Latest Observational astronomy Stories

2011-03-02 21:32:27

The brightness of the nightly sky glow over major cities has been shown to depend strongly on cloud cover. In natural environments, clouds make the night sky darker by blocking the light of the stars but around urban centers, this effect is completely reversed, according to a new study by a group of physicists and ecologists at the Free University of Berlin (FU) and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). "We found that overcast skies were almost three times...

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)...

2011-02-05 08:15:43

Astronomers gazing deep into the night sky to uncover the Universe's secrets will soon be able to discover even more star-births and planets thanks to new telescopes being built in Chile and Mexico drawing on space technology. Leading-edge production technology, developed by Italian company Media Lario Technologies for the extraordinary X-ray telescope on ESA's XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, will be used for both the world's biggest radio telescope, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array...

2011-01-26 14:28:38

An innovative new radio telescope array under construction in central New Mexico will eventually harness the power of more than 13,000 antennas and provide a fresh eye to the sky. The antennas, which resemble droopy ceiling fans, form the Long Wavelength Array, designed to survey the sky from horizon to horizon over a wide range of frequencies. The University of New Mexico leads the project, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides the advanced digital electronic...

2011-01-20 12:53:49

Seen in X-rays, the entire sky is aglow. Even far away from bright sources, X-rays originating from beyond our galaxy provide a steady glow in every direction. Astronomers have long suspected that the chief contributors to this cosmic X-ray background were dust-swaddled black holes at the centers of active galaxies. The trouble was, too few of them were detected to do the job. An international team of scientists using data from NASA's Swift satellite confirms the existence of a largely unseen...

2011-01-12 13:44:18

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and University of Hawaii (UH) have discovered 16 close-knit pairs of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies. The discovery, based on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being presented in Seattle on January 12 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and has been submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. These...

2011-01-12 08:45:00

Astronomers have released the largest digital, color image of the universe ever recorded--a mosaic created from millions of 2.8 megapixel images recorded over the past decade. The image, which was unveiled during the 217th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, was captured and assembled by researchers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). SDSS-III, as it has been dubbed, is a full color representation of the night sky that has a...

2011-01-11 14:08:39

Whether the object of attention is a novel aspect of the universe or an enigmatic and distant colleague, listening is key to nearly any effort to seek understanding. And not just with your ears. Spectroscopy, the study of how atoms absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation, is like listening, too. The technique is central to a range of physics experiments and can be thought of as an attempt to filter out useful information from what various sensors and detectors often first "hear" as...

2010-12-10 10:35:00

Spearheaded by the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the e-MERLIN telescope will allow astronomers to address key questions relating to the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets. To demonstrate its capabilities, University of Manchester astronomers turned the new telescope array toward the "Double Quasar". This enigmatic object, first discovered by Jodrell Bank, is a famous example of Einstein's...

2010-12-01 12:42:00

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, completed the first of three science flights on Wednesday morning to demonstrate the aircraft's potential to make discoveries about the infrared universe. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The airborne observatory is an international collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt...

Latest Observational astronomy Reference Libraries

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 56,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years distant. Credit: NASA/ESA/Wikipedia What is Astrophysics? For much of the modern age the term Astrophysics has been used synonymously with Astronomy. This interchange is so common that many textbooks even offer the two as having the same meaning. However, from a strictly historical perspective there are differences...

2010-10-08 17:45:24

Radio telescopes, used in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes, are a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy. They operate on the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum where they detect radio sources. Radio telescopes are large parabolic antennas used singly or in an array and are located far from major centers of population in order to avoid electromagnetic interference. Karl Guthe Jansky built the first radio antenna used to...

2010-09-24 17:50:57

A telescope, designed to aid the observation of remote objects, collects some form of electromagnetic radiation (such as visible light). The Netherlands developed the first known practical telescope in the 17th century. The term "telescope" was termed in order to describe Galileo's instruments in 1611. However, Galileo was not the inventor of the telescope. It was Hans Lippershey, Zacharias Janssen, and Jacob Metius who are credited with the creation of the telescope. In 1668, Isaac Newton...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Sample Entry: Astronomy is the scientific study of stars, planets, comets, galaxies, and other phenomena that occur outside Earth's atmosphere (e.g. cosmic radiation). Astronomy deals with the evolution, physics, chemical makeup, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, and also the formation of the universe. The word Astronomy comes from the Greek words astron (meaning "star") and nomos (meaning "law"). Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Since the dawn of man, people always...

2009-04-28 11:47:36

The Reverend Thomas William Webb (December 14, 1807 "“ May 19, 1885) was a British astronomer and faithful clergyman. The lone son of a clergyman, the Rev. John Webb was raised and educated by his father in absence of his mother who died in Webb's early childhood. He travelled to Oxford to attend Magdalen College. Soon after, he was ordained a minister by the Anglican Church in 1829. In 1843, he married Henrietta Montague. Mrs. Webb died on September 7, 1884. Webb followed shortly...

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Word of the Day
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.