Enigma of Missing Stars in Local Group of Galaxies

‘Missing’ stars in the Andromeda Nebula and our Milky Way?

In the local group of galaxies that also includes the Andromeda Nebula and our Milky Way, there are about 100 billion stars. According to astronomers’ calculations, there should be many more. Now, physicists from the University of Bonn and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland may have found an explanation for this discrepancy.

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Cosmic Curiosity Reveals Ghostly Glow of Dead Quasar

A “Ghostly” image for those undead terrestrials

While sorting through hundreds of galaxy images as part of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project two years ago, Dutch schoolteacher and volunteer astronomer Hanny van Arkel stumbled upon a strange-looking object that baffled professional astronomers. Two years later, a team led by Yale University researchers has discovered that the unique object represents a snapshot in time that reveals surprising clues about the life cycle of black holes. Continue reading… “Cosmic Curiosity Reveals Ghostly Glow of Dead Quasar”

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Extreme X-Ray Source Suggests New Class of Black Hole

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This is an artist’s impression of the source HLX-1

A group of international astronomers in the UK, France and the USA, led by the University of Leicester, have found proof to confirm the distance and brightness of the most extreme ultra-luminous X-ray source, which may herald a new type of Black Hole.

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Astronomers Discover Most Primitive Supermassive Black Holes Known

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This artist’s conception illustrates one of the most primitive supermassive black holes known (central black dot) at the core of a young, star-rich galaxy.

Astronomers have come across what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known. The discovery, based largely on observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, will provide a better understanding of the roots of our universe, and how the very first black holes, galaxies and stars all came to be.

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First Temperate Exoplanet — Size of Jupiter — Discovered

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The planet, called CoRoT-9b, was discovered by using the CoRoT space telescope satellite.

An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter. The finding is published in the March 18 issue of the journal Nature.

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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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NASA’s Chandra Reveals Origin of Key Cosmic Explosions

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Composite image of M31, also known as the Andromeda galaxy.

New findings from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided a major advance in understanding a type of supernova critical for studying the dark energy that astronomers think pervades the universe. The results show mergers of two dense stellar remnants are the likely cause of many of the supernovae that have been used to measure the accelerated expansion of the universe.

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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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Giant Magnetic Loop Sweeps Through Space Between Stellar Pairs

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Artist’s conception of Algol star system with radio image superimposed on grid.

Astronomers have found a giant magnetic loop stretched outward from one of the stars making up the famous double-star system Algol. The scientists used an international collection of radio telescopes to discover the feature, which may help explain details of previous observations of the stellar system.

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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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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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