Galaxies in a cluster roughly 300 million light years from Earth could contain as much as 100 times more dark matter than visible matter, according to an Australian study. The research, published today, used powerful computer simulations to study galaxies that have fallen into the Coma Cluster, one of the largest structures in the Universe in which thousands of galaxies are bound together by gravity.
Continue reading ""The Dead Galaxies of the Coma Cluster" -One of the Largest Structures in the Universe" »
At Friday's press briefing, NASA scientists studying Pluto appeared to be giddy. What they once knew as only a yellowish blob is coming to life as a complex and fascinating world. NASA unveiled more discoveries about Pluto from the data that's begun trickling back after this week's historic fly-by. Scientists who've waited their whole careers for a glimpse of that faraway dwarf planet say they had no idea how complex it would be.
Continue reading "NASA Observes Pluto's 'Tail' --"A Complex and Fascinating World"" »
By using the best available data to monitor galactic traffic in our neighborhood, Noam Libeskind from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) and his collaborators have built a detailed map of how nearby galaxies move. In it they have discovered a bridge of Dark Matter stretching from our Local Group all the way to the Virgo cluster - a huge mass of some 2,000 galaxies roughly 50 million light years away shown above, that is bound on either side by vast bubbles completely devoid of galaxies. This bridge and these voids help us understand a 40 year old problem regarding the curious distribution of dwarf galaxies.
Continue reading "Dark-Matter 'Superhighways' of the Cosmos --"Connecting Vast Bubbles Devoid of Galaxies"" »
This new image of an area on Pluto's largest moon Charon has a captivating feature—a depression with a peak in the middle, shown here in the upper left corner of the inset, covering an area approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) from top to bottom, including few visible craters. “The most intriguing feature is a large mountain sitting in a moat,” said Jeff Moore with NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, who leads New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team. “This is a feature that has geologists stunned and stumped.”
Continue reading "NASA's Pluto Discovery: Charon's Strange Mountain --"Has Geologists Stunned and Stumped"" »
An international team of researchers, with the assistance of amateur astronomers, have discovered a unique binary star system: the first known such system where one star completely eclipses the other. It is a type of two-star system known as a Cataclysmic Variable, where one super dense white dwarf star is stealing gas from its companion star, effectively 'cannibalizing' it.
Continue reading " ESA's Gaia Spacecraft --"Makes an Awesome 'Cataclysmic' First Catch" " »
Sibling suns – made famous in the “Star Wars” scene where Luke Skywalker gazes toward a double sunset – and the planets around them may be more common than we’ve thought, and Cornell astronomers are presenting new ideas on how to find them.
Continue reading ""Search for Double Sunsets" --The Undetected Planets of the Milky Way's Binary Stars " »
“Home run!” said Alan Stern, principal investigator for New Horizons at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. “New Horizons is returning amazing results already. The data look absolutely gorgeous, and Pluto and Charon are just mind blowing.
Continue reading "The World of Pluto --From Mountains to Moons: "Just Mind Blowing" says NASA" »
"It's very exciting to think that the dwarf planets could have astrobiological potential," says Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute and principal investigator for the New Horzons Mission to Pluto. “Humankind hasn't had an experience like this--an encounter with a new planet--in a long time,” added Stern, “Everything we see on Pluto will be a revelation.”
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Dark matter may find it tougher to hide in our universe. An international team of researchers has developed a new map of the distribution of dark matter in the universe using data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES).
Continue reading "The Expansion of the Universe --Detecting the Invisible Source " »