“This exceedingly rare triple system, seen when the Universe was only 800 million years old, provides important insights into the earliest stages of galaxy formation during a period known as ‘Cosmic Dawn,’ when the Universe was first bathed in starlight,” said Richard Ellis, the Steele Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology and member of the research team. “Even more interesting, these galaxies appear poised to merge into a single massive galaxy, which could eventually evolve into something akin to the Milky Way.”
Continue reading "Three Primordial 13-Billion-Year-Old Galaxies Found Inside a Colossal Bubble" »
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. Billions of neutrinos penetrate every square centimeter of the Earth including your body, every second. Most are generated in the sun or in the Earth's atmosphere, which is constantly being bombarded with cosmic radiation. Neutrinos from further afield inside or outside of our galaxy are much rarer.
Continue reading "1st Cosmic Evidence of Neutrinos at Antarctica Observatory --"The Ghosts of the Universe"" »
A massive comsic blast, the rare birth of a black hole in the constellation Leo, labeled GRB 130427A by astrophysicists, is testing some long-held assumptions about the nature of the universe. Scientists recorded energy levels for gamma rays that are higher than what some researchers thought theoretically possible. This revelation may require physicists to modify existing theories about radiation. The astronomer s used the RAPTOR system is a network of small robotic observatories that scan the skies for optical anomalies such as flashes emanating from a star in its death throes as it collapses and becomes a black hole.
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Almost 40 years ago, two NASA probes on the surface of Mars scooped the soil in search of signs of microbes. The results that came back from the twin Viking missions were, to say the least, ambiguous. The scientific literature contains decades of debate over what they found. Rather than focusing on the question of life, a new SETI Institute-lead study, which was carried out at NASA Ames, was more interested in defining the martian environment that the Vikings sampled. The results suggest the landers not only found evidence of perchlorate salts on the surface, but there also should be highly reactive related compounds that can decompose organic compounds at low temperatures and explain the results of the Viking biology experiments.
Continue reading ""Has Mars Preserved Evidence of Ancient Life?" SETI Takes a Groundbreaking New Look at the 1976 Viking Mission Findings" »
Astronomers have suggested the giant bubbles of high-energy particles extending out from the Milky Way and detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope in 2008 are caused by jets from Sgr A** that are aligned with the rotation axis of the galaxy. The latest results from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory support this explanation. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way is about four million times more massive than our Sun and lies about 26,000 light-years from Earth.
Continue reading ""Monster of the Milky Way" --Jets from Sgr A* Supermassive Black Hole Found Aligned with Rotation Axis of the Galaxy" »
A team of astronomers have discovered two of the oldest brown dwarfs in the Milky Way. These ancient objects are moving at speeds of 100-200 kilometres per second, much faster than normal stars and other brown dwarfs. The objects are thought to have formed when the Galaxy was very young, more than 10 billion years ago. The scientists believe they could be part of a vast and previously unseen population of objects.
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The large-scale structure of the Universe appears to be dominated by vast "hyperclusters" of galaxies, according to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, compiled with a telescope at Apache Point, New Mexico. The 2011 survey plots the 2D positions of galaxies across a quarter of the sky. The science team concluded that it could mean that gravity or dark energy – or something completely unknown – is behaving very strangely.
Continue reading "'Hyperclusters' of the Universe -- "Something is Behaving Very Strangely" (Today's Most Popular)" »
A long standing question is whether the most massive stars form from small, dense clumps merging together, or rather from the large-scale collapse of a single larger cloud of gas and dust. The size and density of the protostellar cores at the center of what's called Spitzer Dark Clouds 335 implies that it is the large-scale global collapse which has led to the formation, though whether that is true everywhere is unknown.
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The space environment poses significant risks to both humans and satellites due to harmful radiation from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles that can easily penetrate typical shielding and damage electronics. When this radiation impacts biological cells, it can cause an increased risk of cancer. Scientists have published comprehensive findings on space-based radiation as measured by a Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) radiation detector aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The data provide critical information on the radiation hazards that will be faced by astronauts on extended missions to deep space such as those to Mars.
Continue reading "New Insights Into Human & Robotic Deep-Space Hazards" »