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October 31, 2012

The Unseen Universe --"Billions of Undetected Galaxies" (Today's Most Popular)

 

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The European Space Agency’s Herschel space telescope discovered that previously unseen distant galaxies are responsible for a cosmic fog of infrared radiation. The galaxies are some of the faintest and furthest objects seen by Herschel, and opened a new window on the birth of stars in the early Universe. 

Continue reading "The Unseen Universe --"Billions of Undetected Galaxies" (Today's Most Popular)" »

Image of the Day: A Brilliant Milky Way Star Cluster --One of the Most Ancient Objects in the Universe

 

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Spectacular globular star cluster NGC 6362 was captured by the Wide Field Imager attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. This new image, along with a new image of the central region from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, provide the best view of this little-known cluster ever obtained. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe. The many yellowish stars in the cluster have already run through much of their lives and become red giant stars. But globular clusters are not static relics from the past -- some curious stellar activities are still going on in these dense star cities.

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October 30, 2012

First Planet Discovered in a Quadruple Star System

 

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High-contrast imaging observations have confirmed the first extrasolar planet discovered in a quadruple star system. The images (bottom of page) revealed that the system involved two sets of binary stars, according to Justin Crepp, Freimann Assistant Professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame.

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Previously Unknown Population Explosion of Human Species 40,000 Years Ago --Discovered

 

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DNA sequencing of 36 complete Y chromosomes has uncovered a previously unknown population explosion that occurred 40 to 50 thousand years ago, between the first expansion of modern humans out of Africa 60 to 70 thousand years ago and the Neolithic expansions of people in several parts of the world starting 10 thousand years ago. This is the first time researchers have used the information from large-scale DNA sequencing to create an accurate family tree of the Y chromosome, from which the inferences about human population history could be made.

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EcoAlert: Titan Supercomputer --Launches New Era for Climate-Change Analysis at 20,000 Trillion Calculations per Second

 

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a new era of scientific supercomputing today with Titan, a system capable of more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second — or 20 petaflops — peak performance by employing a family of processors called graphic processing units (GPUs) first created for computer gaming. Titan will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, climate change, materials and other disciplines to enable scientific leadership.

Continue reading "EcoAlert: Titan Supercomputer --Launches New Era for Climate-Change Analysis at 20,000 Trillion Calculations per Second" »

Image of the Day: NASA Captures Sandy's Eye

 

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The image was taken on Sunday, the day before Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, by the radar on NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite. It reveals that Sandy had a distinctive eyewall, surrounding the relatively calm eye at the center of the storm. The TRMM satellite can measure rainfall rates and cloud heights in tropical cyclones, and was used to create an image to look into Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 28, 2012. Owen Kelly of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. created this image of Hurricane Sandy using TRMM data.

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October 29, 2012

"Is the Cosmos a Vast Computer Simulation?" New Theory May Offer Clues

 

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Professor Silas Beane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Bonn in Germany said that his group of scientists have developed a way to test the 'simulation hypothesis'--the idea that we may be living in a computer generated universe that has been debated by the greats of philosphy, from Plato to Descartes, who speculated that the world we see around us could be generated by an 'evil demon'. Plato wrote that reality may be no more than shadows in a cave but the human species, having never left the cave, may not be aware of it.

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NASA Image of Sandy --Experts Ask: "Is a 'Hypercane' Possible"

 

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NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of the massive Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 28 at 1302 UTC (9:02 a.m. EDT). The line of clouds from the Gulf of Mexico north are associated with the cold front that Sandy is merging with. Sandy's western cloud edge is already over the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S.

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October 28, 2012

Weekend Image: Our First View of Jupiter in the Infrared

 

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Amazing first ever image of Jupiter taken in infrared light on the night of 17 August 2008 with ESO's Very Large Telescope. This false colour photo is the combination of a series of images taken over a time span of about 20 minutes, through three different filters. The image sharpening obtained is about 90 milli-arcseconds across the whole planetary disc, a real record on similar images taken from the ground. This corresponds to seeing details about 300 kilometers wide on the surface of the giant planet.

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October 27, 2012

The Weird World of the Vela Pulsar --"A Vast, Natural Particle Accelerator"

 

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The Vela pulsar is a neutron star about 12 miles in diameter, itself spinning at a dizzying 11 times per second and the brightest and most persistent source of gamma rays in the sky. The pulsar and the supernova remnant was created by a massive star which exploded over 10,000 years ago. Due to its behavior, it produces tremendously powerful electric and magnetic fields, which go on to accelerate particles in the remnant to nearly the speed of light. In effect, the pulsar is producing a vast, natural particle accelerator.

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