Latest Astrophysics Stories
The largest and most luminous black hole ever seen has been discovered, with a mass about 12 billion times that of the sun.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has rescheduled to 3 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will hold a media briefing at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb.
Dark matter, the hypothetical matter that is cannot be observed using telescopes but is believed to be responsible for huge gravitational effects in the universe, could be indirectly responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs, according to one New York University professor.
On Oct. 8, 2013, an explosion on the sun’s surface sent a supersonic blast wave of solar wind out into space. This shockwave tore past Mercury and Venus, blitzing by the moon before streaming toward Earth. The shockwave struck a massive blow to the Earth’s magnetic field, setting off a magnetized sound pulse around the planet.
Because the debris fields of exploded stars, known as supernova remnants, are very hot, energetic, and glow brightly in X-ray light, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has proven to be a valuable tool in studying them. The supernova remnant called G299.2-2.9 (or G299 for short) is located within our Milky Way galaxy, but Chandra’s new image of it is reminiscent of a beautiful flower here on Earth.
At the center of this image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, two faint galaxies look like they realize they are being photographed and give a cheesy smile--like celebs on the red carpet.
Hypervelocity stars have been observed traversing the Galaxy at extreme velocities (700 km/s), but the mechanisms that give rise to such phenomena are still debated. Astronomer Thomas M. Tauris argues that lopsided supernova explosions can eject lower-mass Solar stars from the Galaxy at speeds up to 1280 km/s. “[This mechanism] can account for the majority (if not all) of the detected G/K-dwarf hypervelocity candidates,” he said.
Astronomers using ESO facilities in combination with telescopes in the Canary Islands have identified two surprisingly massive stars at the heart of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428. As they orbit each other, the two stars are expected to slowly get closer and closer, and when they merge, about 700 million years from now, they will contain enough material to ignite a vast supernova explosion.
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...
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...
Solar cycles: what are they and why should we care about them? Solar cycles are made up of what are known as solar minimums (min) and solar maximums (max). We refer to a solar min at the time when the sun is not active with many sunspots, while a solar max is just the opposite when we see a large increase in sunspot activity. So how long do solar cycles last? Typically they run on what is known as an 11 year cycle from the max to the min and then start over again anew. As of 2012 we...
Physics is a natural science involving the study of matter and its motion through space-time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. On a broader scale, it also involves the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of astronomy. Physics was part of natural philosophy until the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century, when the natural...
The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published quarterly by Springer Science Business Media. The editor-in-chief is Thierry Courvoisier. It was first published in April 1989. The journal covers all areas of astronomy and astrophysics, including cosmic ray physics, studies in the solar system, astrobiology, developments in laboratory or particle physics relevant to astronomy, instrumentation, computational or statistical methods with specific...
- A morbid dread of being buried alive. Also spelled 'taphiphobia'.