No Place to Hide: Missing Primitive Stars Outside Milky Way Uncovered

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The Fornax dwarf galaxy is one of our Milky Way’s neighbouring dwarf galaxies.

After years of successful concealment, the most primitive stars outside our Milky Way galaxy have finally been unmasked. New observations using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have been used to solve an important astrophysical puzzle concerning the oldest stars in our galactic neighbourhood — which is crucial for our understanding of the earliest stars in the Universe.

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Home Computers Around the World Unite to Map the Milky Way

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In the constellation Ophiucus resides NGC 6384, a spiral galaxy with a central bar structure and a possible central ring.

At this very moment, tens of thousands of home computers around the world are quietly working together to solve the largest and most basic mysteries of our galaxy.

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Stunning New Image of Cat’s Paw Nebula

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The Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) is a vast region of star formation. The whole gas cloud is about 50 light-years across.

ESO has just released a stunning new image of the vast cloud known as the Cat’s Paw Nebula or NGC 6334. This complex region of gas and dust, where numerous massive stars are born, lies near the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, and is heavily obscured by intervening dust clouds.

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How Galaxies Came to Be: Astronomers Explain Hubble Sequence

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A figure illustrating the Hubble sequence.

For the first time, two astronomers have explained the diversity of galaxy shapes seen in the universe. The scientists, Dr Andrew Benson of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Dr Nick Devereux of Embry-Riddle University in Arizona, tracked the evolution of galaxies over thirteen billion years from the early Universe to the present day.

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Galaxy Exposes Its Dusty Inner Workings in New Spitzer Image

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The infrared portrait of the Small Magellanic Cloud, taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, reveals the stars and dust in this galaxy as never seen before.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an action-packed picture of the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy that looks like a wispy cloud when seen from Earth.

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Looking Back in Time 12 Billion Years With New Instruments on Herschel Space Observatory

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This is the Herschel Space Observa

An instrument package developed in part by the University of Colorado at Boulder for the $2.2 billion orbiting Herschel Space Observatory launched in May by the European Space Agency has provided one of the most detailed views yet of space up to 12 billion years back in time.

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Theorists Propose a New Way to Shine And a New Kind of Star: ‘Electroweak’

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Artist’s vision of a neutron star centered in a disk of hot plasma drawn from its red companion star. Physicists have theorized that an electroweak star might be the next step before total collapse of a neutron star into a black hole.

Dying, for stars, has just gotten more complicated.

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Black Hole Found to Be Much Closer to Earth Than Previously Thought

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An international team of astronomers has accurately measured the distance from Earth to a black hole for the first time.

An international team of astronomers has accurately measured the distance from Earth to a black hole for the first time. Without needing to rely on mathematical models the astronomers came up with a distance of 7800 light years, much closer than had been assumed until now. The researchers achieved this breakthrough by measuring the radio emissions from the black hole and its associated dying star.

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Suzaku Catches Retreat of a Black Hole’s Disk

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GX 339-4, illustrated here, is among the most dynamic binaries in the sky, with four major outbursts in the past seven years.

Studies of one of the galaxy’s most active black-hole binaries reveal a dramatic change that will help scientists better understand how these systems expel fast-moving particle jets.

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Watching a Cannibal Galaxy Dine

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This image of the central parts of Centaurus A reveals the parallelogram-shaped remains of a smaller galaxy that was gulped down about 200 to 700 million years ago.

A new technique using near-infrared images, obtained with ESO’s 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT), allows astronomers to see through the opaque dust lanes of the giant cannibal galaxy Centaurus A, unveiling its “last meal” in unprecedented detail — a smaller spiral galaxy, currently twisted and warped. This amazing image also shows thousands of star clusters, strewn like glittering gems, churning inside Centaurus A.

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Close-Up Movie Shows Hidden Details in the Birth of Super-Suns

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Artist’s conception of the “boiling disk” surrounding the massive young stellar object known as Orion Source I. A disk of hot, ionized gas surrounds the central star, blocking our view

The constellation of Orion is a hotbed of massive star formation, most prominently in the Great Nebula that sits in Orion’s sword. The glowing gas of the Nebula is powered by a group of young massive stars, but behind it is a cluster of younger stars and clumps of gas. Still gathering together under gravity’s pull, these gas clumps will eventually ignite into stars.

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Two Earth-sized Bodies With Oxygen Rich Atmospheres Found, But They’re Stars Not Planets

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Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy of this inconspicuous blue object.

Astrophysicists at the University of Warwick and Kiel University have discovered two earth sized bodies with oxygen rich atmospheres — however there is a bit of a disappointing snag for anyone looking for a potential home for alien life, or even a future home for ourselves, as they are not planets but are actually two unusual white dwarf stars.

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