Recently in the astrophysics Category


A mysterious X-ray signal has been found in a detailed study of galaxy clusters using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton. One intriguing possibility is that the X-rays are produced by the decay of sterile neutrinos, a type of particle that has been proposed as a candidate for dark matter.

Our Galaxy's magnetic field is revealed in a new image from ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of 'polarised' light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.

Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory.

A Black Widow Pulsar Consumes its Mate

Black widow spiders and their Australian cousins, known as redbacks, are notorious for an unsettling tendency to kill and devour their male partners. Astronomers have noted similar behavior among two rare breeds of binary system that contain rapidly spinning neutron stars, also known as pulsars.

The 64th and final foundation for the MeerKAT telescope antenna was poured yesterday (Tuesday, February 11th, 2014) at South Africa's SKA site in the Karoo.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Europe's Herschel Space Observatory have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in the history of the universe.

QSO 0957+561: Hubble's Double Take

In this new Hubble image two objects are clearly visible, shining brightly. When they were first discovered in 1979, they were thought to be separate objects -- however, astronomers soon realized that these twins are a little too identical!

A newly discovered system of two white dwarf stars and a superdense pulsar-all packed within a space smaller than the Earth's orbit around the sun-is enabling astronomers to probe a range of cosmic mysteries, including the very nature of gravity itself.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole was the first to discover ultrahigh-energy neutrinos which most likely were the result of cosmic acceleration in outer space.

On April 27, a blast of light from a dying star in a distant galaxy became the focus of astronomers around the world. The explosion, known as a gamma-ray burst and designated GRB 130427A, tops the charts as one of the brightest ever seen.

The Galactic Mosh Pit

Astronomers have discovered that our Galaxy wobbles. An international team of astronomers around Mary Williams from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) detected and examined this phenomenon with the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), a survey of almost half a million stars around the Sun.

Searching for New Physics in the Universe

No one knows for sure, but it is not unlikely that the universe is constructed in a completely different way than the usual theories and models of today predict.

After nine days of intensive discussions, nearly 700 particle physicists from about 100 universities and laboratories concluded nine months of work with a unified framework for unmasking the hidden secrets of matter, energy, space and time during the next two decades.

Last June, attendees at the Neutrino 2012 international conference heard about two rare events observed by the IceCube neutrino telescope. Science-trained eyes immediately classified them as something they had never seen before.