Latest Large-scale structure of the cosmos Stories

2010-09-16 07:45:00

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found theoretical evidence* of a new way to generate the high-frequency waves used in modern communication devices such as cell phones. Their analysis, if supported by experimental evidence, could contribute to a new generation of wireless technology that would be more secure and resistant to interference than conventional devices. The team's findings point toward an oscillator that would harness the spin of...

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...

2010-08-19 14:52:35

Astronomers have devised a new method for measuring perhaps the greatest puzzle of our universe "” dark energy. This mysterious force, discovered in 1998, is pushing our universe apart at ever-increasing speeds.For the first time, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope were able to take advantage of a giant magnifying lens in space "” a massive cluster of galaxies "” to narrow in on the nature of dark energy. Their calculations, when combined with data from other...

2010-07-22 08:16:59

Mapping large-scale cosmic structures will help test theories Pioneering observations with the National Science Foundation's giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have given astronomers a new tool for mapping large cosmic structures. The new tool promises to provide valuable clues about the nature of the mysterious "dark energy" believed to constitute nearly three-fourths of the mass and energy of the Universe. Dark energy is the label scientists have given to what is causing the...

2010-07-21 08:10:00

The EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics has for the first time observed a quasar that is located between the earth and a more distant galaxy and acts as a gravitational lens A quasar acting as a gravitational lens has now been observed for the first time. This discovery, made by the EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics in cooperation with Caltech, represents an advance in the field, since it will allow scientists to weigh and measure a galaxy that contains a quasar. The news is published July 20...

2010-07-05 05:55:00

ESA's Planck mission has delivered its first all-sky image. It not only provides new insight into the way stars and galaxies form but also tells us how the Universe itself came to life after the Big Bang."This is the moment that Planck was conceived for," says ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, David Southwood. "We're not giving the answer. We are opening the door to an Eldorado where scientists can seek the nuggets that will lead to deeper understanding of how our Universe came...

2010-06-01 07:05:00

Surveying the sky, XMM-Newton has discovered two massive galaxy clusters, confirming a previous detection obtained through observations of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, the 'shadow' they cast on the Cosmic Microwave Background. The discovery, made possible thanks to a novel mosaic observing mode recently introduced on ESA's X-ray observatory, opens a new window to study the Universe's largest bound structures in a multi-wavelength approach. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally...

2010-05-11 13:37:18

Using observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton, astronomers have announced a robust detection of a vast reservoir of intergalactic gas about 400 million light years from Earth. This discovery is the strongest evidence yet that the "missing matter" in the nearby Universe is located in an enormous web of hot, diffuse gas. This missing matter "” which is different from dark matter -- is composed of baryons, the particles, such as protons and electrons, that...

2010-05-11 10:00:00

Supermassive black holes with the mass of many millions of stars have been detected at the center of many large galaxies. A super-massive black hole acts like a lurking "monster" at the center of the galaxy which swallows the surrounding material through the intensity of its gravitational pull. X-ray observations indicate that a large amount of energy is produced by the in-fall of matter into a black hole, and ejected in powerful jets. Astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for...

2010-05-05 09:05:00

A new wide-field image released today by ESO displays many thousands of distant galaxies, and more particularly a large group belonging to the massive galaxy cluster known as Abell 315. As crowded as it may appear, this assembly of galaxies is only the proverbial "tip of the iceberg", as Abell 315 "” like most galaxy clusters "” is dominated by dark matter. The huge mass of this cluster deflects light from background galaxies, distorting their observed shapes slightly. When...

Latest Large-scale structure of the cosmos Reference Libraries

2010-09-16 15:18:29

The Virgo Cluster consists of galaxies at a distance of around 59 Mly away in the constellation Virgo. Containing between 1300 to 2000 galaxies the Virgo Cluster is the heart of the Local Supercluster. Its mass is estimated at 1.2 × 1015 M☉ out to 8 degrees of the cluster's center or a radius of about 2.2 Mpc. Most of the brighter galaxies in the cluster were discovered by Charles Messier in the late 1770's and early 1780's, including the giant elliptical Messier 87. Messier...

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...

2010-09-16 15:00:46

The NGC 5866, located in the Draco constellation, is named after the galaxy with the highest magnitude however some catalogs list NGC 5907 as the brightest member. The M51 Group and the M101 Group are NGC 5866 closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them separate.

2010-09-13 17:13:25

The M101 Group, one of many in the Virgo Supercluster, is located in Ursa Major and named after the brightest galaxy in the group, the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101). The group is composed mostly of members that are companions of the Pinwheel Galaxy. The M51 Group and the NGC 5866 Group are M101's closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them...

2010-09-13 17:09:55

The M81 Group, containing the well known galaxies Messier 81 and Messier 82, is a group of galaxies within the constellation Ursa Major. Along with Messier 81 and 82 are several other galaxies with apparent brightness. The center, located at an approximate distance of 3.6 Mpc, is one of the nearest groups to the Local Group. The total estimated mass of the group is (1.03 ± 0.17) × 1012M☉. The Virgo Supercluster contains the M81 Group, the Local Group, and some other nearby...

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