Posts

August 20, 2014

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7:26 PM | A Rare Chunk Of Giant Asteroid Vesta Has Been Stolen
Giant asteroid Vesta is the second-biggest object in our solar system's asteroid belt, and the origin of an estimated 5% of Earth's meteorites. Yesterday, an especially rare chunk of Vesta recovered from the Netherlands in 1925 was reported stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands.Read more...
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3:39 PM | Astronomers Capture Spectacular NGC 3576, NGC 3603
A group of astronomers using the Wide Field Imager at ESO’s La Silla Observatory has captured an image of two intriguing and beautiful star formation regions in our Milky Way Galaxy known as NGC 3603 and NGC 3576. NGC 3576, also known as the Statue of Liberty Nebula and ESO 129-EN5, was discovered by John [...]
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3:29 PM | Globular clusters and stellar archaeology: Hubble views IC 4499
Stellar archaeology is a new term which has come into use to describe various new findings which show that the existence of multiple generations of stars may be recognised using careful measurements of stellar observables and subsequent comparison with modern computer-generated models that take into account all the complex underlying physics of stellar atmospheres. Globular clusters […]
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10:01 AM | Stunning Snapshot Reveals Dazzling Star Factories
A pair of glowing star factories beckon stargazers.
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10:01 AM | Staring into a Seething Nest of Massive Stars
Astronomers have gotten an unprecedented look into two beautiful stellar nurseries, revealing a dramatic display of glowing gases and some of the most massive -- and violent -- stars in the Milky Way. Continue reading →

August 19, 2014

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12:19 PM | NASA’s Chandra Observatory searches for trigger of nearby supernova
New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory offer a glimpse into the environment of a star before it exploded earlier this year, and insight into […] The post NASA’s Chandra Observatory searches for trigger of nearby supernova appeared first on Smithsonian Science.
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12:09 PM | Fascinating rhythm: Light pulses illuminate a rare black hole
Astronomers have accurately measured – and thus confirmed the existence of – a rare intermediate-mass black hole about 400 times the mass of our sun in a galaxy 12 million light years from the Milky Way. The finding uses a technique never applied in this way before, and opens the door to new studies of …
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11:56 AM | New Milky Way maps help solve stubborn interstellar material mystery
An international team of sky scholars has produced new maps of the material located between the stars in the Milky Way. The results should move astronomers closer to cracking a stardust puzzle that has vexed them for nearly a century. The maps and an accompanying journal article appear in the Aug. 15 issue of the …
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11:49 AM | How early black holes could have grown to billions of times the mass of our sun
A new model shows how early black holes could have grown to billions of times the mass of our sun. These giant bodies — quasars — feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities of it non-stop. Thus they reveal their existence: The light that is emitted by the gas as it is sucked in and …

August 18, 2014

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10:40 PM | Messier Monday: The Butterfly Cluster, M6 (Synopsis)
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne It’s hard to believe that we’ve almost reached the end of Messier Monday, but with a finite number (110) objects in the catalogue, we were bound to come to…
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9:40 PM | Which came last—The supernova or the red giant?
Understanding how an element is made rewrites the pre-history of our Solar System.
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7:16 PM | 6 Sky Events This Week: Chance of Sky Lights and Shooting Stars
  Lunar and planetary spectacles fill the starry skies this week, alongside the chance of auroras and shooting stars. Perseids trickle. Late night on Monday, look for stragglers from the Perseids meteor shower. While it peaked a week ago, the shooting stars will continue to fly until August 24. According to the international observing reports, the Perseids…
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5:10 PM | M82 X-1: Astronomers Zoom in on Rare Intermediate-Mass Black Hole in Messier 82
Astronomers led by Dr Dheeraj Pasham at the University of Maryland have determined the mass of a black hole known as M82 X-1, which is located in the nearby irregular galaxy Messier 82. Scientists know that black holes ranging from about 10 times to 100 times the Sun’s mass are the remnants of dying stars, [...]
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1:08 AM | Clouds Moving Across a Lake on Saturn's Moon Titan
Recently released images from the Cassini probe in the Saturn system show fresh clouds moving slowly above a giant lake on Saturn's moon Titan.  The lake itself is not water, but probably liquid methane and ethane (methane is what we call natural gas on Earth and ethane is an ingredient in fuel).Now you might say, big deal, so there are clouds on top of a lake. I can see that anytime on Earth.  But the big difference is that the temperature on this distant moon is so cold, that water […]

August 17, 2014

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6:36 PM | A cloud in the Titanic sky
Titan’s seasons change slowly: each year lasts 29.5 Earth years, so each season is more than 7 Earth years long. The moon is tidally-locked, presenting the same face to Saturn all the time, just like Earth’s Moon does, and it orbits very close to Saturn’s equator. That ties its seasons to Saturn’s: when the planet […]
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6:21 PM | Imaging the Universe with Gravity: Gravitational Lensing
You may be familiar with how lenses bend light to create images, such as the biconvex lens shown below. The lens is made of a material such as glass or plastic that is denser than air, so light will bend at the interface between the air and the lens. But did you know that any […]

August 16, 2014

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11:13 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 15/08/2014
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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11:13 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 15/08/2014
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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3:43 PM | Astronomers Create Maps of Milky Way’s Interstellar Material
A group of astronomers from Europe, Australia and the United States led by Dr Janez Kos of the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia has produced pseudo-3D maps of the material located between the stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Analyzing bands of starlight that have passed through space gives scientists information about the makeup of [...]

August 15, 2014

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8:21 PM | Help Kids Learn Astronomy
It’s a World-wide Science In July I wrote about the Astronomers Without Borders Indiegogo campaign called “Telescopes to Tanzania”.  The group’s campaign can use a boost and I’m happy to urge you to consider supporting it. AWB spreads the news about astronomy throughout the world, and there’s NO reason why kids in Tanzania shouldn’t get […]
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5:00 PM | Hubble Stares Into the Heart of an Ancient Star Cluster
A swarm of twinkling old stars on the outskirts of the Milky Way shines in a new view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
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3:00 PM | Party with the Stars
Categories: Events ScienceTags: astronomyatlantadragon*constar partyAnd by stars, I mean the REAL stars. Like those ones full of hydrogen and helium and a little bit of everything else? We’ll be partying with those astronomical bodies ...(Read more...)
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1:00 PM | Weak forces hold rubble-pile asteroids together
Weaker than a hydrogen bond, van der Waals forces keep a rubble pile intact.
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1:43 AM | Throwback Thursday: The greatest supernovae that no one saw (Synopsis)
“When I had satisfied myself that no star of that kind had ever shone before, I was led into such perplexity by the unbelievability of the thing that I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.” -Tycho Brahe The Milky Way is home to many of the greatest sights ever to grace the…

August 14, 2014

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8:31 PM | What Mars Looked Like When It Had Water, Courtesy of NASA (Video)
Today, we think of Mars as having  a cold, dry, and desolate environment (because it does). But that was not always the case. Four billion years ago, while our Sun was still in its infancy, Mars was covered with water. Back then, it had a much thicker atmosphere, which kept the planet warm enough for […]
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2:21 PM | Sun of a Million Earths The sun is big. Really big. Big enough...
Sun of a Million Earths The sun is big. Really big. Big enough to hold about a million Earths, by volume. But our brains aren’t good with visualizing big numbers. So what does a million Earths look like? Thanks to Chris Jones and his visualization at Space Facts, you can find out. Check it out. Prepare to scroll! 

August 13, 2014

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7:46 PM | Sailing Over Titan’s Seas in Summer
Cassini Captures Cloud Movement Over Ligeia Mare If you’ve ever been aboard a sailing ship, you probably know the sensation of the craft cutting through the ocean, wind at your back and a breeze in your face. It’s probably the same sensation you get when you go hang-gliding, or water (or snow) skiing. It turns […]
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4:20 PM | The Universe Seems to be Missing Some Light
An extraordinary amount of ultraviolet light appears to be missing from the universe, scientists have found.

August 12, 2014

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11:40 PM | How to build a supermassive black hole in less than a billion years
A possible construction manual for the Universe's first galactic cores.
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2:23 PM | “All the stars are blooming….”
Si tu aimes un fleur qui se trouve dans une étoile, c’est doux, la nuit, de regarder le ciel. Toutes les étoiles sont fleuries. (If you love a flower found on a star, it is sweet at night to look at the heavens. All the stars are blooming.) –The Little Prince In my PhD defense […]
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