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Latest Gould Belt Survey Stories

2012-03-14 21:18:03

Using radio and infrared telescopes, astronomers have obtained a first tantalizing look at a crucial early stage in star formation. The new observations promise to help scientists understand the early stages of a sequence of events through which a giant cloud of gas and dust collapses into dense cores that, in turn, form new stars. The scientists studied a giant cloud about 770 light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus. They used the European Space Agency's Herschel Space...

New Spitzer Image Shows Space Nursery
2012-01-11 04:18:52

The stars we see today weren't always as serene as they appear, floating alone in the dark of night. Most stars, likely including our sun, grew up in cosmic turmoil - as illustrated in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The image shows one of the most active and turbulent regions of star birth in our galaxy, a region called Cygnus X. The choppy cloud of gas and dust lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. Cygnus X was named by radio astronomers,...

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2011-04-13 11:50:00

ESA's Herschel space observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Intriguingly, each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms throughout our Galaxy. The filaments are huge, stretching for tens of light years through space and Herschel has shown that newly-born stars are often found in the densest parts of them. One filament imaged by Herschel in the Aquila region...

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2011-02-10 14:15:00

Stars at all stages of development, from dusty little tots to young adults, are on display in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This cosmic community is called the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles the North American continent, with the most striking resemblance being the Gulf of Mexico. But in Spitzer's infrared view, the continent disappears. Instead, a swirling landscape of dust and young stars comes into view. "One of the things that makes me so...

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2010-03-29 13:00:00

A new image from NASA's Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star. The dust is flying past and engulfing a nearby family of stars. "Scientists think the stars in the image are part of a stellar cluster in which a supernova exploded," said Tea Temim of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass., who led the study. "The material ejected in the explosion is now blowing past these stars at high velocities." The composite image of...

2009-08-05 12:05:00

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is starting a second career and taking its first shots of the cosmos since warming up. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The infrared telescope ran out of coolant May 15, 2009, more than five-and-one-half-years after launch. It has since warmed to a still-frosty 30 degrees Kelvin (about minus 406 degrees Fahrenheit). New images taken with two of Spitzer's infrared detector channels...

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2008-02-11 15:50:00

Newborn stars peek out from beneath their natal blanket of dust in this dynamic image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Called "Rho Oph" by astronomers, it's one of the closest star-forming regions to our own solar system. Located near the constellations Scorpius and Ophiuchus, the nebula is about 407 light years away from Earth. Rho Oph is made up of a large main cloud of molecular hydrogen, a key molecule allowing new stars to form out of cold cosmic gas,...

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2007-01-09 15:20:00

The three iconic space pillars photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 might have met their demise, according to new evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. A new, striking image from Spitzer shows the intact dust towers next to a giant cloud of hot dust thought to have been scorched by the blast of a star that exploded, or went supernova. Astronomers speculate that the supernova's shock wave could have already reached the dusty towers, causing them to topple about 6,000...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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