Centaurus A, the nearest galaxy to Earth with an active core, has undergone much scrutiny since the discovery of its peculiar shape in 1826. So, it’s pretty amazing when a new telescope comes online and shows us a whole new view of the workings of this complicated galaxy mess.
Archive for the ‘stars and galaxies’ Category
The rate at which galaxies merge to mammoth sizes has been figured out by a team of astronomers led by Jennifer Lotz of the Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, revealing that any given Milky Way-sized galaxy has merged with another of comparable size over the past eight billion years as well as two to three dwarf galaxies over the same time period.
Astronomers have found two small galaxies that appear to circle our Milky Way’s galactic neighbor Andromeda, and could shed new light on the mystery of dark matter in the universe, scientists say.
Most stars that get a second lease on life do so through thievery — or so say two astronomers who think they’ve finally settled a question that’s been around for more than half a century.
A mystery that began nearly 2,000 years ago, when Chinese astronomers witnessed what would turn out to be an exploding star in the sky, has been solved. New infrared observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, reveal how the first supernova ever recorded occurred and how its shattered remains ultimately spread out to great distances.
Two researchers from Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg have revealed for the first time the existence of a new signature of the birth of our galaxy’s first stars. More than 12 billion years ago, their intense light dispersed the gas of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies.
As we get better at spying worlds orbiting other stars, we find there’s an increasingly diverse menagerie of exoplanets out there. But despite their differences, all worlds are thought to be built the same way.
Research on dwarf galaxies suggests they cannot form in the way they do if dark matter exists in the form that the most common model requires it to.
That may mean that the Large Hadron Collider will not be able to spot it.
Why some stars prefer to be single, while others are either paired up or in trios, could have been answered by a team of astronomers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio astronomy and the University of Bonn with the help of sophisticated computer models.
Two ultracool brown dwarfs located only 15 and 18 light years away from the Sun have been discovered using the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer.
Using a host of powerful telescopes, a team of European astronomers has discovered an extremely luminous quasar that existed as early as 770 million years after the Big Bang. At a redshift of 7.085, this object is now the most distant known quasar. The previous record holder is at a redshift of 6.4.
The way galaxies have been classified for decades has been questioned by an international team of astronomers. After revealing that two-thirds of local elliptical galaxies are actually fast-spinning discs, the team has suggested that the Hubble “tuning fork” – the long-standing method for classifying galaxies – may need retuning
Astronomers have long suspected that galaxies grow large due to an insatiable appetite for interstellar gas, but a new study suggests they may actually slowly graze on the star stuff instead, like vast cosmic cows.
The Visible Universe, in partnership with NASA’s Swift telescope and massive stars throughout the galaxy, is proud to present the premiere of a terrifying extragalactic murder mystery.
Prepare for thrills and chills in this awesome display of cosmic savagery. Astronomers call it Sw 1644+57.
I call it: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”
Resembling looming rain clouds on a stormy day, dark lanes of dust crisscross the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A.
Hubble’s panchromatic vision, stretching from ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths, reveals the vibrant glow of young, blue star clusters and a glimpse into regions normally obscured by the dust.
A new supernova has exploded in the famous Whirlpool Galaxy, M51. Discovered independently by French amateur astronomer A Riou and the Palomar Transient Factory on 31 May, the supernova has been designated SN 2011dh and tentaively classed as a type II-L based on the amount of hydrogen in its spectrum, meaning the collapse and destruction of a massive star.
Astronomers at the University of Michigan using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that elliptical galaxies previously though to be dead are still producing stars, relatively slowly but apparently steadily.
Let’s get ready to rumble! Researchers at the University of Warwick, UK, might have heard famed ring announcer Mike Buffer’s signature catchphrase ringing in their ears when they discovered an unusual double-white dwarf star system in which each star appears to be battling for supremacy, stripping each other down to just helium.
A red dwarf star 20 light-years away is again providing hints that it hosts the first definitively habitable planet outside our Solar System.
The planet Gliese 581d is at the colder outer edge of the “Goldilocks zone” in which liquid water can be sustained.
A spiral galaxy with a dramatic lopsided shape is featured in contrasting views from two telescopes.
The asymmetrical Meathook galaxy, or NGC 2442, has one spiral arm tightly folded in on itself and is the site of a recent supernova. The other arm, which is dotted with recent star formation, extends far out from the galactic nucleus. [Photo of the lopsided galaxy NGC 2442]