Latest Far infrared astronomy Stories

2010-05-06 07:40:00

The first scientific results from ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory are revealing previously hidden details of star formation. New images show thousands of distant galaxies furiously building stars and beautiful star-forming clouds draped across the Milky Way. One picture even catches an "Ëœimpossible' star in the act of formation. Presented today during a major scientific symposium held at the European Space Agency (ESA), the results challenge old ideas of star birth, and...

2010-04-08 13:50:00

A leggy cosmic creature comes out of hiding in this new infrared view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The spiral beauty, called IC 342 and sometimes the "hidden galaxy," is shrouded behind our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Stargazers and professional astronomers have a hard time seeing the galaxy through the Milky Way's bright band of stars, dust and gas. WISE's infrared vision cuts through this veil, offering a crisp view. In a spiral galaxy like IC 342, dust and gas...

2009-10-02 07:35:00

Herschel has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string. On 3 September, Herschel aimed its telescope at a reservoir of cold gas in the constellation of the Southern Cross near the Galactic Plane. As the telescope scanned the sky, the spacecraft's Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver, SPIRE, and Photoconductor Array...

2009-09-16 05:05:00

Ninjas knew how to be stealthy: Be dark. Emit very little light. Move in the shadows between bright places. In modern warfare, though, ninjas would be sitting ducks. Their black clothes may be hard to see at night with the naked eye, but their warm bodies would be clearly visible to a soldier wearing infrared goggles. To hunt for the "ninjas" of the cosmos "” dim objects that lurk in the vast dark spaces between planets and stars "” scientists are building by far the most...

2009-07-10 10:45:00

Europe's Herschel space observatory has had incredible results with its first test observation using three of its instruments, which proves it is on its way to becoming one of the most dynamic tools ever created to study the cosmic roots of the world as we know it. While their set-up is not quite complete, the "first light" data demonstrates amazing ability. The telescope first targeted galaxies, star-forming regions and dying stars. They gathered amazing data on the first try, finding...

2009-06-10 13:24:13

Astronomers have at last uncovered newborn stars at the frenzied center of our Milky Way galaxy. The discovery was made using the infrared vision of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The heart of our spiral galaxy is cluttered with stars, dust and gas, and at its very center, a supermassive black hole. Conditions there are harsh, with fierce stellar winds, powerful shock waves and other factors that make it difficult for stars to form. Astronomers have known that stars can form in this chaotic...

2009-04-09 10:54:50

A U.S.-led study that shows all of Earth's far infrared background comes from distant galaxies has essentially solved the question of the radiation's origin. The BLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope) project led by Mark Devlin of the University of Pennsylvania collected data 120,000 feet above Antarctica, enabling researchers to peer into the distant universe at wavelengths nearly unattainable from the ground. During the 1980s and 1990s, certain galaxies called...

2006-04-20 12:54:04

Scientists have secured their first look at the birth of monstrous stars that shine 100,000 times more brightly than the Sun, thanks to ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The discovery allows astronomers to begin investigating why only some regions of space promote the growth of these massive stars. Space is littered with giant clouds of gas. Occasionally, regions within these clouds collapse to form stars. "One of the major questions in the field of study is why do some clouds produce...

2006-03-16 12:48:39

JPL -- Where there's smoke, there's fire - even in outer space. A new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a burning hot galaxy whose fiery stars appear to be blowing out giant billows of smoky dust. The galaxy, called Messier 82, or the "Cigar galaxy," was previously known to host a hotbed of young, massive stars. The new Spitzer image reveals, for the first time, the "smoke" surrounding those stellar fires. "We've never seen anything like this," said Dr. Charles...

2006-01-10 10:25:00

JPL -- A new infrared mosaic from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope offers a stunning view of the stellar hustle and bustle that takes place at our Milky Way galaxy's center. The picture shows throngs of mostly old stars, on the order of hundreds of thousands, amid fantastically detailed clouds of glowing dust lit up by younger, massive stars. "With Spitzer, we can peer right into the heart of our own galaxy and see breathtaking detail," said Dr. Susan Stolovy of the Spitzer Science Center at...

Word of the Day
  • 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.