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Keyword: astronomy

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  • Star spinning so ‘extremely fast’ it risks ‘one of the most powerful explosions in the universe’

    11/20/2018 9:12:23 AM PST · by ETL · 70 replies
    Full title: Star spinning so ‘extremely fast’ it risks causing ‘one of the most powerful explosions in the universe’ It's one of a pair of stars that could be involved in one of the universe's biggest explosions, experts suggest. Scientists say the previously unknown star system is wrapped in an "elegant spiral dust cloud", making it look "spectacular".At its heart is a pair of massive Wolf-Rayet stars, according to an international team of researchers who published the findings in the Nature Astronomy journal. Wolf-Rayet stars are special in that they're among the hottest in the universe.They blast out powerful winds...
  • Chandra Captures Collision of Two Galaxy Clusters: Abell 1033

    11/19/2018 9:18:25 AM PST · by ETL · 14 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 19, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Galaxy clusters are cosmic structures containing hundreds or even thousands of galaxies. Multi-million-degree gas fills the space in between the individual galaxies. The mass of the hot gas is about six times greater than that of all the galaxies combined.This superheated gas is invisible to optical telescopes, but shines brightly in X-rays, so an X-ray telescope like Chandra is required to study it.By combining X-rays with other types of light, such as radio waves, a more complete picture of these important cosmic objects can be obtained.Using X-ray and radio data, a team of astronomers led by Leiden Observatory’s Dr. Francesco...
  • This Day in History: Railroad companies create the first time zones

    11/18/2018 7:05:02 AM PST · by iowamark · 18 replies
    TaraRoss.com ^ | 11/18/18
    On this day in 1883, railroad companies create the first time zones. Yes, you heard that right. Private individuals saw a problem and solved it without involving the federal government. What a wonderfully American “do it yourself” mindset! Such determination and perseverance is what made our country great. Before time zones, Americans generally relied upon the local time in their communities. That local time was based upon the movement of the sun in the sky, so the time could vary from city to city. Cities would usually designate one clock in the area—perhaps at a certain church or business—as the...
  • Are the Laws of the Universe Fine-Tuned for Life?

    11/15/2018 5:19:25 AM PST · by Heartlander · 73 replies
    Discover ^ | November 12, 2018 | Korey Haynes
    Are the Laws of the Universe Fine-Tuned for Life? By Korey Haynes | November 12, 2018 Humans have often looked at the night sky and wondered if there’s anyone else out there. But stare into that darkness long enough, and many wonder instead: how did we get here? What were the odds, in a universe so enormous and chaotic, that humans should have come to exist at all? Is life, let alone intelligent life, such a wildly improbable occurrence that we’re the only ones here? Or are we an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics?Life exists on Earth (assuming...
  • Rising sea levels may build, rather than destroy, coral reef islands

    11/15/2018 10:18:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | November 13, 2018 | Northumbria University
    Rising global sea levels may actually be beneficial to the long-term future of coral reef islands, such as the Maldives, according to new research published in Geophysical Research Letters. Low-lying coral reef islands are typically less than three metres above sea level, making them highly vulnerable to rising sea levels associated with climate change. However, research has found new evidence that the Maldives - the world's lowest country - formed when sea levels were higher than they are today... They found that large waves caused by distant storms off the coast of South Africa led to the formation of the...
  • Mysterious interstellar object conundrum intensifies as NASA reveals it didn't originally see it

    11/18/2018 9:24:28 AM PST · by ETL · 49 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | Nov 17, 2018 | Chris Ciaccia | Fox News
    The mystery of Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever spotted in our solar system, has taken a new, unexpected twist and it's from someone you might not expect – NASA. ..." Because of the varying degrees of brightness emanating from Oumuamua's surface, NASA suggests it is "highly elongated and probably less than half a mile (2,600 feet, or 800 meters) in its longest dimension."The intrigue of what Oumuamua is or isn't has picked up a considerably over the past few weeks, especially as some researchers have theorized that it could be an object from an extraterrestrial civilization.A study from the Harvard...
  • Interstellar Comet Oumuamua is Smaller than Previously Thought, Has Highly Reflective Surface

    11/16/2018 8:43:45 AM PST · by ETL · 38 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 16, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    ‘Oumuamua was first detected by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, in October 2017 while the telescope was surveying for near-Earth asteroids.Subsequent detailed observations conducted by multiple ground-based telescopes and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope detected the sunlight reflected off ‘Oumuamua’s surface.Large variations in the object’s brightness suggested that ‘Oumuamua is highly elongated and probably less than 2,600 feet (800 m) in its longest dimension.But NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope tracks asteroids and comets using the infrared energy, or heat, that they radiate, which can provide more specific information about an object’s size than optical observations of...
  • Huge magnetic tail discovered behind Mars

    10/22/2017 10:43:53 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    Discovered by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft, the unusual phenomenon is thought to have been caused by the effects of the solar winds and could help to shine more light on how the Martian atmosphere escaped in to space. "We found that Mars' magnetic tail, or magnetotail, is unique in the Solar System," said NASA scientist Gina DiBraccio. "It's not like the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own, nor is it like Earth's, which is surrounded by its own internally generated magnetic field." "Instead, it is a hybrid between...
  • How to Watch a Near-Earth Asteroid Zoom Closer to Earth than the Moon

    11/09/2018 6:56:14 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    Live Science ^ | November 9, 2018 06:14pm ET | Laura Geggel
    Three chunky asteroids will zoom by Earth this weekend, and one of them is getting closer to our planet than the moon itself. On Saturday (Nov. 10), the near-Earth asteroid 2018 VX1 will zip within about 236,100 miles (380,000 kilometers) of Earth. That's closer than the moon, which hangs out about 238,900 miles (384,400 km) away as it orbits Earth. Gianluca Masi, founder and director of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, which is live-streaming the celestial show online here starting at 1 p.m. EST (18:00 UTC) on Saturday. … People here on Earth will be able to see the...
  • Hubble Spots Beautiful Dwarf Galaxy

    11/05/2018 8:13:00 AM PST · by ETL · 35 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 5, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    ESO 338-4, also known as LEDA 63240 and IRAS 19245-4140, is classified as a blue compact dwarf galaxy. It resides in the constellation Corona Australis, some 100 million light-years from Earth.Blue compact dwarf galaxies take their name from the intensely blue star-forming regions that are often found within their cores.One such region can be seen embedded in ESO 338-4, which is populated with bright young stars voraciously consuming hydrogen.These massive stars are doomed to a short existence, as despite their vast supplies of hydrogen fuel.The nuclear reactions in the cores of these stars will burn through these supplies in only...
  • One of Milky Way’s Oldest Stars Discovered

    11/06/2018 11:51:00 AM PST · by ETL · 26 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 6, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    The Universe’s first stars after the Big Bang would have consisted entirely of elements like hydrogen, helium, and small amounts of lithium.Those stars then produced elements heavier than helium in their cores and seeded the Universe with them when they exploded as supernovae.The next generation of stars formed from clouds of material laced with those metals, incorporating them into their makeup.The metal content, or metallicity, of stars in the Universe increased as the cycle of star birth and death continued.2MASS J18082002-5104378 B, also known as Gaia DR2 6702907209758894848 B, is unusual because unlike other stars with very low metal content,...
  • SpaceX's 'Starman' and Its Tesla Roadster Are Now Beyond Mars

    11/05/2018 3:35:41 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Space.com ^ | November 3, 2018 08:00am ET | Mike Wall,
    SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is a big "Hitchhiker's Guide" fan, as Starman's Roadster shows. The car's entertainment display was programmed to read "Don't Panic!" — the phrase that adorns the cover of the eponymous electronic guidebook in Adams' beloved series. Musk has said that he launched the Roadster and Starman because the duo is a lot more fun than the typical inert-mass dummy payload... Launching a satellite or other valuable spacecraft wasn't an option, given the risks inherent in maiden flights. The Roadster and Starman will come within a few hundred thousand kilometers of our planet in 2091,...
  • Mysterious interstellar object could be 'lightsail' sent from another civilization

    11/05/2018 12:53:27 PM PST · by ETL · 78 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | Nov 5, 2018 | Chris Ciaccia | Fox News
    NASA may have ruled that Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever spotted in our system is a "metallic or rocky object" approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet) in length and 40 meters (131 feet) wide, but a new study from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says it could be something much more exciting – it could be "a lightsail of artificial origin" sent from another civilization. The study, which was posted online earlier this month, suggests that Oumuamua's strange "excess acceleration" could be artificial in nature, as it has been implied that it is not an active comet.
  • Astronomers Observe Interstellar Material Orbiting Close to Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

    11/04/2018 9:33:21 AM PST · by ETL · 26 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Oct 31, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Astronomers using the GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) have detected flares of infrared radiation coming from the accretion disk around Sagittarius A*, the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. The flares the GRAVITY instrument detected provide long-awaited confirmation that the object in the center of our Galaxy is a supermassive black hole.The flares originate from material orbiting very close to the black hole’s event horizon — making these the most detailed observations yet of material orbiting this close to a black hole.While some matter in the accretion disk — the belt...
  • Why DARPA Is Betting a Million Bucks on an "Impossible" Space Drive

    11/02/2018 2:06:22 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 44 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | 11/2/18 | David Hambling
    <p>Agency responsible with filling the government's coffers with cutting-edge tech is funding a controversial drive that's based on unproven science.</p> <p>The law of conservation of momentum says that a rocket (or anything else) can't accelerate forward without some form of exhaust ejected backward. But in 1998, a British engineer named Roger Shawyer announced the seemingly impossible—he had built a closed system that could generate thrust.</p>
  • Astronomers Find Proto-Supercluster of Galaxies in Early Universe

    10/19/2018 7:20:53 AM PDT · by ETL · 19 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Oct 18, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    “This is the first time that such a large structure has been identified at such a high redshift, just over 2 billion years after the Big Bang [~13.7 billion],” said lead author Dr. Olga Cucciati, an astronomer at the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy.“Normally these kinds of structures are known at lower redshifts, which means when the Universe has had much more time to evolve and construct such huge things. It was a surprise to see something this evolved when the Universe was relatively young!”Located in the COSMOS field in the constellation of Sextans, Hyperion was identified by analyzing the...
  • Bringing Dark Energy Out into the Light

    10/28/2018 1:28:32 PM PDT · by ETL · 32 replies
    Space.com ^ | Oct 18, 2018 | Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist
    Let's talk about dark energy. We've known for about 20 years that the expansion of our universe is accelerating; every day, our cosmos grows bigger and bigger, doing so faster and faster. It's a subtle effect, and it takes extensive and deep cosmological surveys and studies for scientists to notice it. But multiple independent lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: accelerating expansion. Astronomers quickly cooked up a cool name for that accelerated expansion: dark energy. But now we’re left with the much harder job of finding a culprit — what's causing it? A universal mistake We use...
  • HUBBLE JUST SPOTTED SOMETHING MASSIVE COMING OUT OF URANUS

    10/14/2017 4:17:21 PM PDT · by Lazamataz · 94 replies
    Bursts of solar winds caused a huge sparkling region on Uranus, scientists observed this by using Hubble space telescope. Electrons that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere and moon volcanism, when charged in the form of streams caused this, researchers from the Paris Observatory used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe this on Uranus. They were able to catch it in powerful magnetic fields and, controlled it into the upper atmosphere, where set off spectacular bursts of light when made interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen.
  • Uranus will be visible to everyone in the UK tonight

    10/26/2018 1:13:30 PM PDT · by EdnaMode · 101 replies
    Metro ^ | October 26, 2018 | Jeff Parsons
    If you’ve ever wanted to get a really good look at Uranus, then tonight is your best opportunity. Not only is the distant planet at the closest point to Earth in its orbit at the moment, but it’s also particularly easy to locate. The seventh planet from the sun can be found just to the left of the moon in the night sky all this week. The moon is starting to wane after last night’s full moon, but it will still be shining brightly in the sky. Helpful for locating the distant planet. Uranus lies south-west in the constellation of...
  • The Purported Plumes of Jupiter's Moon Europa Are Missing 'Hotspot' Engines

    10/24/2018 8:49:46 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    Space.com ^ | October 24, 2018 07:00am ET | Nola Taylor Redd,
    Plumes are common throughout the solar system. Jupiter's moon Io is constantly shooting volcanic material into the air. Saturn's icy moon Enceladus famously blasts water vapor and other material from its subsurface ocean into space via a set of geysers near the south pole. And Earth is rich in geysers, from Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful to Iceland's Great Geysir. Firing off the gas that makes up these plumes requires an energy source, which usually heats up the ground around the plume source. Enceladus, Io and Earth all have hotspots around their geysers and volcanoes. But not Europa, as far...