10 Oct 2018, 14:00 UTC Next Previous
10 Oct 2018, 14:00 UTC Next Previous
4 Oct 2018, 14:00 UTC Astronomers comparing data from an ongoing major survey of the sky using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to data from earlier surveys likely have made the first discovery of the afterglow of a powerful gamma ray burst that produced no gamma rays detectable at Earth. The unprecedented discovery of this “orphan” gamma ray burst (GRB) offers key clues to understanding the aftermath of these highly energetic events.“GRBs emit their gamma rays in narrowly focused beams. In this case, we believe the beams were pointed away from Earth, so gamma ray telescopes did not see this event. What we found is the radio emission from the explosion’s aftermath, acting over time much as we expect for a GRB,” said Casey Law, of the University of California, Berkeley.While searching through data from the first epoch of observing for the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) in late 2017, the astronomers noted that an object that appeared in images from an earlier VLA survey in 1994 did not appear in the VLASS images. They then searched for additional data from the VLA and other radio telescopes. They found that observations of the object’s location in the sky dating back ... Next Previous
3 Oct 2018, 18:00 UTC Next Previous
24 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC Data from the international Cassini spacecraft that explored Saturn and its moons between 2004 and 2017 has revealed what appear to be giant dust storms in equatorial regions of Titan. The discovery, described in a paper published in Nature Geoscience today, makes Titan the third body in the Solar System where dust storms have been observed – the other two are Earth and Mars. Next Previous
17 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC Next Previous
13 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has started a new mission to shed light on the evolution of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. The BUFFALO survey will observe six massive galaxy clusters and their surroundings. The first observations show the galaxy cluster Abell 370 and a host of magnified, gravitationally lensed galaxies around it. Next Previous
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 17 Oct 2018, 17:06 UTC The single most important puzzle in today's cosmology (the study of the universe as a whole) can be summarized in one question: How old is it? For nearly a century -- since the discoveries by Einstein, Hubble, LeMaitre and others led to the big bang model of creation -- we have known the answer.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 17 Oct 2018, 16:30 UTC Long ago, sky watchers linked the brightest stars into patterns reflecting animals, heroes, monsters and even scientific instruments into what is now an official collection of 88 constellations. Now scientists with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have devised a set of modern constellations constructed from sources in the gamma-ray sky to celebrate the mission’s 10th year of operations.
Universities Space Research Association 16 Oct 2018, 19:07 UTC Collimated jets provide astronomers with some of the most powerful evidence that a supermassive black hole lurks in the heart of most galaxies. Some of these black holes appear to be active, gobbling up material from their surroundings and launching jets at ultra-high speeds, while others are quiescent, even dormant. Why are some black holes feasting and others starving? Recent observations from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, are shedding light on this question.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory 16 Oct 2018, 15:00 UTC A distant cosmic relative to the first source that astronomers detected in both gravitational waves and light may have been discovered, as reported in our latest press release. This object, called GRB 150101B, was first detected by identified as a gamma ray burst (GRB) by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in January 2015.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory 15 Oct 2018, 17:00 UTC When astrophysicists look at the gamma-ray glow from a galaxy outside our own, all they typically see is a small spot because the galaxy is extremely far away. So, when a galaxy appears as an extended blob, something extraordinary must be going on that could help researchers better understand the properties of deep space.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 12 Oct 2018, 18:00 UTC NASA continues to work toward resuming science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope after the spacecraft entered safe mode due to a failed gyroscope (gyro) on Friday, Oct. 5. Following the gyro failure, the Hubble operations team turned on a backup gyro on the spacecraft. However, that gyro did not perform as expected, reporting rotation rates that are orders of magnitude higher than they actually are. This past week, tests were conducted to assess the condition of that backup gyro. The tests showed that the gyro is properly tracking Hubble’s movement, but the rates reported are consistently higher than the true rates. This is similar to a speedometer on your car continuously showing that your speed is 100 miles per hour faster than it actually is; it properly shows when your car speeds up or slows down, and by how much, but the actual speed is inaccurate. When the spacecraft turns across the sky from one target to the next, the gyro is put into a coarser (high) mode. In this high mode it may be possible to subtract out a consistent large offset to get an accurate reading. However, after the large turns are over, the spacecraft attempts to ...
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Astro Bob 18 Oct 2018, 04:37 UTC A team of astronomers recently used the VIMOS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope to identify a gigantic proto-supercluster of galaxies forming in the early Universe, just 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers gave it the name Hyperion after the Greek Titan god of heavenly light. It’s the largest and most massive structure to be found so early in the formation of the universe and appears to be an evolving early supercluster.
David Reneke's World of Space and Astronomy 17 Oct 2018, 21:51 UTC The average star takes almost 10 million years to form, depending on the available mass in the surrounding area, which is why this new monster galaxy is so exciting for astronomers. Why is COSMOS-AzTEC-1 so different from our own galaxy, and what can it teach us about our interstellar home?
Australian astronomers have been able to double the number of mysterious fast radio bursts discovered so far17 Oct 2018, 20:34 UTC
Astrobiology Magazine 17 Oct 2018, 19:00 UTC A team of astronomers observed the Moon with a radio telescope to help search for the faint signal from hydrogen atoms.
Centauri Dreams 17 Oct 2018, 16:40 UTC We’ve never found a ‘hot Jupiter’ around a star as young as CI Tau. This well studied system, some 2 million years old, has drawn attention for its massive disk of dust and gas, one that extends hundreds of AU from the star. But radial velocity examination recently revealed CI Tau b, a hot Jupiter that in and of itself raises questions. Couple that to the likelihood of three other gas giant planets emerging in the disk with extreme differences in orbital radii and it’s clear that CI Tau challenges our ideas of how gas giants, especially hot Jupiters, emerge and evolve.
Starts With a Bang! 17 Oct 2018, 14:01 UTC When you look out beyond the Milky Way today, as far as we’ve ever been able to see, there are galaxies absolutely everywhere. Even if you take a dark patch of sky without stars, galaxies, or any known matter at all, if you look deep enough, thousands upon thousands of galaxies will be your reward. All told, there are an estimated two trillion galaxies within the observable Universe, stretching for tens of billions of light years in all directions. Yet despite all the galaxies we’ve seen, never have we gone far enough back to encounter the very first ones ever made in the Universe. The current record-holder, despite its light arriving from when the Universe was only 400 million years old — 3% of its present age — is already evolved and full of old stars. The first galaxies come from a time before we’ve ever probed. But if we get lucky, we’ll get there soon. Here’s what those galaxies should be like.