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Latest 2MASS Stories

Wise Finds Fewer Brown Dwarfs Than Expected
2012-06-10 04:49:55

Astronomers are getting to know the neighbors better. Our sun resides within a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy about two-thirds of the way out from the center. It lives in a fairly calm, suburb-like area with an average number of stellar residents. Recently, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has been turning up a new crowd of stars close to home: the coldest of the brown dwarf family of "failed" stars. Now, just as scientists are "meeting and greeting" the new...

WISE Catches Cosmic Dust Bunny
2012-04-27 03:13:54

Images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveal an old star in the throes of a fiery outburst, spraying the cosmos with dust. The findings offer a rare, real-time look at the process by which stars like our sun seed the universe with building blocks for other stars, planets and even life. The star, catalogued as WISE J180956.27-330500.2, was discovered in images taken during the WISE survey in 2010, the most detailed infrared survey to date of the entire celestial sky....

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2011-06-02 06:30:00

Ancient astronomers looked up at the dark skies in wonder, as the stars marched by overhead like precision dancers. In the early 17th century, Galileo Galilei brought the world one step closer to the heavens with his telescope, discovering, among other celestial marvels, moons around Jupiter, and our own moon's pockmarked surface. Nowadays, the stars are closer to us than ever, thanks to powerful telescopes in space and on the ground. Modern astronomers don't have to step outside, because...

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2008-12-17 13:55:00

"It's the ultimate exercise in archeology," said Steven Majewski, a University of Virginia professor of astronomy and lead scientist on a new project to survey more than 100,000 Milky Way red giant stars -- bright, bloated stars in a late stage of their evolution. The project, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, or APOGEE, is one of four experiments of the new Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, using the astronomical facilities at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico....

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2008-12-10 14:08:57

It's a tie! The new record-holder for dimmest known star-like object in the universe goes to twin "failed" stars, or brown dwarfs, each of which shines feebly with only one millionth the light of our sun. Previously, astronomers thought the pair of dim bulbs was just one typical, faint brown dwarf with no record-smashing titles. But when NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed the brown dwarf with its heat-seeking infrared vision, it was able to accurately measure the object's extreme...


Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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