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Latest American Astronomical Society Stories

2011-05-25 10:47:53

Early results from dramatically upgraded telescope show breadth of scientific impact A new and uniquely powerful tool for cutting-edge science is emerging on the crisp, high desert of western New Mexico. Outwardly, it looks much the same as the famed Very Large Array (VLA), a radio telescope that has spent more than three decades on the frontiers of astronomical research. The 27 white, 230-ton dish antennas still peer skyward, the 72 miles of railroad track still wait to transport the...

2011-05-25 06:52:35

NASA's Kepler spacecraft is proving itself to be a prolific planet hunter. Within just the first four months of data, astronomers have found evidence for more than 1,200 planetary candidates. Of those, 408 reside in systems containing two or more planets, and most of those look very different than our solar system. In particular, the Kepler systems with multiple planets are much flatter than our solar system. They have to be for Kepler to spot them. Kepler watches for a planet to cross in...

2011-05-23 14:40:29

Though the universe is filled with billions upon billions of stars, the discovery of a single variable star in 1923 altered the course of modern astronomy. And, at least one famous astronomer of the time lamented that the discovery had shattered his world view. The star goes by the inauspicious name of Hubble variable number one, or V1, and resides in the outer regions of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, or M31. But in the early 1900s, most astronomers considered the Milky Way a single...

2011-01-14 14:33:45

The Organizing Committee of the 2009 Women in Astronomy conference has published the proceedings from the year's Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference III, titled "Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009: Meeting the Challenges of an Increasingly Diverse Workforce." The conference was held on Oct. 21-23, 2009, at the Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Md. Nearly three hundred women and men attended the three-day conference, which focused...

2011-01-13 10:25:00

In the outer reaches of our solar system lies a mysterious region far more remote and difficult to explore than the Australian outback. It remains the only part of our solar system not visited by spacecraft. Called the Kuiper Belt, this area beyond Neptune is home to the dwarf planets Pluto, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea. It also harbors thousands of smaller objects that form a second, icy asteroid belt (or more appropriately, comet belt). In this realm of perpetual twilight, the distant sun...

2011-01-13 09:55:00

Using two NASA X-ray satellites, astronomers have discovered what drives the "heartbeats" seen in the light from an unusual black hole system. These results give new insight into the ways that black holes can regulate their intake and severely curtail their growth. This study examined GRS 1915+105 (GRS 1915 for short), a binary system in the Milky Way galaxy containing a black hole about 14 times more massive than the Sun that is feeding off material from a companion star. As this material...

2011-01-12 14:24:33

The combined data from several NASA satellites has astonished astronomers by revealing unexpected changes in X-ray emission from the Crab Nebula, once thought to be the steadiest high-energy source in the sky. "For 40 years, most astronomers regarded the Crab as a standard candle," said Colleen Wilson-Hodge, an astrophysicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., who presented the findings today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. "Now, for the first...

2011-01-12 13:49:33

Astronomers who survey galaxies in the distant universe are getting some unexpected help from gravity, according to a new study. In a presentation at the American Astronomical Society meeting this week and a related paper in the current issue of the journal Nature, researchers say that as many as 20 percent of the most distant galaxies currently detected appear brighter than they actually are, because of an effect called "strong gravitational lensing." The discovery could change astronomers'...

2011-01-12 13:44:18

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and University of Hawaii (UH) have discovered 16 close-knit pairs of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies. The discovery, based on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being presented in Seattle on January 12 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and has been submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. These...

2011-01-12 08:45:00

Astronomers have released the largest digital, color image of the universe ever recorded--a mosaic created from millions of 2.8 megapixel images recorded over the past decade. The image, which was unveiled during the 217th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, was captured and assembled by researchers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). SDSS-III, as it has been dubbed, is a full color representation of the night sky that has a...

Latest American Astronomical Society Reference Libraries

The Astronomical Journal
2012-05-08 15:08:15

The Astronomical Journal (AJ) is a peer-reviewed scientific journal ran by the American Astronomical Society and published monthly by the Institute of Physics Publishing. It is one of the premier astronomy journals in the world. It was published by the University of Chicago Press until 2008. The society also owns the Astrophysical Journal. The journal was established in 1849 by Benjamin A. Gould. In 1861, publication was ceased due to the American Civil War. It went unpublished until 1885....

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