Latest Large Magellanic Cloud Stories

2011-01-13 10:34:54

Astronomers have turned up the first direct proof that "standard candles" used to illuminate the size of the universe, termed Cepheids, shrink in mass, making them not quite as standard as once thought. The findings, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, will help astronomers make even more precise measurements of the size, age and expansion rate of our universe. Standard candles are astronomical objects that make up the rungs of the so-called cosmic distance ladder, a tool for measuring...

2010-12-14 10:10:00

A delicate sphere of gas, photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, floats serenely in the depths of space. The pristine shell, or bubble, is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Called SNR 0509-67.5 (or SNR 0509 for short), the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth. Ripples in the shell's surface may be caused by either subtle...

2010-11-24 12:50:00

By discovering the first double star where a pulsating Cepheid variable and another star pass in front of one another, an international team of astronomers has solved a decades-old mystery. The rare alignment of the orbits of the two stars in the double star system has allowed a measurement of the Cepheid mass with unprecedented accuracy. Up to now astronomers had two incompatible theoretical predictions of Cepheid masses. The new result shows that the prediction from stellar pulsation theory...

2010-09-29 13:25:00

The Magellanic Stream is an arc of hydrogen gas spanning more than 100 degrees of the sky as it trails behind the Milky Way's neighbor galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, has long been thought to be the dominant gravitational force in forming the Stream by pulling gas from the Clouds. A new computer simulation by Gurtina Besla (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and her colleagues now shows, however, that the Magellanic Stream resulted...

2010-09-02 14:42:56

An international team of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope reports a significant brightening of the emissions from Supernova 1987A. The results, which appear in this week's Science magazine, are consistent with theoretical predictions about how supernovae interact with their immediate galactic environment. The team observed the supernova remnant in optical, ultraviolet, and near-infrared light. They studied the interaction between the ejecta from the stellar explosion and a glowing...

2010-08-11 06:35:00

Astronomers scanning the skies as part of ESO's VISTA Magellanic Cloud survey have now obtained a spectacular picture of the Tarantula Nebula in our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This panoramic near-infrared view captures the nebula itself in great detail as well as the rich surrounding area of sky. The image was obtained at the start of a very ambitious survey of our neighboring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, and their environment. The leader of the survey team,...

2010-08-04 10:30:00

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time obtained a three-dimensional view of the distribution of the innermost material expelled by a recently exploded star. The original blast was not only powerful, according to the new results. It was also more concentrated in one particular direction. This is a strong indication that the supernova must have been very turbulent, supporting the most recent computer models. Unlike the Sun, which will die rather quietly, massive...

2010-07-22 09:20:00

A hundred million years ago, a triple-star system was traveling through the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy when it made a life-changing misstep. The trio wandered too close to the galaxy's giant black hole, which captured one of the stars and hurled the other two out of the Milky Way. Adding to the stellar game of musical chairs, the two outbound stars merged to form a super-hot, blue star. This story may seem like science fiction, but astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope...

2010-06-22 09:05:00

A spectacular new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image "” one of the largest ever released of a star-forming region "” highlights N11, part of a complex network of gas clouds and star clusters within our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This region of energetic star formation is one of the most active in the nearby Universe. The Large Magellanic Cloud contains many bright bubbles of glowing gas. One of the largest and most spectacular has the name LHA 120-N 11,...

2010-06-01 11:30:00

Astronomers often turn their telescopes to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the closest galaxies to our own Milky Way, in their quest to understand the Universe. In this spectacular new image from the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, a celestial menagerie of different objects and phenomena in part of the LMC is on display, ranging from vast globular clusters to the remains left by brilliant supernovae explosions. This fascinating observation provides...

Latest Large Magellanic Cloud Reference Libraries

2010-09-16 15:14:03

The two Magellanic Clouds (or Nubeculae Magellani), composed of the Large Megellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud, are irregular dwarf galaxies visible in the southern hemisphere. They are members of our Local Group and orbit the Milky Way galaxy. Persian astronomer Al Sufi, in 964, was the first to have written anything about the Magellanic Clouds proving they have been known since early time amongst the Middle East peoples. Sufi, in his Book of Fixed Stars, calls the clouds...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Supernova Remnant -- A supernova remnant (SNR) is made up of the materials left behind by the gigantic explosion of a star in a supernova. There are two possible routes to this end: either a massive star may cease to generate fusion energy in its core, and collapse inward under the force of its own gravity, or a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it reaches a critical mass and undergoes a similar collapse. In either case, the resulting supernova...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Supernova 1987a -- Supernova 1987a was a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy. It occurred approximately 50 kiloparsecs from Earth, the closest supernova since Supernova 1604, which occurred in the Milky Way itself. The light from the supernova reached Earth on February 23, 1987. Its brightness peaked in May with a magnitude of about 3 and slowly declined in the following months. It was modern astronomers' first opportunity to see a supernova up close....

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Word of the Day
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'