Latest Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stories

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...

2006-06-10 09:45:00

A long, slender stream of ancient stars has been discovered racing across the northern sky. The stream is about 30,000 light-years distant from Earth and is flowing high over the Milky Way Galaxy at some 230 kilometers per second, or more than half a million miles per hour. The discovery was made by Dr. Carl Grillmair, of the Spitzer Science Center in Pasadena, Calif. and his colleague Odysseas Dionatos from the Astronomical Observatory of Rome. Grillmair presented his findings at the...

2006-04-04 18:55:00

Astronomers from the University of Nottingham, UK, and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain), have found the first observational evidence that galaxies are not randomly oriented. Instead, they are aligned following a characteristic pattern dictated by the large-scale structure of the invisible dark matter that surrounds them. This discovery confirms one of the fundamental aspects of galaxy formation theory and implies a direct link between the global properties of the Universe and...

2006-01-17 07:29:41

NRAO -- Astronomers have found a relatively tiny galaxy whose black-hole-powered "central engine" is pouring out energy at a rate equal to that of much larger galaxies, and they're wondering how it manages to do so. The astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope and optical telescopes at the Apache Point Observatory to study a galaxy dubbed J170902+641728, more than a billion light-years from Earth. "This thing looks like a quasar in VLA images,...

2006-01-11 07:14:48

SDSS -- A huge but very faint structure, containing hundreds of thousands of stars spread over an area nearly 5,000 times the size of a full moon, has been discovered and mapped by astronomers of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II). At an estimated distance of 30,000 light years (10 kiloparsecs) from Earth, the structure lies well within the confines of the Milky Way Galaxy. However, it does not follow any of Milky Way's three main components: a flattened disk of stars in which the sun...

2005-11-17 12:33:45

NASA -- As Albert Einstein developed his theory of general relativity nearly a century ago, he proposed that the gravitational field from massive objects could dramatically warp space and deflect light. The optical illusion created by this effect is called gravitational lensing. It is nature's equivalent of having a giant magnifying lens in space that distorts and amplifies the light of more distant objects. Einstein described gravitational lensing in a paper published in 1936. But he...

2005-06-02 23:47:21

The Virgo consortium, an international group of astrophysicists from the UK, Germany, Japan, Canada and the USA has today (June 2nd) released first results from the largest and most realistic simulation ever of the growth of cosmic structure and the formation of galaxies and quasars.  In a paper published in Nature, the Virgo Consortium shows how comparing such simulated data to large observational surveys can reveal the physical processes underlying the build-up of real galaxies and...

2005-06-01 13:15:29

An international team of astrophysicists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics presents the worldwide largest simulation of the universe and an accurate theoretical model for the growth of galaxies and supermassive black holes The Virgo consortium, an international group of astrophysicists from Germany, the UK, Canada and the USA has just released first results from the largest simulation ever of cosmic structure growth and of galaxy and quasar formation. This...

2005-01-12 08:27:55

SDSS -- In the largest galaxy survey ever, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) confirmed the role of gravity in growing structures in the universe, using the result to precisely measure the geometry of the universe.The SDSS researchers from the University of Arizona, New York University, the University of Portsmouth (UK), the University of Pittsburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, detected ripples in the galaxy distribution made by sound waves generated soon after the Big...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.