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Latest Astronomy Stories

NASA Releases Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph Footage Of X-class Flare
2014-09-18 03:30:06

Karen Fox, NASA On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare – an example of one of the strongest solar flares -- on the sun. Combing observations from more than one telescope helps create a much more complete picture of such events on our closest star. Watch the movie to see how the flare appears different through the eyes of IRIS than it does through NASA's Solar...

supermassive black hole
2014-09-18 04:40:12

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments, astronomers from the University of Utah and an international team of colleagues have discovered a supermassive black hole in the ultracompact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1, making it the smallest galaxy ever found to host one of these enormous light-sucking objects. [ Watch the Video: Artist’s Impression Of Dwarf Galaxy M60-UCD1′s Formation ] Anil Seth, an assistant professor of...

2014-09-17 16:20:50

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place -- a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The black hole is five times the mass of the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It is inside one of the densest galaxies known to date -- the M60-UCD1 dwarf...

Why Are Milky Way-like Galaxies Are So Common In The Universe?
2014-09-17 03:11:17

ESO New observations explain why Milky Way-like galaxies are so common in the Universe An international research group led by Junko Ueda, a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science postdoctoral fellow, has made surprising observations that most galaxy collisions in the nearby Universe — within 40 million light-years from Earth — result in so-called disc galaxies. Disc galaxies — including spiral galaxies like the Milky Way and lenticular galaxies — are defined by...

energetic pulsar
2014-09-17 08:36:36

Whitney Clavin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Our Milky Way galaxy is littered with the still-sizzling remains of exploded stars. When the most massive stars explode as supernovas, they don't fade into the night, but sometimes glow ferociously with high-energy gamma rays. What powers these energetic stellar remains? NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is helping to untangle the mystery. The observatory's high-energy X-ray eyes were able to peer into a particular site...

exoplanet WASP-18b
2014-09-16 13:43:14

NASA A planet may be causing the star it orbits to act much older than it actually is, according to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This discovery shows how a massive planet can affect the behavior of its parent star. The star, WASP-18, and its planet, WASP-18b, are located about 330 light-years from Earth. WASP-18b has a mass about 10 times that of Jupiter and completes one orbit around its star in less than 23 hours, placing WASP-18b in the “hot Jupiter” category...

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU
2014-09-16 11:35:51

Katie Brewin/Aeron Haworth, The University of Manchester A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition of the journal Astrobiology. While investigating the Martian...

exoplanet sun wobble
2014-09-16 04:19:22

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online It would seem like a star couldn't be affected by anything less than another star, but new evidence from Cornell University reveals that "hot Jupiters," or large gaseous exoplanets, can cause their host stars to wobble as the planets wind their way through their own solar systems to snuggle up against their suns. "Although the planet's mass is only one-thousandth of the mass of the sun, the stars in these other solar systems are...

Type Ia supernova
2014-09-14 04:24:52

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Less than two months after it first began repeatedly scanning the sky, the ESA’s Gaia space observatory has discovered its first supernova – a powerful stellar explosion that had occurred in a distant galaxy located some 500 million light-years from Earth, the agency announced on Friday. According to the ESA, the supernova was located during a sudden rise in the galaxy’s brightness that occurred between two Gaia observations...

2014-09-12 23:01:08

The annual award recognizes leaders in disruptive technologies; winners will be announced in October. Kirkland, Washington (PRWEB) September 12, 2014 Constellation Research, Inc. the research and advisory firm helping clients dominate digital disruption announced Rick Taylor, VP of IT and Supply Chain at Youngevity, as a finalist in the fourth annual SuperNova Awards. The Constellation SuperNova Awards are the first and only awards to celebrate the leaders and teams who have overcome the...


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
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'