Galaxies Coming Of Age In Cosmic Blobs


This is the first of a pair of artist’s representations showing what one of the
galaxies inside a blob might look like if viewed at a relatively close distance.

The “coming of age” of galaxies and black holes has been pinpointed, thanks to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. This discovery helps resolve the true nature of gigantic blobs of gas observed around very young galaxies.

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New Light Shed On ‘Dark’ Gamma-ray Bursts



Dense knots of dust in otherwise normal galaxies dim the light of a dark gamma-ray burst

Gamma-ray bursts are the universe’s biggest explosions, capable of producing so much light that ground-based telescopes easily detect it billions of light-years away. Yet, for more than a decade, astronomers have puzzled over the nature of so-called dark bursts, which produce gamma rays and X-rays but little or no visible light. They make up roughly half of the bursts detected by NASA’s Swift satellite since its 2004 launch.

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Herschel’s Daring Test: A Glimpse Of Things To Come


far-infrared image of M51, the ‘whirlpool galaxy’

Herschel opened its ‘eyes’ on 14 June and the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer obtained images of M51, ‘the whirlpool galaxy’ for a first test observation. Scientists obtained images in three colours from the observation, which clearly demonstrate the excellence of Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope ever flown.

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Betelgeuse, Red Supergiant In Constellation Orion, Has Shrunk By 15 Percent In 15 Years


Berkeley physicist Charles Townes, who won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser

The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, the bright reddish star in the constellation Orion, has steadily shrunk over the past 15 years, according to University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

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Rare Magnetar Discovered: Giant Eruption Reveals ‘Dead’ Star


member of a select class of objects called magnetars.

NASA’s Swift satellite reported multiple blasts of radiation from a rare object known as a soft gamma repeater, or SGR. Now, astronomers report an in-depth study of these eruptions using the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) satellites. Continue reading… “Rare Magnetar Discovered: Giant Eruption Reveals ‘Dead’ Star”