Latest Observational astronomy Stories

2010-12-01 13:33:51

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. The airborne observatory is an international collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR). SOFIA is a heavily modified Boeing 747SP that cruises at altitudes between 39,000 and 45,000 feet. It will allow...

2010-11-26 09:26:56

Radio observations show first evidence for magnetic field in protostar jet Astronomers have found the first evidence of a magnetic field in a jet of material ejected from a young star, a discovery that points toward future breakthroughs in understanding the nature of all types of cosmic jets and of the role of magnetic fields in star formation. Throughout the Universe, jets of subatomic particles are ejected by three phenomena: the supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies, smaller...

2010-11-24 06:40:00

A team of scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has brought the world one step closer to "hearing" gravitational waves -- ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century. The research, performed in a lab at JPL in Pasadena, Calif., tested a system of lasers that would fly aboard the proposed space mission called Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA. The mission's goal is to detect the subtle, whisper-like signals of gravitational...

2010-11-05 06:20:00

It turns out the Herschel Space Observatory has a trick up its sleeve. The telescope, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions, has proven to be excellent at finding magnified, faraway galaxies. Like little kids probing patches of dirt for insects, astronomers can use these new cosmic magnifying lenses to study galaxies that are hidden in dust. "I was surprised to learn that Herschel is so good at finding these cosmic lenses," said Asantha Cooray of the University of...

2010-10-25 06:30:29

Astronomers in Japan, using an X-ray detector on the International Space Station, and at Penn State University, using NASA's Swift space observatory, are announcing the discovery of an object newly emitting X-rays, which previously had been hidden inside our Milky Way galaxy in the constellation Centaurus. The object -- a binary system -- was revealed recently when an instrument on the International Space Station named MAXI (Monitor of All-Sky X-ray Image) on the Exposed Facility of the...

2010-09-18 07:57:26

The increase of artificial night lighting is only one of the consequences of intense urbanization. There is no doubt that chemical and noise pollution can have a strong impact on ecosystems. To date, however, the more subtle consequences of light pollution on wild populations of animals have not received enough attention. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology have now shown that permanent night lighting alters the reproductive behavior of birds. In those habitats that are...

2010-09-16 18:01:18

In today's increasingly urbanized world, the lights in many places are always on, and according to a report published online on September 16 in of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that's having a real impact on the mating life of forest-breeding songbirds. "In comparison to chemical and noise pollution, light pollution is more subtle, and its effects have perhaps not received the attention they deserve," said Bart Kempenaers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany....

2010-08-26 09:10:50

Why sunspots are a strong source of radio emissions and what information those emissions carry will be the focus of an invited talk by NJIT Research Professor Jeongwoo Lee tomorrow at the International Astronomical Union Symposium on the Physics of Sun and Star Spots in Ventura, CA. The event numbers among the top gatherings in the U.S. for people studying sunspots and related phenomena. Lee, who will speak today, Aug. 26, 2010, will highlight Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA), one of the two...

2010-08-13 08:00:00

Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. The discovery overturns the notion that novae explosions lack the power to emit such high-energy radiation. A nova is a sudden, short-lived brightening of an otherwise inconspicuous star. The outburst occurs when a white dwarf in a binary system erupts in an enormous thermonuclear explosion. "In human terms, this was an...

2010-08-12 08:01:37

A newly developed image analysis technique has significantly improved the sensitivity limits reached by the IBIS imager on board INTEGRAL, resulting in the deepest survey ever compiled of the entire sky in the energy range between 17 and 60 keV. Pushing the instrument towards its very limits, the novel method discloses a vast number of previously undetected faint sources, galactic and extragalactic alike. For more than seven years, the INTEGRAL observatory has been surveying the entire X-ray...

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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