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Latest Astronomy Stories

Supernova Progenitor Revealed
2014-05-22 06:28:27

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online For the first time ever, astronomers have directly confirmed that a rare and extremely massive type of star known as a Wolf-Rayet star died in a violent explosion known as a Type IIb supernova, and their observations will help scientists better understand the life and death of the progenitor Wolf-Rayet. While our sun is 330,000 times more massive than Earth, comprises 99.86 percent of the total mass of the Solar System, and has a...

JKCS 041 galaxy cluster
2014-05-22 04:43:40

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Many of the oldest and most massive galaxies reside together in enormous structures known as clusters, and now a team of astronomers has confirmed the existence of an unusually distant galaxy cluster – a group of 19 galaxies located at precisely the same distance of 9.9 billion light years. In research appearing in The Astrophysical Journal, Andrew Newman of the Carnegie Institution for Science and his colleagues explain how...

Complex Outflow Structure Revealed In The Binary UY Aurigae
2014-05-21 03:43:00

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan An international team of astronomers, led by Dr. Tae-Soo Pyo (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ), has revealed a complicated outflow structure in the binary UY Aur (Aurigae). The team observed the binary using the Gemini North"s NIFS (Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer) with the Altair adaptive optics system. The team found that the primary star has a wide, open outflow, while the secondary star has a well-collimated jet. Because many stars form...

A Star Cluster In The Wake Of Carina
2014-05-21 03:14:10

[ Watch The Video: Panning Across The Colorful Star Cluster NGC 3590 ] ESO NGC 3590 is a small open cluster of stars around 7500 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). It is a gathering of dozens of stars loosely bound together by gravity and is roughly 35 million years old. This cluster is not just pretty; it is very useful to astronomers. By studying this particular cluster — and others nearby — astronomers can explore the properties of the spiral...

solar system formation
2014-05-21 04:49:15

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online How do solar systems form? Specifically, why do some systems form smaller rocky worlds, while others are dominated by gas giants? A recent study led by Trey Mack, a graduate student in astronomy at Vanderbilt University, may have found the answer. Stars are dominated by hydrogen and helium, possessing only trace amounts of other elements – what astronomers generically call “metals”. Mack proposed looking at ratios of...

2014-05-20 23:15:33

On the eve of the StarLight Festival, hosted by the AstronomyOutreach network in Big Bear California, Earth is set to smash into the debris fields from Comet 209P/LINEAR for the very first time, lighting up the night sky May 23rd/24th. Big Bear, CA (PRWEB) May 20, 2014 Perhaps you have seen a “falling star” streak across the night sky, and if so, it’s something memorable. So how about witnessing 100-400 meteor falls an hour or maybe even much more if predictions by experts are...

2014-05-20 08:25:04

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Whirlpool Corporation (WHR), the world's leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, will present at EE Global 2014 in Washington, D.C., from May 20-21. Whirlpool efficiency experts Dave Szczupak, executive vice president, global product organization; Nathan Mouw, director, government regulatory affairs; and Ron Voglewede, global sustainability director, will share insights and key learnings on the broad industry topic...

dancing auroral lights on Saturn
2014-05-19 11:09:00

University of Leicester University of Leicester researchers have captured stunning images of Saturn's auroras as the planet's magnetic field is battered by charged particles from the Sun. The team's findings provide a "smoking gun" for the theory that Saturn's auroral displays are often caused by the dramatic collapse of its "magnetic tail". [ Watch the Video: Dance of Saturn’s Auroras ] Just like comets, planets such as Saturn and the Earth have a "tail" – known as the...

kepler to begin round two
2014-05-18 04:55:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Believed to be retired for good after breaking down last year, the Kepler spacecraft has been revived and will be part of a newly-approved NASA mission to seek out new exoplanets while also expanding its role into the realm of astrophysical observations, the US space agency revealed on Friday. “The team received good news from NASA HQ – the K2 mission, the two-wheel operation mode of the Kepler spacecraft observing in the...

ESA’s New X-ray Optics To Observe The Hot Universe
2014-05-16 03:41:51

ESA A new idea to use super-polished silicon wafers as the heart of a telescope is set to reveal more of the hot, high-energy Universe, peering back into its turbulent history. Invisible X-rays tell us about the very hot matter in the Universe – black holes, supernovas and superheated gas clouds. Today’s X-ray observatories, ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra, were launched in the last century, and are still delivering world-class science. But they are starting to age. To...


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...

Cosmology
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...

Astrophysics
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
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.