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Latest Astrophysics Stories

JKCS 041 galaxy cluster
2014-05-22 04:43:40

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Many of the oldest and most massive galaxies reside together in enormous structures known as clusters, and now a team of astronomers has confirmed the existence of an unusually distant galaxy cluster – a group of 19 galaxies located at precisely the same distance of 9.9 billion light years. In research appearing in The Astrophysical Journal, Andrew Newman of the Carnegie Institution for Science and his colleagues explain how...

MMS To Study Secrets Of Magnetic Reconnection
2014-05-16 03:36:18

Susan Hendrix, NASA In March 2015, NASA will launch four identical spacecraft to study how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively releasing energy – a process known as magnetic reconnection. The Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission will provide the first three-dimensional views of this fundamental process that can accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light. MMS uses Earth’s protective magnetic space environment, the magnetosphere, as a natural...

Mid-level Solar Flare 050814
2014-05-08 12:01:48

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 6:07 a.m. EDT on May 8, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, captured images of it. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. To see...

space dust nanograins
2014-05-07 16:20:44

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., has successfully reproduced, right here on Earth, the processes that occur in the atmosphere of a red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO Using a specialized facility, called the Cosmic Simulation Chamber (COSmIC) designed and built at Ames, scientists now are able to...

Supernovae Used To Gauge The Power Of Cosmic Lenses
2014-05-02 06:38:10

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Two teams of astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe distant exploding stars, and their research could help determine the power of naturally-occurring “cosmic lenses” than can be used to magnify objects in the far-off universe, NASA officials announced on Thursday. The scientists, who are working independently, have studied three supernovae using the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, which causes the...

Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory
2014-05-02 04:46:11

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In the normal course of evolution, galaxies initially formed stars as clouds of hydrogen and helium collapsed. Eventually the density and temperature of the cores would ignite nuclear fusion, allowing them to shine during what we call the main sequence phase of their lives. Eventually, stars will fuse heavier and heavier elements, with stars like our sun eventually culminating as balls of carbon and oxygen – in varying...

Star Wars Science: Revealing Real-World Physics Behind Plasma Shields
2014-04-30 14:13:47

[ Watch the Video: Shields Up! The Physics Of Star Wars ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Just as production of the next Star Wars film is starting to ramp up in London – student researchers 100 miles up the road at the University of Leicester revealed a report on the physics behind plasma shields used to protect battling spaceships and the massive Death Star. Published in the peer-reviewed, student-run Journal of Special Physics Topics, the new report concluded...

Caltech's Cosmic Web Imager Directly Observes "Dim Matter"
2014-04-30 03:53:16

Cynthia Eller, California Institute of Technology Caltech astronomers have taken unprecedented images of the intergalactic medium (IGM)—the diffuse gas that connects galaxies throughout the universe—with the Cosmic Web Imager, an instrument designed and built at Caltech. Until now, the structure of the IGM has mostly been a matter for theoretical speculation. However, with observations from the Cosmic Web Imager, deployed on the Hale 200-inch telescope at Palomar Observatory,...

Brightening Star Offers Astronomers New Way To Study Binary Systems
2014-04-22 10:48:49

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers searching for planets orbiting around a distant star look for a signature dimming of that star’s light, but what if the distant star suddenly gets a bit brighter? Astronomers from the University of Washington observed just such a phenomenon, but instead of concluding they had found an ‘upside-down’ planet, the scientists realized they had found a new way to study binary star systems, according to their report...

What's Lurking Beneath The Surface Of The Sun?
2014-04-21 12:49:25

NASA Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface. New research that uses data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to track bright points in the solar atmosphere and magnetic signatures on the sun's surface offers a way to probe the star's depths faster than ever before. The technique opens the door for near real-time mapping of...


Latest Astrophysics 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...

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...

How Solar Cycles Impact Our Weather Here On Earth
2013-01-13 09:10:34

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
2014-01-12 00:00:00

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...

Astronomy and Astrophysics Review
2012-04-25 09:55:47

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...

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Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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