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Latest Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stories

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2010-11-09 06:55:00

With the help of the army of volunteers working on the Galaxy Zoo 2 "Ëœcitizen science' project, an international team of scientists have discovered that the bars found in many spiral galaxies could be helping to kill them off. The researchers present their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The overwhelming majority of stars in the universe are found in galaxies like our own Milky Way. These vast stellar assemblies contain anything between a...

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2010-07-21 08:10:00

The EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics has for the first time observed a quasar that is located between the earth and a more distant galaxy and acts as a gravitational lens A quasar acting as a gravitational lens has now been observed for the first time. This discovery, made by the EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics in cooperation with Caltech, represents an advance in the field, since it will allow scientists to weigh and measure a galaxy that contains a quasar. The news is published July 20...

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2010-07-16 07:58:07

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Ecole Polytechnique F©d©rale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have discovered the first known case of a distant galaxy being magnified by a quasar acting as a gravitational lens. The discovery, based in part on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being published July 16 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Quasars, which are extraordinary luminous objects in the distant...

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2010-06-02 07:15:00

Scientists at University College London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge have developed machine-learning codes modeled on the human brain that can be used to classify galaxies accurately and efficiently. Remarkably, the new method is so reliable that it agrees with human classifications more than 90% of the time. The research will appear in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. There are billions of galaxies in the Universe, containing anything between...

c4a176f93f4440b1c1b85fff7fa7cfc51
2010-04-13 08:01:30

An international team of astronomers have discovered compelling evidence that rocky planets are commonplace in our Galaxy. Leicester University scientist and lead researcher Dr Jay Farihi surveyed white dwarfs, the compact remnants of stars that were once like our Sun, and found that many show signs of contamination by heavier elements and possibly even water, improving the prospects for extraterrestrial life. On Tuesday April 13th Dr Farihi will present his results at the RAS National...

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2010-04-02 08:20:08

Discovery may be in front of your home computer. As technology increases the amount of new information available in various fields of science such as oceanography, astronomy and ecology, researchers are turning to citizen scientists to unlock the data. In a study funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Education & Human Resources, researchers are studying an online suite of citizen-science projects called Zooniverse to determine the implications of public...

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2010-02-04 16:10:00

Astronomers have found the first clear evidence of a binary quasar within a pair of actively merging galaxies. Quasars are the extremely bright centers of galaxies surrounding super-massive black holes, and binary quasars are pairs of quasars bound together by gravity. Binary quasars, like other quasars, are thought to be the product of galaxy mergers. Until now, however, binary quasars have not been seen in galaxies that are unambiguously in the act of merging. But images of a new binary...

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2010-02-03 11:55:00

Astronomers have found the first clear evidence of a binary quasar within a pair of actively merging galaxies. Quasars are the extremely bright centers of galaxies surrounding super-massive black holes, and binary quasars are pairs of quasars bound together by gravity. Binary quasars, like other quasars, are thought to be the product of galaxy mergers. Until now, however, binary quasars have not been seen in galaxies that are unambiguously in the act of merging. But images of a new binary...

37c3b9c62be0a889efcd3d86f730c1fa1
2009-11-25 13:37:38

Astronomers on behalf of Galaxy Zoo have unveiled a new game aimed at letting players help them understand how galaxies have formed. The game involves images taken by a camera attached to a telescope in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Game participants are asked to match simulations of colliding galaxies, called galactic mergers. Astronomers say the human brain is much more reliable than even the fastest computer at classifying the shapes of colliding galaxies. The project is led by scientists...

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2009-11-12 14:19:47

Astrophysicists find 2 Earth-sized bodies with oxygen rich atmospheres - only snag is they're stars not planets Astrophysicists at the University of Warwick and Kiel University have discovered two earth sized bodies with oxygen rich atmospheres "“ however there is a bit of a disappointing snag for anyone looking for a potential home for alien life, or even a future home for ourselves, as they are not planets but are actually two unusual white dwarf stars. The two white dwarf stars SDSS...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • 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.'