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Astronomers Say They May Have Found Evidence Of A Potential

Astronomers Say They May Have Found Evidence Of A Potential Exomoon

Whitney Clavin, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Titan, Europa, Io and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system's pantheon of moons. Are there are other moons out there, orbiting planets beyond our sun? NASA-funded researchers have...

Latest Gravitational microlensing Stories

Astronomers Discover New Way To Map Out Quasars
2013-07-01 12:24:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers said at a Royal Astronomical Society Meeting in St Andrews, Scotland on Monday that they have found a new way to map out quasars. Quasars are energetic and luminous central regions found in distant galaxies. When a star passes too close to a giant black hole, it is shredded by the gravitational field, producing a flare-up in the brightness of an otherwise normal looking galaxy. Astronomers observed this effect and found...

Stellar Alignment Allows Opportunity To Find Planets Near Proxima Centauri
2013-06-04 08:55:53

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Besides our own Sun, the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri is the nearest star to Earth. As such, astronomers have sought to determine if planets orbit the tiny object. But because of its low brightness, and other issues, previous attempts to find planets using traditional methods have failed. But researchers have now determined that two unique opportunities -- one in October 2014, another in February 2016 -- will allow...

2013-06-03 12:22:32

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope will have two opportunities in the next few years to hunt for Earth-sized planets around the red dwarf Proxima Centauri. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The opportunities will occur in October 2014 and February 2016 when Proxima Centauri, the star nearest to our sun, passes in front of two other stars. Astronomers plotted Proxima Centauri's precise path in the heavens and...

Hunting For Earth-like Planets Gets A Boost From New Technique
2013-04-04 04:56:14

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers at The University of Auckland wrote in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that they have a new method that could lead to the discovery of 100 billion earth-like planets. The new strategy, called gravitational microlensing, requires a combination of data from microlensing and the NASA Kepler space telescope. “Kepler finds Earth-sized planets that are quite close to parent stars, and it estimates...

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2012-10-29 13:11:49

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using simulations were able to catch the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in the act of stealing stars away from its neighbor, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The team was trying to look for massive compact halo objects (MACHOs) in order to find out if they could be a major component of dark matter. In order for MACHOs to make up dark matter, they must be so faint that they can't be directly detected. When studying the...

Image 1 - Microlensing Survey Finds A Multitude Of Planets
2012-01-12 03:54:16

[ Watch the Video ] Planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception An international team, including three astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), has used the technique of gravitational microlensing to measure how common planets are in the Milky Way. After a six-year search that surveyed millions of stars, the team concludes that planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception. The results will appear in the journal Nature on 12 January 2012....

Image 1 - Low-mass Star Detected In Globular Cluster
2011-12-16 04:21:18

Even the most powerful high-tech telescopes are barely able to record remote low-mass and thus faint stars. Together with researchers from Poland and Chile, an astrophysicist from the University of Zurich has now detected a low-mass star in globular cluster M22 for the first time through microlensing. The result indicates that the overall mass of globular clusters might well be explained without enigmatic dark matter. Until now, it was merely assumed that low-mass and therefore extremely...

Black Hole Imaged Gobbling Up Accretion Disc
2011-11-04 09:59:30

[ Watch the Video ] A team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe a quasar accretion disc – a brightly glowing disc of matter that is slowly being sucked into its galaxy´s central black hole. Their study makes use of a novel technique that uses gravitational lensing to give an immense boost to the power of the telescope. The incredible precision of the method has allowed astronomers to directly measure the disc´s size and plot the temperature...

2011-05-18 12:00:00

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers, including a NASA-funded team member, have discovered a new class of Jupiter-sized planets floating alone in the dark of space, away from the light of a star. The team believes these lone worlds probably were ejected from developing planetary systems. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The discovery is based on a joint Japan-New Zealand survey that scanned the center of the Milky Way galaxy during...

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2010-01-06 08:15:00

In their quest to find solar systems analogous to ours, astronomers have determined how common our solar system is. They've concluded that about 15 percent of stars in the galaxy host systems of planets like our own, with several gas giant planets in the outer part of the solar system. "Now we know our place in the universe," said Ohio State University astronomer Scott Gaudi. "Solar systems like our own are not rare, but we're not in the majority, either." Gaudi reported the results of the...