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10 Mar 2017, 14:20 UTC This beautiful Hubble image reveals a young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, yet home to one of the largest stars ever discovered. Next Previous
8 Mar 2017, 11:00 UTC Astronomers have used ALMA to detect a huge mass of glowing stardust in a galaxy seen when the Universe was only four percent of its present age. This galaxy was observed shortly after its formation and is the most distant galaxy in which dust has been detected. This observation is also the most distant detection of oxygen in the Universe. These new results provide brand-new insights into the birth and explosive deaths of the very first stars. Next Previous
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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 27 Mar 2017, 16:25 UTC
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Astronomy Now 28 Mar 2017, 03:23 UTC This image, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, reveals an unusual sight: a runaway quasar fleeing from its galaxy’s central hub. A quasar is the visible, energetic signature of a black hole. Black holes cannot be observed directly, but they are the energy source at the heart of quasars — intense, compact gushers of radiation that can outshine an entire galaxy.The green dotted line marks the visible periphery of the galaxy. The quasar, named 3C 186, appears as a bright star just off-center. The quasar and its host galaxy reside 8 billion light-years from Earth. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Chiaberge (STScI and JHU) Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the centre of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves. Though there have been several other suspected, similarly booted black holes elsewhere, none has been confirmed so far. Astronomers think this object, detected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, is a very strong case. Weighing more than 1 billion Suns, the rogue black hole is the most massive black hole ever detected to have been kicked out of its central home. Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent ...
Astro Watch 27 Mar 2017, 22:44 UTC Experiments led by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are “electrically charged.” When the wind blows hard enough (approximately 15 mph), Titan’s non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion referred to as saltation. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth — they become resistant to further motion. They maintain that charge for days or months at a time and attach to other hydrocarbon substances, much like packing peanuts used in shipping boxes here on Earth. The findings have just been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.“If you grabbed piles of grains and built a sand castle on Titan, it would perhaps stay together for weeks due to their electrostatic properties,” said Josef Dufek, the Georgia Tech professor who co-led the study. “Any spacecraft that lands in regions of granular material on Titan is going to have a tough time staying clean. Think of putting a cat in a box of packing peanuts.”The electrification findings may help explain an odd phenomenon. Prevailing ...
Starts With A Bang! 27 Mar 2017, 14:40 UTC