Astronomy News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Astronomy News. Here you can find links to the latest space news headlines on the topic of astronomy. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.

 

Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily
Updated : Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:10:08 EST

CAT scan of nearby supernova remnant reveals frothy interior
Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, is one of the most well studied supernova remnants in our galaxy. But it still holds major surprises. Astronomers have now generated a new 3-D map of its interior using the astronomical equivalent of a CAT scan. They found that the Cas A supernova remnant is composed of a collection of about a half dozen massive cavities -- or 'bubbles.'
Publ.Date : Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:30:44 EST

The tell-tale signs of a galactic merger
Astronomers have captured a striking view of spiral galaxy NGC 7714. This galaxy has drifted too close to another nearby galaxy and the dramatic interaction has twisted its spiral arms out of shape, dragged streams of material out into space, and triggered bright bursts of star formation.
Publ.Date : Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:43:13 EST

Could a new proposed particle help to detect Dark Matter?
Researchers have proposed a new fundamental particle which could explain why no one has managed to detect 'Dark Matter', the elusive missing 85 per cent of the Universe's mass. Dark Matter is thought to exist because of its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing (the bending of light rays) around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (the afterglow of the Big Bang). Despite compelling indirect evidence and considerable experimental effort, no one has managed to detect Dark Matter directly.
Publ.Date : Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:41:10 EST

Astronomers gain a new view of galaxy M 82
Astronomers have used the giant radio telescope Lofar to create the sharpest astronomical image ever taken at very long radio wavelengths. A new image shows the glowing center of the galaxy Messier 82 -- and many bright remnants of supernova explosions. A supernova remnant is a shining shell of shock waves from an exploded star, ploughing into its surroundings.
Publ.Date : Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:41:08 EST

Cassini catches Saturn's moon Titan naked in the solar wind
Researchers studying data from NASA's Cassini mission have observed that Saturn's largest moon, Titan, behaves much like Venus, Mars or a comet when exposed to the raw power of the solar wind. The observations suggest that unmagnetized bodies like Titan might interact with the solar wind in the same basic ways, regardless of their nature or distance from the sun.
Publ.Date : Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:53:35 EST

Some potentially habitable planets began as gaseous, Neptune-like worlds
Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets -- tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity -- might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, astronomers have found.
Publ.Date : Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:05:04 EST

Engineer advances new daytime star tracker
NASA is developing a precision attitude sensor or star tracker that would be able to locate points of reference, or in other words, stars, during daylight hours.
Publ.Date : Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:05:02 EST

New instrument to study the extreme universe -- the X-Ray polarimeter X-Calibur
X-ray polarimetry promises to give qualitatively new information about high-energy astrophysical sources, such as black hole systems, the bright and active centers of galaxies, compact neutron stars, and gamma-ray bursts. The instrument will measure the polarization of 20-80keV X-rays. The detector is completed, tested, and fully calibrated and ready to be flown on a high-altitude balloon.
Publ.Date : Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:06:44 EST

The mouth of the beast: VLT images cometary globule CG4
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.
Publ.Date : Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:22:41 EST

NASA's Dawn spacecraft captures best-ever view of dwarf planet Ceres
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become the first human-made probe to visit a dwarf planet.
Publ.Date : Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:11:26 EST

Asteroid that flew past Earth has moon
Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images show the asteroid, which made its closest approach on Jan. 26, 2015 at 8:19 a.m. PST (11:19 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.
Publ.Date : Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:06:52 EST

'Yellowballs' are part of the development of massive star
Citizen scientists wanted to know: What are the yellow objects on these infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope? Astronomers now report that the "yellowballs" are part of the development of massive stars.
Publ.Date : Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:11:06 EST

Bubbles from the galactic center: A key to understanding dark matter and our galaxy's past?
The astrophysicists who discovered two enormous radiation bubbles in the center of our galaxy discuss what they may tell us about the Milky Way and how they could help in the search for dark matter.
Publ.Date : Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:14:28 EST

Ancient star system reveals Earth-sized planets forming near start of universe
A Sun-like star with orbiting planets, dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy, has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. At 11.2 billion years old, it is the oldest star with Earth-sized planets ever found and proves that such planets have formed throughout the history of the Universe.
Publ.Date : Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:14:18 EST

NOAA's DSCOVR going to a 'far out' orbit
Many satellites that monitor the Earth orbit relatively close to the planet, while some satellites that monitor the sun orbit our star. DSCOVR will keep an eye on both, with a focus on the sun. To cover both the Earth and sun, it will have an unusual orbit in a place called L1.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:06:32 EST

Gigantic ring system around J1407b much larger, heavier than Saturn's
Astronomers have discovered that the ring system that they see eclipse the very young Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:52:08 EST

Swarm of microprobes to head for Jupiter
A swarm of tiny probes each with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere. The probes would last an estimated 15 minutes according to planetary scientists. Transmitting 20 megabits of data over 15 minutes would be sufficient to allows scientists to get a picture of a large part of the atmosphere of the planet.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:23:52 EST

Helicopter could be 'scout' for Mars rovers
Getting around on Mars is tricky business. Each NASA rover has delivered a wealth of information about the history and composition of the Red Planet, but a rover's vision is limited by the view of onboard cameras, and images from spacecraft orbiting Mars are the only other clues to where to drive it. To have a better sense of where to go and what's worth studying on Mars, it could be useful to have a low-flying scout.
Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:51:34 EST

H.E.S.S. finds three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources
The High Energy Stereoscopic System telescopes have again demonstrated their excellent capabilities in searching for high-energy gamma rays.
Publ.Date : Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:22:15 EST

Rosetta data reveals more surprises about comet 67P
As the Rosetta spacecraft orbits comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, an international team of scientists have discovered that the comet's atmosphere, or coma, is much less homogenous than expected and comet outgassing varies significantly over time.
Publ.Date : Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:54:28 EST