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Latest Astronomy Stories

2014-08-18 20:20:16

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The signals have helped astronomers identify an unusual midsize black hole called M82 X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source in a galaxy known as Messier 82. Most black holes...

Intermediate Mass Black Hole in M82
2014-08-18 04:11:35

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers from the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland have accurately measured and confirmed the existence of a black hole roughly 400 times the mass of our sun. Black holes that range in size from about 10 to 100 times the mass of our sun are the remnants of dying stars, while much larger supermassive black holes are more than one million times our sun’s mass and typically...

2014-08-17 23:00:57

University of Maryland and NASA astronomers used rhythmic flares of light to measure a brilliant object 12 million light years from Earth, confirming that it is a rare, mysterious intermediate-mass black hole. (PRWEB) August 17, 2014 The universe has so many black holes that it’s impossible to count them all. There may be 100 million of these intriguing astral objects in our galaxy alone. Nearly all black holes fall into one of two classes: big, and colossal. Astronomers know that black...

milky way mystery
2014-08-16 05:05:37

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Newly-created maps of the material located between the stars in the Milky Way could help astronomers solve a nearly century-long mystery involving stardust, according to a new study published in the August 15 edition of the journal Science. Researchers from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, along with an international team of colleagues, claim their work demonstrates a new method of...

Stardust spacecraft
2014-08-15 06:44:48

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Seven rare and microscopic particles of space dust collected by instruments onboard NASA’s Stardust mission could be the first samples of contemporary interstellar dust ever obtained by scientists, an international team of researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science. The samples, which were gathered by Stardust’s aerogel and aluminum foil dust collectors, likely originated from outside of our solar system....

2014-08-14 16:21:07

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seven rare, microscopic interstellar dust particles that date to the beginnings of the solar system are among the samples collected by scientists who have been studying the payload from NASA's Stardust spacecraft since its return to Earth in 2006. If confirmed, these particles would be the first samples of contemporary interstellar dust. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO A team of scientists has been combing...

supernova SN 2014J
2014-08-14 10:48:55

NASA/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory offer a glimpse into the environment of a star before it exploded earlier this year, and insight into what triggered one of the closest supernovas witnessed in decades. The data gathered on the Jan. 21 explosion, a Type Ia supernova, allowed scientists to rule out one possible cause. These supernovas may be triggered when a white dwarf takes on too much mass from its companion star,...

Perseid meteor from space
2014-08-14 05:14:49

Melissa Gaskill, International Space Station Program Office, NASA Johnson Space Center Those who enjoy the spectacle of the Perseids, Geminids or other annual meteor showers likely aren’t thinking about where these shooting stars originated or whether they might pose a danger. Scientists, however, think about such things and will use the vantage point of a special window on the International Space Station to learn more about the composition and behavior of meteors and their parent...

2014-08-13 08:28:42

Rigel Reiterates Clinical Focus on Fostamatinib for ITP and IgA Nephropathy SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) today announced that R348, its ophthalmic JAK/SYK inhibitor, did not meet the primary or secondary endpoints in a recently completed Phase 2 clinical study in patients with dry eye disease. The endpoints were measured by changes in corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival staining, tear production and dry...

MAVEN spacecraft
2014-08-13 03:30:35

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will pass by Mars only 132,000 km away - which would be like a comet passing about 1/3 of the distance between Earth and the Moon. The nucleus of the comet won't hit Mars, but there could be a different kind of collision. "We hope to witness two atmospheres colliding," explains David Brain of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). "This is a once in a lifetime event!"...


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
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.