Latest Interstellar medium Stories

2008-07-09 10:15:00

NASA's sun-focused STEREO spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year, allowing University of California, Berkeley, scientists to map for the first time the energized particles in the region where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium. Mapping the region by means of neutral, or uncharged, atoms instead of light "heralds a new kind of astronomy using neutral atoms," said Robert Lin, UC Berkeley professor of physics and lead for...

2008-07-02 13:50:00

GREENBELT, Md. -- NASA's sun-focused Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, twin spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year. This helped scientists map the energized particles where the hot solar wind slams into the cold interstellar medium. The two STEREO spacecraft were launched in 2006 into Earth's orbit around the sun to obtain stereo pictures of the sun's surface and measure magnetic fields and ion fluxes associated with solar...

2008-05-13 09:40:00

First accurate measurement of the temperature of the cosmic background at an early epochAstronomers have made use of ESO's Very Large Telescope to detect for the first time in the ultraviolet the carbon monoxide molecule in a galaxy located almost 11 billion light-years away, a feat that had remained elusive for 25 years. This detection allows them to obtain the most precise measurement of the cosmic temperature at such a remote epoch.The team of astronomers [1] aimed the UVES spectrograph on...

2008-03-07 12:05:00

Mapping the interior of interstellar clouds in great detailAstronomers have measured the distribution of mass inside a dark filament in a molecular cloud with an amazing level of detail and to great depth. The measurement is based on a new method that looks at the scattered near-infrared light or 'cloudshine' and was made with ESO's New Technology Telescope. Associated with the forthcoming VISTA telescope, this new technique will allow astronomers to better understand the cradles of newborn...

2008-02-28 16:05:00

Interstellar space may be strewn with tiny whiskers of carbon, dimming the light of far-away objects. This discovery by scientists at the Carnegie Institution may have implications for the "dark energy" hypothesis, proposed a decade ago in part to explain the unexpected dimness of certain stellar explosions called Type1a supernovae.Type1a supernovae are among the brightest objects in the universe. Astronomers use them as "standard candles" to gauge cosmological distances: brighter-appearing...

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...

2007-08-01 17:46:37

Cool place, hot bodies Picture a cool place, teeming with a multitude of hot bodies twirling about in rapidly changing formations of singles and couples, partners and groups, constantly dissolving and reforming. If you were thinking of the dance floor in a modern nightclub, think again. It's a description of the shells around dying stars, the place where newly formed elements make compounds and life takes off, said Katharina Lodders, Ph.D., research associate professor of earth and...

2007-07-23 11:23:07

University of Arizona astronomers who are probing the oxygen-rich environment around a supergiant star with one of the world's most sensitive radio telescopes have discovered a score of molecules that include compounds needed for life. "I don't think anyone would have predicted that VY Canis Majoris is a molecular factory. It was really unexpected," said Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO) Director Lucy Ziurys, UA professor of astronomy and of chemistry. "Everyone thought that the interesting...

2007-04-17 17:43:13

Astronomers based at Jodrell Bank Observatory have found evidence that giant whirlpools form in the wake of stars as they move through clouds in interstellar space.  The discovery will be presented by Dr Chris Wareing at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Preston on 17th April. Dr Wareing and his colleagues used the COBRA supercomputer to simulate in three-dimensions the movement of a dying star through surrounding interstellar gas. At the end of their life,...

2007-04-17 17:40:14

Steamy clouds have been observed bubbling away from four massive stars known as red supergiants.  A team from Jodrell Bank, using the MERLIN array and  European and Global VLBI Networks, found that the stars are actually "Ëœsteaming' as they enter their final death throes, driving out thick clouds of water vapour immersed in more tenuous gas.  Dr Anita Richards, who is presenting results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Preston on 17th April, said, "Red...

Latest Interstellar medium Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

UV Astronomy -- UV astronomy is the branch of astronomy and astrophysics which deals with objects visible in ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation ranges approximatively from 10nm (extreme UV) to 380nm (near UV). Ultraviolet line spectrum measurements are used to discern the chemical composition, densities, and temperatures of interstellar medium, and the temperature and composition of hot young stars. UV observations can also provide essential information about the evolution of...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Molecular Cloud -- Molecular clouds are interstellar nebulae that have a density and size sufficient to permit the formation of H2, molecular hydrogen. However, this molecule is difficult to detect, and the molecule most used to trace the H2 is CO (carbon monoxide). The ratio between CO luminosity and H2 mass is roughly constant, although there are reasons to doubt this assumption in observations of some other galaxies. In the Milky Way, molecular clouds account for roughly one-half...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Interstellar Cloud -- Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. Depending on the density, size and temperature of a given cloud, the hydrogen in it can be neutral (HI clouds) or molecular (molecular clouds). Chemical compositions Analysing the composition of interstellar clouds is achieved by studying electromagnetic radiation that we receive from them. Large radio telescopes scan the intensity in the sky of particular frequencies of...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Heliopause -- The heliopause is the boundary where our Sun's solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium. The solar wind blows a "bubble" in the interstellar medium (the rareified hydrogen and helium gas that permeates the galaxy). The point where the solar wind's strength is no longer great enough to push back the interstellar medium is known as the heliopause, and is often considered to be the outer "border" of the solar system. The distance to the heliopause is not precisely...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Emission Nebula -- In astronomy, emission nebulae are clouds of ionized gas, emitting light of various colors. The most common source for ionization are high-energy photons emitted from a nearby young, hot star. Usually, a young star will ionize part of the same cloud from which it was born. Only big, hot stars can release the amount of energy required to ionize a significant part of a cloud. Often, an entire cluster of young stars is doing the work. The nebula's color depends on...

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Word of the Day
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'