Latest Metallicity Stories

2008-05-20 16:30:00

Although the universe contains billions of galaxies, only a small amount of its matter is locked up in these behemoths. Most of the universe's matter that was created during and just after the Big Bang must be found elsewhere. Now, in an extensive search of the local universe, astronomers say they have definitively found about half of the missing normal matter, called baryons, in the spaces between the galaxies. This important component of the universe is known as the "intergalactic medium,"...

2008-04-10 12:55:00

Millions of clustered stars glisten like an iridescent opal in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Called Omega Centauri, this sparkling orb of stars is like a miniature galaxy. It is the biggest and brightest of the more than 150 similar objects, called globular clusters, that orbit around the outside of our Milky Way galaxy. Stargazers at southern latitudes can spot the stellar gem with the naked eye in the constellation Centaurus. Spitzer's new infrared view, which has been...

2007-12-20 16:15:00

Astronomers have at last found definitive evidence that the universe's first dust "“ the celestial stuff that seeded future generations of stars and planets "“ was forged in the explosions of massive stars. The findings, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are the most significant clue yet in the longstanding mystery of where the dust in our very young universe came from. Scientists had suspected that exploding stars, or supernovae, were the primary source, but nobody had...

2007-05-02 10:21:45

Astronomers have long thought that globular star clusters had a single "baby boom" of stars early in their lives and then settled into a quiet existence. New observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, however, are showing that this idea may be too simple. The Hubble analysis of the massive globular cluster NGC 2808 provides evidence that star birth went "boom, boom, boom," with three generations of stars forming very early in the cluster's life. "We had never imagined that anything like...

2006-12-23 10:50:00

A study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, led by University of Texas at Austin graduate student Jacob Bean with research scientists Michael Endl and Fritz Benedict, brings new insight into how planets form around the most populous stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Bean's work shows that the chemical make-up of these "red dwarf" stars with orbiting planets is different from most of Sun-like stars that harbor planets -- and indicates that astronomers must take chemical composition into...

2006-12-18 15:40:00

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope strongly suggest that infrared light detected in a prior study originated from clumps of the very first objects of the Universe. The recent data indicate this patchy light is splattered across the entire sky and comes from clusters of bright, monstrous objects more than 13 billion light-years away. "We are pushing our telescopes to the limit and are tantalizingly close to getting a clear picture of the very first collections of objects,"...

2006-08-31 12:45:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is helping astronomers understand how stardust is recycled in galaxies. The cosmic portrait shows the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy named after Ferdinand Magellan, the seafaring explorer who observed the murky object at night during his fleet's historic journey around Earth. Now, nearly 500 years after Magellan's voyage, astronomers are studying Spitzer's view of this galaxy to learn more about the circular journey of stardust,...

2006-03-07 13:35:00

JPL -- The components of life may have been under attack in the hostile environments of the universe's first galaxies, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. A science team led by graduate student Yanling Wu of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., recently came to this conclusion after studying the formation and destruction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons molecules (PAHs) in more than 50 blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies. These organic molecules, comprised of hydrogen and...

2006-02-15 17:52:19

Metal-Rich Distant Galaxy Found With ESO's VLT ESO -- Astronomers, using the unique capabilities offered by the high-resolution spectrograph UVES on ESO's Very Large Telescope, have found a metal-rich hydrogen cloud in the distant universe. The result may help to solve the missing metal problem and provides insight on how galaxies form. "Our discovery shows that significant quantities of metals are to be found in very remote galaxies that are too faint to be directly seen", said C©line...

2005-11-09 13:31:21

ESO -- Observations with Kueyen, one of the 8.2m telescopes composing the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), have led to the discovery of a short-lived massive star that is moving at a very high speed through the outer halo of the Milky Way galaxy and into intergalactic space. This finding could provide evidence for a previously unknown massive black hole in the heart of the Milky Way's closest neighbour, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The star, named HE 0437-5439, was discovered by the...

Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.