Latest American Astronomical Society Stories

2010-01-06 08:15:00

In their quest to find solar systems analogous to ours, astronomers have determined how common our solar system is. They've concluded that about 15 percent of stars in the galaxy host systems of planets like our own, with several gas giant planets in the outer part of the solar system. "Now we know our place in the universe," said Ohio State University astronomer Scott Gaudi. "Solar systems like our own are not rare, but we're not in the majority, either." Gaudi reported the results of the...

2010-01-06 07:05:00

The discovery of seventeen new millisecond pulsars was announced Dec. 5 at the American Astronomical Society Meeting by scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Space Science Division and a team of international researchers. The pulsars, discovered in radio searches of unidentified gamma-ray sources found with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope satellite represent a substantial increase in the number of known millisecond pulsars...

2010-01-04 15:15:00

Astronomers are announcing today that they have discovered 33 pairs of waltzing black holes in distant galaxies. This result was presented by Dr. Julia Comerford of the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California to the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC. This result is particularly important because it shows that supermassive black hole pairs are more common than previously known from observations, and because the black hole pairs can be used to estimate...

2010-01-04 14:05:00

A giant stream of gas flowing from neighbor galaxies around our own Milky Way is much longer and older than previously thought, astronomers have discovered. The new revelations provide a fresh insight on what started the gaseous intergalactic streamer. The astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to fill important gaps in the picture of gas streaming outward from the Magellanic Clouds. The first evidence of such a flow, named the Magellanic...

2009-06-10 13:35:00

Astronomers are announcing today that a sequence of images collected with the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) clearly reveals the presence of a rotating molecular disk orbiting the young binary star system V4046 Sagittarii. The SMA images provide an unusually vivid snapshot of the process of formation of giant planets, comets, and Pluto-like bodies. The results also confirm that such objects may just as easily form around double stars as around single stars like our Sun. These...

2009-06-09 16:15:00

Some of the black holes nearest to Earth may be larger than previously believed. A re-examination of the vast black hole at the core of the nearby M87 galaxy indicates it could have 6.4 billion times the mass of the Sun, two to three times larger than previous studies had suggested.The reassessment has led scientists to speculate that many other black holes are also under-recorded, said Dr. Karl Gebhardt in remarks made at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Pasadena,...

2009-03-02 10:10:00

To mark UNESCO's International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), six leading astronomers from the UK, the US, Europe and Asia write in March's Physics World about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing international astronomers over the next couple of decades. Many of those challenges are purely scientific, including the quest to clarify the true nature of dark matter and dark energy; the search for extra-terrestrial life among the myriad of extrasolar planets that are set to be...

2009-01-07 17:22:06

Black holes may have come before the formation of galaxies, astronomers reported on Wednesday, adding information that could provide new insights into the nature of the mysterious invisible black objects. At the  213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, California, researchers said they discovered a clear link between the mass of a black hole and the galaxy where it was spotted. "It looks like the black holes came first. The evidence is piling up," said Chris...

2009-01-06 15:40:00

A mysterious flash of light from somewhere near or far in the universe is still keeping astronomers in the dark long after it was first detected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2006. It might represent an entirely new class of stellar phenomena that has previously gone undetected in the universe, say researchers. Astronomers commonly observe intense flashes of light from a variety of stellar explosions and outbursts, such as novae and supernovae. Hubble discovered the cosmic flash on...

2009-01-06 14:30:00

The brilliant afterglow of a powerful gamma-ray burst (GRB) has enabled astronomers to probe the star-forming environment of a distant galaxy, resulting in the first detection of molecular gas in a GRB host galaxy. By analyzing the spectrum of light emitted in the GRB afterglow, the researchers are gleaning insights into an active stellar nursery in a galaxy so far away it appears as it was 10 billion years ago. "This observation required a rare and exceptionally bright event to allow us to...

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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Word of the Day
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'