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Latest Astronomy Stories

extreme ultraviolet light activity on the sun
2014-08-21 04:17:23

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As children, we are told never to look directly at the Sun, especially through the lens of a camera, telescope or magnifying glass. Even if a person used the special filters that would allow them to gaze at the Sun, they would not be able to see all of the wavelengths of light emanating from the Sun. To fully understand our star, scientists must use spacecraft that can observe this invisible light before it is absorbed by the...

dramatic star formation regions
2014-08-20 06:03:47

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The Wide Field Imager at the ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured new images of two dramatic regions of star formation in the southern Milky Way, one of which features a Wolf–Rayet multiple star system. [ Watch: Zooming In On Star Formation In The Southern Milky Way ] Wolf-Rayet stars, the ESO explains, are at an advanced stage of stellar evolution and begin with a mass approximately 20 times that of the sun....

Hypatia Catalog
2014-08-20 04:20:02

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The largest catalog ever assembled for stellar compositions was unveiled this week by Arizona State University (ASU) alumna Natalie Hinkle. Hinkle, who graduated in 2012 from ASU with a doctorate in astrophysics, named her project the Hypatia Catalog after one of the first female astronomers who lived ~350 AD in Alexandria. The catalog is described in an upcoming issue of The Astronomical Journal. The new catalog is critical to...

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,...


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
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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