Latest hot gas Stories

2010-11-24 14:24:23

Astronomers have caught sight of an unusual galaxy that has illuminated new details about a celestial "sandbar" connecting two massive islands of galaxies. The research was conducted in part with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. These "sandbars," or filaments, are known to span vast distances between galaxy clusters and form a lattice-like structure known as the cosmic web. Though immense, these filaments are difficult to see and study in detail. Two years ago, Spitzer's infrared eyes revealed...

2010-11-21 15:10:29

Observing the X-ray-bright gas in the halo of the Milky Way, ESA's XMM-Newton has gathered new data which favor a process involving fountains of hot gas in our Galaxy. Such a scenario, with the gas flowing from the galactic disc into the halo where it then condenses into cooler clouds and subsequently falls back to the disc, confirms the importance of supernova explosions in forging the evolution of the interstellar medium and of the entire Galaxy. The interstellar medium (ISM) in the Milky...

2010-09-15 11:00:00

Surveying the microwave sky, Planck has obtained its very first images of galaxy clusters, amongst the largest objects in the Universe, by means of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, a characteristic signature they imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background. Joining forces in a fruitful collaboration between ESA missions, XMM-Newton followed up Planck's detections and revealed that one of them is a previously unknown supercluster of galaxies. Matter in the Universe is distributed in a highly...

2010-07-07 13:35:00

Combining observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope, astronomers have uncovered the most powerful pair of jets ever seen from a stellar black hole. This object, also known as a microquasar, blows a huge bubble of hot gas, 1000 light-years across, twice as large and tens of times more powerful than other known microquasars. The discovery is reported this week in the journal Nature. "We have been astonished by how much energy is injected into the gas...

2010-01-22 13:15:00

Two spectacular tails of X-ray emission have been seen trailing behind a galaxy using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. A composite image of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627 shows X-rays from Chandra in blue, optical emission in yellow and emission from hydrogen light -- known to astronomers as "H-alpha" -- in red. The optical and H-alpha data were obtained with the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope in Chile. At the front of the tail is the galaxy ESO 137-001. The brighter of the two...

2009-07-14 11:45:00

We live in a hierarchical Universe where small structures join into larger ones. Earth is a planet in our Solar System, the Solar System resides in the Milky Way Galaxy, and galaxies combine into groups and clusters. Clusters are the largest structures in the Universe, but sadly our knowledge of them is not proportional to their size. Researchers have long known that the gas in the centers of some galaxy clusters is rapidly cooling and condensing, but were puzzled why this condensed gas did...

2009-04-16 11:38:41

This composite image shows the massive galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745 (MACSJ0717, for short) where four separate galaxy clusters have been involved in a collision, the first time such a phenomenon has been documented. Hot gas is shown in an image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and galaxies are shown in an optical image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The hot gas is color-coded to show temperature, where the coolest gas is reddish purple, the hottest gas is blue, and the...

2008-11-19 18:43:57

This composite image shows M84, a massive elliptical galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, about 55 million light years from Earth. Hot gas around M84 is shown in a Chandra X-ray Observatory image in blue and a radio image from the Very Large Array is shown in red. A background image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is shown in yellow and white. A number of bubbles are visible in the hot gas, outlined with blue X-ray emission. These bubbles were blown by relativistic particles generated by the...

2007-12-02 18:47:17

Right in time for the festive season, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has discovered a huge cloud of high-temperature gas resting in a spectacular nearby star-forming region, shaped somewhat like the silhouette of Santa Claus. An early present for astronomers, the cloud suggests that hot gas from many star-forming regions leaks into the interstellar medium. The Orion nebula is the nearest dense star-forming region to Earth that contains stars much more massive than the Sun. XMM-Newton's...

2007-08-16 12:20:00

Astronomers have discovered a chaotic scene unlike any witnessed before in a cosmic "train wreck" between giant galaxy clusters. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical telescopes revealed a dark matter core that was mostly devoid of galaxies, which may pose problems for current theories of dark matter behavior. "These results challenge our understanding of the way clusters merge," said Dr. Andisheh Mahdavi of the University of Victoria, British Columbia. "Or, they possibly make us even...

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