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Latest Astronomy Stories

Spitzer's Citizen Science Zoo Displays New Animals
2013-12-17 08:17:13

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Since 2010, about 50,000 volunteers have taken to their computers to help astronomers catalog star-blown bubbles captured in images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Their efforts resulted in several scientific papers, and a deeper understanding of our Milky Way galaxy and its frothy star-forming clouds. Now, an updated version of the campaign, called the Milky Way Project, is releasing more images with a whole new set of "animals" to track in the...

New Insights Into Cosmic Phenomena Provided By Swift Satellite
2013-12-17 05:07:02

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online By analyzing data collected by NASA’s Swift robotic spacecraft, astronomers from the University of Leicester have reportedly discovered the location of nearly 100,000 previously unknown cosmic X-ray sources. The research team studied eight years’ worth of observations collected during the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission to compile a catalog of major celestial X-ray sources – a list that includes more than 150,000 high-energy...

Brown Dwarf Binary System May Include A Hidden Planet
2013-12-17 04:15:33

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Analysis of the two brown dwarfs located closest to the sun suggests that there could actually be a third, previously undetected planetary-mass object, according to research published as a letter to the editor in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Brown dwarfs, which are failed stars that have a mass of less than 8 percent the mass of the sun, are not massive enough to burn hydrogen in their centers. The system at the...

massive Star forming cluster discovered
2013-12-16 15:57:27

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) have discovered a giant star-forming region. Known as W49A, the region is located 36,000 light-years away from Earth on the opposite side of the Milky Way. Astronomers say the star-forming region shines 100 times brighter than the Orion nebula. In order to view W49A, astronomers had to aim SMA through dusty fog, after which the telescope helped reveal an active site of star...

Where Brown Dwarfs End And Stars Begin
2013-12-15 04:37:49

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Stars form as interstellar gas accumulates, increasing in density and temperature. Eventually, the environment at the core of the object reaches a state where hydrogen begins fusing at a high enough rate that the outward radiation pressure and the inward gravitational force reach a balance, and a star is born. However, if the forming proto-star is not quite massive enough, the fusion process is not able to produce enough...

south pole telescope
2013-12-15 04:00:20

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Based on observations from the South Pole Telescope, a team of international scientists has found subtle patterns in the cosmic microwave background called B-mode polarizations, according to a report in Physical Review Letters. “The detection of B-mode polarization by South Pole Telescope is a major milestone, a technical achievement that indicates exciting physics to come,” said study author John Carlstrom, a deputy director of...

Magic Hour For The Geminid Meteor Shower
2013-12-13 10:41:16

NASA Science As arctic air and record cold sweeps across the USA, amateur astronomers are looking at their calendars with a degree of trepidation. A date is circled: Dec. 14th. And below it says: "Wake up at 4 AM for the Geminid meteor shower." "It's going to be cold," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "But that is the best time to see the 2013 Geminid meteor shower." Geminids appear every year in mid-December when Earth passed through a stream of debris from...

Crab Nebula Surprises Astronomers With Noble Gas Molecules
2013-12-13 04:31:42

[ Watch the Video: Supernova Remnant Shows Signs Of Noble Gas ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers from the UK have discovered argon hydride within the Crab Nebula, marking the first time that noble gas molecules have been detected in space, according to research appearing in Friday’s edition of the journal Science. As part of their study, Mike Barlow of the University College London Department of Physics and Astronomy and his colleagues used the...

Mysterious Radio Bursts May Originate From Nearby Flaring Stars
2013-12-13 04:17:34

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Extremely quick, extremely bright radio pulses known as “fast radio bursts” may originate from flaring stars located within our own galaxy, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) claim in a new study. Based on their characteristics, scientists had believed that these radio bursts came from galaxies located billions of light-years away. However, the pulses – which typically only last for...

Hubble Finds Europa Water Vapor
2013-12-12 13:10:28

[ Watch the Video: Europa Shows Evidence Of Liquid Water ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For years scientists have suspected the presence of liquid water under the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Now, the Hubble Space Telescope has detected evidence of water vapor eruption from the moon’s surface, according to a new report published in Science Express on Thursday. The space agency is looking to observations from other sources to confirm Hubble’s initial...


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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