Latest Observational astronomy Stories

Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy In New Zealand
2013-08-14 08:29:46

NASA NASA's SOFIA observatory program manager Eddie Zavala reflects on the myriad details of preparing for and then executing the flying observatory's first Southern Hemisphere mission in the summer of 2013. Fly 6,900 miles each way, deploy a cadre of flight and ground crew members along with an international science team for three weeks, and during that time fly three nights per week, 10 hours per flight, all while conducting world-class science. It’s a lot to imagine, and even...

Las Cumbres Obsevatory Astronomy Imager Captures First Light
2013-08-02 09:25:02

Las Cumbres Observatory Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT), with first lights at nine new 1-meter telescopes since April of 2012, achieved another critical milestone by capturing the first on-sky image with a production Sinistro camera. In development for over six years, the camera is arguably more important than the telescopes that will use them. "A telescope is really nothing more than a large camera lens," explained Joe Tufts, instrumentation scientist on the Sinistro...

Exploring Hidden Milky Way
2013-08-01 08:48:11

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Understanding how the Milky Way formed is one of the central scientific questions in astronomy. However, given the scale and complexity of the galaxy, there is a lot to consider. One of the ways researchers have found to tell the story of our galaxy's history is to create a detailed stellar census, analyzing spectra of large numbers of stars. "A star's spectrum is a powerful tool for learning about the star - it tells us key...

Chandra Eyes An Eclipsing Planet
2013-07-30 04:21:13

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using NASA's Chandra observatory were able to witness an eclipsing planet for the first time. A team writing in The Astrophysical Journal said they used the X-ray observatory to detect the exoplanet passing in front of its parent star. "Thousands of planet candidates have been seen to transit in only optical light," said Katja Poppenhaeger of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., who led...

XMM-Newton's Dance Of The X-rays
2013-07-29 08:36:40

ESA Like car tail lights streaking through a busy city at night, this unique image records over a thousand movements made by ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope as it shifts its gaze from one X-ray object to another. Orbiting in space since 1999, XMM-Newton is studying high-energy phenomena in the Universe, such as black holes, neutron stars, pulsars and stellar winds. Even when moving from object to object, the space telescope collects data. These slews are represented by the bright...

Quasar Radiation Influences Galaxy Growth
2013-07-25 05:58:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astrophysicists writing in The Astrophysical Journal have shed some new light on the universe's brightest objects - quasars. The team from Dartmouth University published details about discoveries based on 10 quasar observations. They wrote about the power of quasar radiation, which can reach out for many thousands of light years to the limits of the quasar's galaxy. Astrophysicists Ryan Hickox and Kevin Hainline and colleagues used...

New Record Set By Team From University of Leicester For Cosmic X-ray Sightings
2013-07-23 12:03:43

AlphaGalileo Foundation Exploring the extreme Universe with a rich new resource Three years' research led by University of Leicester Department of Physics and Astronomy Team produces new catalogue with 531,261 detections of X-ray emitting objects - a new record 372,728 unique X-ray sources identified The total area covered on the sky by the combined observation fields is -1400 square degrees Scientists led by the University of Leicester have set a new record for cosmic X-ray...

TW Hydrae’s Snow Line Offers Insight Into Solar System Formation
2013-07-18 18:16:42

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have announced the discovery of a distant solar system's "snow line" about 175 light years away, according to a report in Science Express. On Earth, a snow line can be seen at high altitudes, where a mountain's snowcap ends. The concept is similar in space, where a snow line forms at a certain distance from a star. Water, which has one of highest freezing...

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
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'