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Transiting Exoplanet With Longest Known Year Discovered By

Transiting Exoplanet With Longest Known Year Discovered By Kepler Mission

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The time that it takes for a planet, or planetary satellite, to orbit its star is considered the planet's year. For example, Earth's year is approximately 365 days, while Mercury's is 88...

Latest Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Stories

Two Planets Will Be Eaten By Their Star
2014-06-02 03:21:55

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Two worlds orbiting a distant star are about to become a snack of cosmic proportions. Astronomers announced on Monday that the planets Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively. "As far as we know, this is the first time two known exoplanets in a single system have a predicted 'time of death,'" says lead author...

Exoplanets Come In Three "Neapolitan" Flavors
2014-06-02 03:09:48

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We have small, rocky terrestrials like Earth and Mars, and large gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter. We're missing the astronomical equivalent of strawberry ice cream - planets between about one and four times the size of Earth. NASA's Kepler mission has discovered that these types of planets are very common around other stars. New research...

Potential Life On Red-Dwarf Planets May Be Doomed Due To Harsh Space Weather
2014-06-02 03:34:30

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought. Recently, astronomers looking for potentially habitable worlds have targeted red dwarf stars because they are the most common type of star, comprising 80 percent of the stars in the universe. But a new study shows that harsh space weather might strip the atmosphere of any rocky planet orbiting in a red dwarf's habitable zone. "A red-dwarf planet faces an extreme space environment, in...

New Insight Into Formation Of Star Clusters Provided By NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory
2014-05-16 03:44:41

[ Watch The Video: A Tour Of The Flame Nebula ] Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Stars are often born in clusters, in giant clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have studied two star clusters using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and infrared telescopes and the results show that the simplest ideas for the birth of these clusters cannot work. This composite image shows one of the clusters, NGC 2024, which is found in the center of the so-called Flame Nebula about 1,400...

Dark Matter Clues From The Center Of Our Galaxy
2014-04-03 13:57:46

[ Watch the Video: Fermi Data Hints At New Dark Matter Clues ] Francis Reddym, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that some of this emission may arise from dark matter, an unknown substance making up most of the material universe. Using publicly available data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, independent scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the...

Black Holes Unlikely To Help Explain Dark Matter
2014-01-21 04:38:37

[ Watch the Video: Dark Matter Not Linked To Primordial Black Holes ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Dark matter, the mysterious substance that comprises more than 85 percent of the universe, is unlikely to be made of primordial black holes due to the existence of neutron stars, astrophysicists from the University of Lisbon in Portugal and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) claim in a new study. The theory, originally proposed by Stephen...

massive Star forming cluster discovered
2013-12-16 15:57:27

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) have discovered a giant star-forming region. Known as W49A, the region is located 36,000 light-years away from Earth on the opposite side of the Milky Way. Astronomers say the star-forming region shines 100 times brighter than the Orion nebula. In order to view W49A, astronomers had to aim SMA through dusty fog, after which the telescope helped reveal an active site of star...

Mysterious Radio Bursts May Originate From Nearby Flaring Stars
2013-12-13 04:17:34

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Extremely quick, extremely bright radio pulses known as “fast radio bursts” may originate from flaring stars located within our own galaxy, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) claim in a new study. Based on their characteristics, scientists had believed that these radio bursts came from galaxies located billions of light-years away. However, the pulses – which typically only last for...

Heavy Metals In The Infant Universe
2013-08-07 05:55:59

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A star exploded more than 12 billion years ago, ripping itself apart and blasting debris outward in twin jets at nearly the speed of light. The star shone so brightly at its death that it outshone its entire galaxy by a million times. This flash of light traveled across space for 12.7 billion years to a planet that hadn't even existed at the time of the explosion - our Earth. Astronomers have analyzed this light to learn about a galaxy...

Gold Created By Colliding Stars
2013-07-18 04:18:47

[ Watch the Video: Merging Neutron Stars ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A gamma-ray burst (GRB) created by the collision of two neutron stars has given researchers new insight into how gold, one of the rarest elements on Earth, and in the entire universe, is formed. Lead author Edo Berger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and his colleagues explain that unlike elements such as carbon or iron, gold cannot be created inside of a star....


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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