New observations using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have been used to solve an important astrophysical puzzle concerning the oldest stars in our galactic neighborhood hidden until recently in dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. In comparison to the Milky Way, most dwarf galaxies are blob-like, 85% smaller (around 6700 vs 100,000 light-years across), containing around 30 billion stars.
Continue reading "Dwarf Galaxies Found Cloaking Primitive Stars From the Early Universe" »
It may not be much use to hitchhikers through the galaxy, but it is extremely valuable to astronomers: the new radio atlas of the Milky Way. After almost ten years of work, researchers at the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have completed their investigation into the polarised radio emission in the galactic plane. The atlas is based on observations undertaken with the 25-metre radio telescope in the Chinese city of Urumqi and shows an area of 2,200 square degrees of the sky.
Continue reading "New 'Hitchhiker's Guide' to the Milky Way --Map Reveals Large-Scale Magnetic Field & Two Supernova Remnants" »
Arp 220 is the closest galaxy to the Milly Way with an extreme luminosity, defined as being more than about 300 times that of our own galaxy. Some dramatic galaxies have values of luminosity ten times brighter still. Astronomers are still piecing together the reasons for these huge energy outputs, while sorting out why our own galaxy is so modest.
Continue reading "Extreme Galaxies --Some 3000 Times Brighter Than Milky Way" »
"The past, present and future are only illusions, even if stubborn ones."
NGC 6240, a butterfly-shaped galaxy that is the product of the collision of two smaller galaxies, revealed that the central region of the galaxy (inset below) contains not one, but two active giant black holes.
Continue reading " Image of the Day: Starburst Galaxy with Two Active Supermassive Black Holes" »
Wonder what life of Jupiter's moon, Europa, might look like? Checkout a new species of archaebacteria, Pyrococcus CH1,discovered thriving on a mid-Atlantic ridge within a temperature range of 80 to 105°C and able to divide itself up to a hydrostatic pressure of 120 Mpa (1000 times higher than the atmospheric pressure). Alieve won't help down there.
Continue reading "Do Earth's Ocean Extremeophiles Hint at What Lies Beneath Jupiter's Europa?" »
No one at SETI headquarters knows for sure. The believe that there is a slight possibility that it just might originate from an extraterrestrial intelligence. The bright colors on the blue background indicate that an anomalous signal was received here on Earth by a radio telescope involved in a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Time labels the vertical axis of the above plot, and frequency marks the horizontal axis.
Continue reading "From the 'X Files' Dept: The SETI Enigma --What Caused this Signal? " »
Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying there this fall. Until officials figure out what went wrong with Russia's essential Soyuz rockets, there will be no way to launch any more astronauts before the current residents have to leave in mid-November. The predicament comes just weeks after NASA's final space shuttle flight.
Continue reading "ISS Alert: Astronauts May Have to Abandon Station this Fall" »
The resulting data reveal gas (characterized by sodium, which absorbs yellow light) streaming away from the galaxy center at speeds of over 1,000 kilometers per second. At this speed, the gas could go from New York to Los Angeles in about 4 seconds.
When two galaxies merge to form a giant, in this case Markarian 231, the central supermassive black hole in the new galaxy develops an insatiable, but ultimately unsustainable appetite for cosmic gas and dust. Markarian 231 is located about 600 million light years away in the direction of the constellation of Ursa Major. Although its mass is uncertain, some estimates indicate that Markarian 231 has a mass in stars about three times that of our Milky Way galaxy and its central black hole is estimated to have a mass of at least ten million solar masses or also about three times that of the supermassive black hole in the Milky Way.
Continue reading "Observed: The 'Life & Death' of a Supermassive Black Hole" »
A beautiful spiral galaxy matching our own Milky Way emerged from a computer simulation of the physics involved in galaxy formation and evolution created the god-like researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich. The simulation solves a longstanding problem that had led some to question the prevailing cosmological model of the universe.
"Previous efforts to form a massive disk galaxy like the Milky Way had failed, because the simulated galaxies ended up with huge central bulges compared to the size of the disk," said Javiera Guedes, a graduate student in astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and first author of a paper on the new simulation, called "Eris."
Continue reading ""The Eris Galaxy": The Planet's 1st Visual Simulation of a Milky-Way-Like Spiral Galaxy " »
A monster black hole 100 million times the mass of the Sun is feeding off gas, dust and a ring of stars at the center of Galaxy NGC-1097 50 million light-years away. The star-ringed black hole forms the bright eye of the galaxy which was photographed by the US space agency's Spitzer Space Telescope in California.
The odd spiral galaxy extends long arms of red stars into space. But NASA said the black hole at the centre of the galaxy in which Earth is situated is tame by comparison to NGC-1097, with the mass of just a few million suns.
Continue reading "Odd "Red" Galaxy with a Gigantic Black Hole 100 Million X's Sun" »