Latest Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stories

2009-08-24 14:10:00

The Catalina Sky Survey detects potentially hazardous asteroids and comets. Now a spin-off survey is finding a windfall of "optical transients" in the same data. Astronomers have been mining a mother lode of astronomical data from the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey and finding more "optical transients" than they can characterize during the past 17 months. They have found more than 700 unique "optical transients," or objects that change brightness on time scales of minutes to...

2009-08-07 09:30:00

Several ways have been proposed to examine dark energy, in hopes of finding out just what it is. One of them, "supernovae" for short, certainly works: it's how dark energy was discovered in the first place. Other independent techniques, such as weak gravitational lensing and baryon acoustic oscillation, also promise great power but are as yet unproven.These three techniques all have a share of the proposed Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a satellite design managed by NASA with the...

2009-02-26 10:49:57

The vast expanses of intergalactic space appear to be filled with a haze of tiny, smoke-like "dust" particles that dim the light from distant objects and subtly change their colors, according to a team of astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II). "Galaxies contain lots of dust, most of it formed in the outer regions of dying stars," said team leader Brice M©nard of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. "The surprise is that we are seeing dust hundreds of...

2008-12-17 13:55:00

"It's the ultimate exercise in archeology," said Steven Majewski, a University of Virginia professor of astronomy and lead scientist on a new project to survey more than 100,000 Milky Way red giant stars -- bright, bloated stars in a late stage of their evolution. The project, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, or APOGEE, is one of four experiments of the new Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, using the astronomical facilities at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico....

2008-09-20 09:00:00

A Unique Way to Measure Dark Energy With Galaxies and Quasars The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) uses a 2.5-meter telescope with a wider field of view than any other large telescope, located on a mountaintop in New Mexico called Apache Point and devoted solely to mapping the universe. We now know that some three-quarters of the universe consists of dark energy, whose very existence was unsuspected when telescope construction began in 1994 and still controversial when the first Sloan survey...

2008-09-20 08:30:35

A team led by a Yale University astronomer has discovered the least luminous, most dark matter-filled galaxy known to exist. The galaxy, called Segue 1, is one of about two dozen small satellite galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy. The ultra-faint galaxy is a billion times less bright than the Milky Way, according to the team's results, to be published in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal (ApJ). But despite its small number of visible stars, Segue 1 is nearly a thousand...

2008-05-13 09:50:00

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (MSFT) launched its WorldWide Telescope late Monday, bringing the free Web-based program for zooming around the universe to a broad audience. WorldWide Telescope, developed by Microsoft's research arm, knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and others. Computer users can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed...

2008-01-18 12:30:00

GAINESVILLE, Fla. "” A University of Florida-led sky survey that may double the number of known planets outside the solar system is part of a major new survey program announced today at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting in Austin, Texas.The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, slated to begin mid-year and end in mid-2014, consists of four independent surveys operated by the survey's consortium. One will probe the distant universe and seek to learn more about mysterious dark...

2007-08-22 12:00:00

BALTIMORE -- Imagine cruising the heavens from your desktop and seeing all the spectacular images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Exploding stars and faraway galaxies are just a mouse click away through Sky in Google Earth. Sky in Google Earth is produced by Google, the company that hosts the popular Internet search engine, through a partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the science operations center for Hubble. To access the new feature, users will...

2007-02-12 09:27:02

Using a map of more than 4,000 luminous quasars in the distant universe, scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II) have shown that these brilliant beacons are strongly clumped, with huge quasar superclusters separated by vast stretches of empty space. The strong clustering shows that the quasars lie within massive concentrations of dark matter. "Previous maps showed that more nearby quasars cluster like 'normal' galaxies," explained Princeton University graduate student Yue...

Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'