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Astrophysicist find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 15:45
Astrophysicists have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth. The discovery of two supermassive black holes -- one larger one and a second, smaller one -- are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive black holes assemble their masses through violent mergers.

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 11:16
Astrophysicists now show that if life can travel between the stars (a process called panspermia), it would spread in a characteristic pattern that we could potentially identify.

Discovering dust-obscured active galaxies as they grow

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 08:35
Astronomers have performed an extensive search for Dust Obscured Galaxies (DOGs). The research group discovered 48 DOGs, and has measured how common they are. Since DOGs are thought to harbor a rapidly growing black hole in their centers, these results give us clues for understanding the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes.

Twin Jet Nebula: The wings of the butterfly

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:20
The shimmering colours visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula's shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometers per hour.

Earth's extremes point the way to extraterrestrial life

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:16
Astrobiologists draw upon what is known about Earth's most extreme lifeforms and the environments of Mars and Titan, Saturn's moon, to paint a clearer picture of what life on other planets could be like.

Dying star suffers 'irregular heartbeats'

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 08:21
Some dying stars suffer from ‘irregular heartbeats.' The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their life cycles.

Origin of Saturn’s F ring and its shepherd satellites revealed

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 08:34
Scientists have revealed that Saturn's F ring and its shepherd satellites are natural outcome of the final stage of formation of Saturn's satellite system.

A detector shines in search for dark matter

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 14:48
Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter. The team of international scientists involved in the project demonstrated the sensitivity of their detector and recorded results that challenge several dark matter models and a longstanding claim of dark matter detection.

New data from Antarctic detector firms up cosmic neutrino sighting

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 12:57
Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful new evidence in support of 2013 observations confirming the existence of cosmic neutrinos.

NASA: There is no asteroid threatening Earth

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 08:38
Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between Sept. 15 and 28, 2015. However, NASA experts say that there is no scientific basis that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates.

New theory: If we want to detect dark matter we might need a different approach

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 08:25
Physicists suggest a new way to look for dark matter: They beleive that dark matter particles annihilate into so-called dark radiation when they collide. If true, then we should be able to detect the signals from this radiation.

Detection of gamma rays from a newly discovered dwarf galaxy may point to dark matter

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 10:36
A newly discovered dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way has offered up a surprise -- it appears to be radiating gamma rays, according to an analysis by physicists. The exact source of this high-energy light is uncertain at this point, but it just might be a signal of dark matter lurking at the galaxy's center.

Mystery of exploding stars yields to astrophysicists

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 10:36
By combining theory and observation, astrophysicists may have solved one of the ultimate mysteries about stars: what causes Type 1a supernovae, stellar explosions that can outshine whole galaxies. Several of the researchers behind the discovery discuss why understanding the mechanics of these cosmic blasts is so important.

Comet impacts may have led to life on Earth -- and perhaps elsewhere

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 08:33
Comet impact on Earth are synonymous with great extinctions, but now research shows that early comet impact would have become a driving force to cause substantial synthesis of peptides -- the first building blocks of life. This may have implications for the genesis of life on other worlds.

Sibling stars in a rich star cluster

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 08:31
Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures. Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how stars evolve and die.

Solar System formation don't mean a thing without that spin

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 12:17
New work provides surprising new details about the trigger that may have started the earliest phases of planet formation in our solar system.

NASA's LADEE spacecraft finds neon in lunar atmosphere

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 18:13
The moon's thin atmosphere contains neon, a gas commonly used in electric signs on Earth because of its intense glow.

Dark Energy Survey finds more celestial neighbors

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 13:25
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near our Milky Way galaxy.

Celestial firework marks nearest galaxy collision

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 09:00
A spectacular galaxy collision has been discovered lurking behind the Milky Way. The closest such system ever found, the galaxy is only 30 million light years away. It has been dubbed "Kathryn's Wheel" both after the famous firework that it resembles. Such systems are very rare and arise from "bulls-eye" collisions between two galaxies of similar mass. Shockwaves from the collision compress reservoirs of gas in each galaxy and trigger the formation of new stars. This creates a spectacular ring of intense emission, and lights up the system like a Catherine wheel firework on bonfire night.

Supernovae discovered in 'wrong place at wrong time'

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 15:06
Several exploding stars have been found outside the cozy confines of galaxies, where most stars reside. These wayward supernovae are also weird because they exploded billions of years before their predicted detonations. Using archived observations from several telescopes, astronomers have developed a theory for where these doomed stars come from and how they arrived at their current homes.