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Latest Galactic astronomy Stories

1636f4d2fe58158cd76751e07a2e9ff21
2009-04-29 10:20:00

It sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie: rogue black holes roaming our galaxy, threatening to swallow anything that gets too close. In fact, new calculations by Ryan O'Leary and Avi Loeb (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) suggest that hundreds of massive black holes, left over from the galaxy-building days of the early universe, may wander the Milky Way. Good news, however: Earth is safe. The closest rogue black hole should reside thousands of light-years away. Astronomers are...

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2009-03-12 12:40:00

The "Cat's Eye" nebula, or NGC 6543, is a well-studied example of a "planetary nebula." Such objects are the glowing remnants of dust and gas expelled from moderate-sized stars during their last stages of life. Our own sun will generate such a nebula in about five billion years. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has studied many such planetary nebulae in infrared light, including a variety of more distant ones, which have helped scientists identify a population of carbon-bearing stars near our...

2009-01-19 15:02:41

British astronomers say cosmic dust was partially created by the gradual death of carbon stars and not just from stars that exploded. The astronomers have been watching cosmic dust form around a dying star in a nearby galaxy, similar to the primitive galaxies that formed soon after the big bang, said a release from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, which funded the study. The newly observed dust formation was found around the carbon star MAG 29, located 280,000 light years away...

2afde7c250e47e5f541d32507eefe4221
2009-01-16 00:45:00

ITHACA, N.Y. "“ A Cornell-led team of astronomers has observed dust forming around a dying star in a nearby galaxy, giving a glimpse into the early universe and enlivening a debate about the origins of all cosmic dust. The findings are reported in the Jan. 16 issue of the journal Science (Vol. 323, No. 5912). Cornell research associate Greg Sloan led the study, which was based on observations with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The researchers used Spitzer's Infrared Spectrograph,...

ed01827706faf4b73edb9d794e2a26761
2009-01-06 07:40:00

Milky Way Bigger Than Once Thought The Milky Way packs a big punch. In fact, scientists discovered that it is larger than Andromeda - not the little sister it was once thought to be. Scientists mapped the Milky Way in a more detailed, three-dimensional way and found that it's bulkier and spinning faster than astronomers once thought. The Milky Way is denser, with 50 percent more mass, and 15 percent larger in breadth. The research was presented Monday at the American Astronomical Society's...

54c15984a12fee68948109d17ecd2ac0
2009-01-05 08:55:00

Iowa State University's Martin Pohl is part of a research team that has developed the first complete map of the Milky Way galaxy's spiral arms. The map shows the inner part of the Milky Way has two prominent, symmetric spiral arms, which extend into the outer galaxy where they branch into four spiral arms. "For the first time these arms are mapped over the entire Milky Way," said Pohl, an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy. "The branching of two of the arms may explain...

1e57127d7cbed58bcd46a2c80eaf3cc11
2008-09-22 08:00:00

Pulsating stars enable a new precise determination of the rotation of our Galaxy New, very precise measurements have shown that the rotation of the Milky Way is simpler than previously thought. A remarkable result from the most successful ESO instrument HARPS, shows that a much debated, apparent 'fall' of neighborhood Cepheid stars towards our Sun stems from an intrinsic property of the Cepheids themselves. The result, obtained by a group of astrophysicists led by Nicolas Nardetto, will soon...

94c42dd2728643b3f636bf27ed4ea269
2008-09-03 09:05:00

The origin of the microscopic meteorites that make up cosmic dust has been revealed for the first time in new research out Sept. 1, 2008. The research, published in the journal Geology, shows that some of the cosmic dust falling to Earth comes from an ancient asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. This research improves our knowledge of the solar system, and could provide a new and inexpensive method for understanding space. Cosmic dust particles, originally from asteroids and comets, are...

2008-08-13 18:00:09

By Luntz, Stephen The Milky Way has been dubbed a galactic cannibal before (AS, September 1998, p.5), but new evidence is making it look like a stellar Hannibal Lecter. The latest reports of the Milky Way's consumption of the Sagittarius Elliptical Dwarf Galaxy, observed by astronomers from the Australian National University, follow observations of the effects of our galaxy's gravity on the Magellenic clouds (AS, April 2008, p.43). "The Sagittarius dwarf is a cosmic lightweight weighing...

8013e0a22d66d2f284bae49cd835809e1
2008-07-21 19:40:00

The Pinwheel galaxy is gussied up in infrared light in a new picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The fluffy-looking galaxy, officially named Messier 101, is dominated by a mishmash of spiral arms. In Spitzer's new view, in which infrared light is color coded, the galaxy sports a swirling blue center and a unique, coral-red outer ring. A new paper appearing July 20 in the Astrophysical Journal explains why this outer ring stands out. According to the authors, the red color highlights...


Latest Galactic astronomy Reference Libraries

3_b44b7fd989f2076cfeda5fc743f39ab02
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Milky Way Galaxy -- The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia (gala, galactos means "milk")) is a hazy band of white light across the night sky formed by billions of stars in the disc of our galaxy. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic centre lies. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of...

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Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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