Archives

Astronomy: January 2017



Astronomers have discovered a cosmic one-two punch unlike any ever seen before. Two of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe, a supermassive black hole, and the collision of giant galaxy clusters, have combined to create a stupendous cosmic particle accelerator.


The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is known as RX J1140.1+0307, a galaxy in the Virgo constellation imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and it presents an interesting puzzle.


Astronomers led by David Sobral and Jorryt Matthee, of the Universities of Lancaster in the UK and Leiden in the Netherlands have discovered giant halos around early Milky Way type galaxies, made of photons (elementary particles of light) that have struggled to escape them.


The 11 farthest known stars in our galaxy are located about 300,000 light-years from Earth, well outside the Milky Way's spiral disk.


With the help of tens of thousands of volunteers the distributed computing project Einstein@Home discovers 13 new gamma-ray pulsars.


This delicate smudge in deep space is far more turbulent than it first appears.


Every few thousand years, an unlucky star wanders too close to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The black hole's powerful gravity rips the star apart, sending a long streamer of gas whipping outward.


Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes.


Two stars are predicted to merge and explode in 2022 producing a bright star visible to the unaided eye.


Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging into the star HD 172555, which is a youthful 23 million years old and resides 95 light-years from Earth.


Like anthropologists piecing together the human family tree, astronomers have found that a misfit "skeleton" of a star may link two different kinds of stellar remains.


A team of researchers has compiled a special catalog to help astronomers figure out the true distances to tens of thousands of galaxies beyond our own Milky Way.


This is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, made with over 7 million seconds of observing time with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.


About 150 hours of observing time on the 1,000-ft radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico over the course of the last several years have been devoted to determining whether the most fundamental constant in physics really is constant.


Gemini Observatory provides critical rapid follow up observations of a Fast Radio Burst -- one of modern astronomy's greatest enigmas. These observations provide the first details on a burst's distant extragalactic host.


This is the first polarization image from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy's new infrared camera and polarimeter, known as the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-plus (HAWC+).