Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 11:28 EDT

Latest Astronomical objects Stories

Sweet Spots For The Formation Of Complex Organic Molecules In The Galaxy
2011-11-03 04:54:28

Scientists within the New York Center for Astrobiology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have compiled years of research to help locate areas in outer space that have extreme potential for complex organic molecule formation. The scientists searched for methanol, a key ingredient in the synthesis of organic molecules that could lead to life. Their results have implications for determining the origins of molecules that spark life in the cosmos. The findings will be published in the Nov. 20...

2011-11-02 21:23:39

RIT professor co-authors Nature article and Gemini Observatory's 1,000th paper The discovery of 13 diffuse interstellar bands with the longest wavelengths to date could someday solve a 90-year-old mystery. Astronomers have identified the new bands using data collected by the Gemini North telescope of stars in the center of the Milky Way. Nature reports on its website today findings that support recent ideas about the presence of large, possibly carbon-based organic...

Astronomers Find Complex Organic Matter In The Universe
2011-10-27 04:25:04

In the Oct. 26 issue of the journal Nature, astronomers report that organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout the Universe. The results suggest that complex organic compounds are not the sole domain of life but can be made naturally by stars. Prof. Sun Kwok and Dr. Yong Zhang of the University of Hong Kong show that an organic substance commonly found throughout the Universe contains a mixture of aromatic (ring-like) and aliphatic (chain-like) components. The compounds...

2011-07-12 10:30:00

By Dr. Tony Phillips - Science@NASA On June 7, 2011, Earth-orbiting satellites detected a flash of X-rays coming from the western edge of the solar disk. Registering only "M" (for medium) on the Richter scale of solar flares, the blast at first appeared to be a run-of-the-mill eruption--that is, until researchers looked at the movies. "We'd never seen anything like it," says Alex Young, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Half of the sun appeared to be blowing itself to...

2011-07-08 07:06:09

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has detected cosmic dust from a supernova, adding to the theory that these cosmic fireworks are responsible for its creation. The astronomers who used Herschel to make the discovery said origin of the dust is important because it plays a crucial role in the formation of stars, particularly billions of years ago when star formation was at its peak.  "Interestingly, this brand new clue does not come from observations of very distant galaxies, but from one...

2010-11-21 15:10:29

Observing the X-ray-bright gas in the halo of the Milky Way, ESA's XMM-Newton has gathered new data which favor a process involving fountains of hot gas in our Galaxy. Such a scenario, with the gas flowing from the galactic disc into the halo where it then condenses into cooler clouds and subsequently falls back to the disc, confirms the importance of supernova explosions in forging the evolution of the interstellar medium and of the entire Galaxy. The interstellar medium (ISM) in the Milky...

2010-04-16 10:19:53

The eerie glow that straddles the night time zodiac in the eastern sky is no longer a mystery. First explained by Joshua Childrey in 1661 as sunlight scattered in our direction by dust particles in the solar system, the source of that dust was long debated. In a paper to appear in the April 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, David Nesvorny and Peter Jenniskens put the stake in asteroids. More than 85 percent of the dust, they conclude, originated from Jupiter Family comets, not...

2010-03-16 14:37:21

As reported in last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, two most promising candidates for stardust have been identified. They were collected during NASA´s Stardust mission that probed the interstellar stream during 15 months. Since 2006 not only scientists but also amateurs worldwide are scanning samples for the proverbial needle in the haystack: dust particles from others parts of our galaxy that were carried to our solar system via the interstellar...

2010-03-07 09:45:00

NASA scientists said they might have identified the first specks of interstellar dust in materials collected by the agency's Stardust spacecraft. The interstellar dust is comprised of tiny particles that take part in making stars and planets. The Stardust spacecraft's primary job was to catch dust streaming from Comet Wild 2 and return it to Earth for analysis. However, scientists also hoped to collect particles of interstellar dust. The material was collected in a 2.9 billion mile...

2010-02-10 06:55:00

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing new 3D maps of the interstellar gas in the local area around our Sun. A French-American team of astronomers presents new absorption measurements towards more than 1800 stars. They were able to characterize the properties of the interstellar gas within each sight line. This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes new 3D maps of the interstellar gas situated in an area 300 parsecs around the Sun. A French-American team of astronomers presents new...

Latest Astronomical objects Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Interstellar Cloud -- Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. Depending on the density, size and temperature of a given cloud, the hydrogen in it can be neutral (HI clouds) or molecular (molecular clouds). Chemical compositions Analysing the composition of interstellar clouds is achieved by studying electromagnetic radiation that we receive from them. Large radio telescopes scan the intensity in the sky of particular frequencies of...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Solar Wind -- Solar wind, a stream of particles (mostly high-energy protons ~ 500 Kev) that is continually ejected from the surface of the Sun. The composition of this plasma is identical to the Sun's corona, 73% hydrogen and 25% helium with the remainder as trace impurities, and is ionized. Near Earth, the velocity of the solar wind varies from 200km/s-889km/s. The average is 450 km/s. Approximately 3000 tons of material is lost from the Sun every hour as solar wind. Since solar...

More Articles (2 articles) »