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Latest Astronomy Stories

Companion planets
2014-08-02 04:44:52

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For humans, having a companion in our later years can help increase our lifespan. A new study led by the University of Washington shows that having a companion might also extend the life of some Earth-sized planets. As a planet ages, it cools and the molten core solidifies. This leads to a dwindling of the inner heat-generating activity that keeps the planet habitable by regulating carbon dioxide to prevent runaway heating and...

farthest cosmic lens
2014-08-02 03:33:26

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A massive new elliptical galaxy unexpectedly discovered using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is the most distant lensing galaxy ever discovered, officials from the US space agency confirmed in a statement Thursday. Lensing galaxies essentially act as a cosmic magnifying glass, and are large enough that their gravity can bend and distort light in such a way that they can make it easier to detect more distant objects in space....

Research Finds Numerous Unknown Jets From Planetary Nebulae And Young Stars
2014-08-01 03:48:51

University of Kent For many years astronomers have known that young 'protostars' drive supersonic jets of gas from their north and south poles. However, this is the first time that so many of them have been detected at once. The results come from a five year survey undertaken with the UK Infra-Red Telescope and are expected to prompt significant changes in the understanding of the planetary nebulae population in the Galaxy, as well as the properties of jets ejected from young forming...

IceCube' No Longer On Ice
2014-08-01 03:32:16

Lori Keesey, NASA NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has chosen a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to build its first Earth science-related CubeSat mission. The tiny payload, known as IceCube or Earth-1, will demonstrate and validate a new 874-gigahertz submillimeter-wave receiver that could help advance scientists’ understanding of ice clouds and their role in climate change. SMD also selected five heliophysics-related missions, two...

mercury magnetic field
2014-08-01 03:45:58

Stuart Wolpert, University of California - Los Angeles Earth and Mercury are both rocky planets with iron cores, but Mercury's interior differs from Earth's in a way that explains why the planet has such a bizarre magnetic field, UCLA planetary physicists and colleagues report. Measurements from NASA's Messenger spacecraft have revealed that Mercury's magnetic field is approximately three times stronger at its northern hemisphere than its southern one. In the current research,...

moon is lemon shaped
2014-08-01 04:13:36

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online More than four decades after US astronauts first visited the lunar surface, scientists have finally determined both the actual shape of the moon and the forces responsible for giving it that form, according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature. As it turns out, the moon is somewhat flattened with a bulge on one side, the authors told Douglas Quenqua of the New York Times. University of California, Santa Cruz...

white dwarf star in V407 Cygni
2014-07-31 16:20:44

J.D. Harrington, NASA Headquarters Observations by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope of several stellar eruptions, called novae, firmly establish these relatively common outbursts almost always produce gamma rays, the most energetic form of light. "There's a saying that one is a fluke, two is a coincidence, and three is a class, and we're now at four novae and counting with Fermi," said Teddy Cheung, an astrophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, and the lead...

2014-07-31 12:21:53

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have unexpectedly discovered the most distant galaxy that acts as a cosmic magnifying glass. Seen here as it looked 9.6 billion years ago, this monster elliptical galaxy breaks the previous record-holder by 200 million years. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO These "lensing" galaxies are so massive that their gravity bends, magnifies, and distorts light from...

absorption wavelength
2014-07-31 02:00:25

Jason Bardi, American Institute of Physics Researchers at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Finger Silicon-Capped Hydrocarbons as Possible Source of Mysterious "Diffuse Interstellar Bands" Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient stars and ejected into space when those stars exploded, these lonely molecules account for a significant amount of all the carbon,...

protoplanetary discs in a double star
2014-07-31 05:31:40

ESO Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found wildly misaligned planet-forming gas disks around the two young stars in the binary system HK Tauri. These new ALMA observations provide the clearest picture ever of protoplanetary disks in a double star. The new result also helps to explain why so many exoplanets — unlike the planets in the Solar System — came to have strange, eccentric or inclined orbits. The results will appear in the journal...


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
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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