent news reports have suggested and will not be as bright as some predicted reported Betelgeuse has already become a red giant, which indicates it wil explode and become a supernova. But experts say it is not likely to happen soon and it will happen far enough away that it wil not hurt Earth US astronomer Phil Plait noted on his blog that a supernova would have to be no farther than 25 light years away to "fry...