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Latest Jason X. Prochaska Stories

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2009-01-06 14:30:00

The brilliant afterglow of a powerful gamma-ray burst (GRB) has enabled astronomers to probe the star-forming environment of a distant galaxy, resulting in the first detection of molecular gas in a GRB host galaxy. By analyzing the spectrum of light emitted in the GRB afterglow, the researchers are gleaning insights into an active stellar nursery in a galaxy so far away it appears as it was 10 billion years ago. "This observation required a rare and exceptionally bright event to allow us to...

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2006-07-31 18:45:00

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- A survey of galaxies observed along the sightlines to quasars and gamma-ray bursts--both extremely luminous, distant objects--has revealed a puzzling inconsistency. Galaxies appear to be four times more common in the direction of gamma-ray bursts than in the direction of quasars. Quasars are thought to be powered by accretion of material onto supermassive black holes in the centers of distant galaxies. Gamma-ray bursts, the death throes of massive stars, are the most...


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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