Latest Astronomy Stories

2014-05-22 16:20:40

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers reexamining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The unified theory of active, supermassive black holes, first developed in the late 1970s, was created to explain why black holes, though similar in nature,...

Cosmic Clumps Cast Darkest Shadows Ever Recorded
2014-05-22 03:51:02

Whitney Clavin, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Astronomers have found cosmic clumps so dark, dense and dusty that they throw the deepest shadows ever recorded. Infrared observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of these blackest-of-black regions paradoxically light the way to understanding how the brightest stars form. The clumps represent the darkest portions of a huge, cosmic cloud of gas and dust located about 16,000 light-years away. A new study takes advantage of the...

New Projects Look To Ramp Up The Search For Intelligent ETs
2014-05-22 12:11:50

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has been a long yet relatively quiet one. First discussed in 1896 when famed inventor Nikola Tesla claimed that his wireless electrical transmission system could potentially be used to contact beings on Mars, scientists have continually developed increasingly sophisticated instruments over the years to reach out to intelligent life in the cosmos. While we know today that there...

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...

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 punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information.
  • A little rod; a twig.
This word comes from the Late Latin 'virgula,' accentual mark, a diminutive of 'virga,' rod.