Latest Mark Reid Stories

Black Hole Birth Announcement
2011-11-17 14:40:32

For the first time, astronomers have produced a complete description of a black hole, a concentration of mass so dense that not even light can escape its powerful gravitational pull. Their precise measurements have allowed them to reconstruct the history of the object from its birth some six million years ago. Using several telescopes, both ground-based and in orbit, the scientists unraveled longstanding mysteries about the object called Cygnus X-1, a famous binary-star system discovered...

2011-02-21 07:20:00

Continent-wide telescope extends cosmic 'yardstick' three times farther into universe Using the super-sharp radio "vision" of astronomy's most precise telescope, scientists have extended a directly-measured "yardstick" three times farther into the cosmos than ever before, an achievement with important implications for numerous areas of astrophysics, including determining the nature of Dark Energy, which constitutes 70 percent of the Universe. The continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)...

2009-01-06 07:40:00

Milky Way Bigger Than Once Thought The Milky Way packs a big punch. In fact, scientists discovered that it is larger than Andromeda - not the little sister it was once thought to be. Scientists mapped the Milky Way in a more detailed, three-dimensional way and found that it's bulkier and spinning faster than astronomers once thought. The Milky Way is denser, with 50 percent more mass, and 15 percent larger in breadth. The research was presented Monday at the American Astronomical Society's...

2008-01-17 08:34:02

Austin, TX -- Having the sharpest pictures always is a big advantage, and a sophisticated radio-astronomy technique using continent-wide and even intercontinental arrays of telescopes is yielding extremely valuable scientific results in a wide range of specialties. That's the message delivered to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Austin, Texas, by Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a leading researcher in the field of ultra-precise astronomical position...

2005-12-27 13:55:00

Cambridge, MA -- The Perseus spiral arm - the nearest spiral arm in the Milky Way outside the Sun's orbit - lies only half as far from Earth as some previous studies had suggested. An international team of astronomers measured a highly accurate distance to the Perseus arm for the first time using a globe-spanning system of radio dishes known as the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), which offers the sharpest vision of any telescope in existence. Additional VLBA measurements will help...

2005-03-04 08:05:00

Cambridge, MA -- In the March 4th issue of Science, astronomers report that they have measured the slowest ever motion of a galaxy across the plane of the sky. This distant whirlpool of stars appears to creep along despite its actual speed through space because it is located so far from the Earth. Measuring this galaxy's glacial pace of only 30 micro-arcseconds per year stretched current radio astronomy technology to its limit. "A snail crawling on Mars would appear to be moving across the...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.