Latest Astronomy Stories

2014-09-11 03:30:44

Yue Shen, Carnegie Institution Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie’s Hubble Fellow Yue Shen and Luis Ho of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University solves a quasar mystery that astronomers have been puzzling...

ESA’s Fly-eyed Telescope To Spot Risky Asteroids
2014-09-11 03:56:39

ESA Spotting Earth-threatening asteroids is tough partly because the sky is so big. But insects offer an answer, since they figured out long ago how to look in many directions at once. As part of the global effort to hunt out risky celestial objects such as asteroids and comets, ESA is developing an automated telescope for nightly sky surveys. This telescope is the first in a future network that would completely scan the sky and automatically identify possible new near-Earth...

solar flare
2014-09-11 03:30:23

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:48 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground.  However -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. [...

messier 54
2014-09-11 03:00:30

Richard Hook, ESO VLT observations of Messier 54 show the lithium problem also applies outside our galaxy This new image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile shows a vast collection of stars, the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. This unusual parentage has now allowed...

coldest known brown dwarf
2014-09-11 03:00:56

Jacqueline Faherty, Carnegie Institution A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now. Their findings are published Tuesday, Sept. 9 by The Astrophysical Journal Letters and are available here. At the Las Campanas...

2014-09-10 23:03:20

Dr. Petrus Martens, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, has received a three-year, $1.2 million NASA Grand Challenge grant to develop a system to predict solar cycles and determine the long-term frequency of events such as solar flares, potentially more than a decade in advance. (PRWEB) September 10, 2014 Dr. Petrus Martens, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, has received a three-year, $1.2...

2014-09-10 12:21:39

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 30, The Tauri Group won a recompete of work in technology research and strategic analysis for two offices in NASA: the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) and the Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) at NASA Headquarters. In support of NASA LaRC, The Tauri Group analyzes how federally funded and privately developed technologies apply to human space exploration mission needs, to...

2014-09-10 12:21:26

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 6, The Tauri Group, LLC won four task orders in the Medical Domain of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) Omnibus Program Engineering and Technical Support (OPETS) contract. OPETS is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a maximum value of $495 million through December 2015. Through these task orders, valued at $13 million over three years, The Tauri...

fishing for galaxies
2014-09-10 07:27:54

Whitney Clavin, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory A new survey of galaxies by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is taking a plunge into the deep and uncharted waters of our cosmos. In one of the longest surveys the telescope will have ever performed, astronomers have begun a three-month expedition trawling for faint galaxies billions of light-years away. The results are already yielding surprises. "If you think of our survey as fishing for galaxies in the cosmic sea, then we are finding...

supernova 1993J
2014-09-10 04:07:05

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online After two decades of searching, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a companion star to a rare type of supernova — confirming a long-held belief that supernova SN 1993J occurred inside of a binary system. A binary system involves two stars interacting with each other, and in this case, causing a cosmic explosion. "This is like a crime scene, and we finally identified the robber," said Alex Filippenko,...

Latest Astronomy Reference Libraries

Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: The Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was completed in September 2012 and shows the farthest galaxies ever photographed by humans. Each speck of light in the photo is an individual galaxy, some of them as old as 13.2 billion years; the observable universe is estimated to contain more than 200 billion galaxies. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia What is Cosmology? I once commented to an acquaintance that I was fascinated by the field of Cosmology, and mused that if I had more time, I...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 56,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years distant. Credit: NASA/ESA/Wikipedia What is Astrophysics? For much of the modern age the term Astrophysics has been used synonymously with Astronomy. This interchange is so common that many textbooks even offer the two as having the same meaning. However, from a strictly historical perspective there are differences...

Tropic of Capricorn
2013-02-21 13:31:57

The Tropic of Capricorn, alternately called the Southern Tropic, is a marker of the most southerly latitude on the Earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This occurs at the December solstice, when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun at its maximum degree. It is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. It presently lies 23 degrees 26’ 16’’ south of the Equator. Currently, the Tropic of Capricorn is drifting towards the north at...

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Word of the Day
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.