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 : Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:40:11 EDT

Mystery galaxies: Astronomers discover likely precursors of galaxy clusters we see today
Observations made with two space observatories, Herschel and Planck, reveal glimpses into how today's galaxies came to be. Using one-of-a-kind instrumentation, astronomers were able to study large numbers of 'mystery galaxies' that appear to be associated with clusters.
Publ.Date : Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:39:21 EDT

As stars form, magnetic fields influence regions big and small
Stars form when gravity pulls together material within giant clouds of gas and dust. But gravity isn't the only force at work. Both turbulence and magnetic fields battle gravity, either by stirring things up or by channeling and restricting gas flows, respectively. New research focusing on magnetic fields shows that they influence star formation on a variety of scales, from hundreds of light-years down to a fraction of a light-year.
Publ.Date : Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:26:13 EDT

Comet dust: Planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'
Scientists have long puzzled over the planet Mercury's excessively dark surface. New research suggests that carbon from passing comets could be the planet's mystery darkening agent.
Publ.Date : Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:24:37 EDT

Earthlike 'Star Wars' Tatooines may be common
Luke Skywalker's home in "Star Wars" is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers believe rocky planets cannot form there. Now, mathematical simulations show that Earthlike, solid planets such as Tatooine likely exist and may be widespread.
Publ.Date : Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:25:32 EDT

Dark matter even darker than once thought
Astronomers have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. The results show that dark matter interacts with itself even less than previously thought, and narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.
Publ.Date : Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:22:38 EDT

Best view yet of dusty cloud passing galactic center black hole
The best observations so far of the dusty gas cloud G2 confirm that it made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way in May 2014 and has survived the experience. The new result shows that the object appears not to have been significantly stretched. It is most likely to be a young star with a massive core that is still accreting material.
Publ.Date : Thu, 26 Mar 2015 08:59:24 EDT

A new spin on Saturn's peculiar rotation
The precise measurement of Saturn's rotation has presented a great challenge to scientists, as different parts of this sweltering ball of hydrogen and helium rotate at different speeds whereas its rotation axis and magnetic pole are aligned. A new method leads to a new determination of Saturn's rotation period and offers insight into the internal structure of the planet, its weather patterns, and the way it formed.
Publ.Date : Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:23:11 EDT

Supermassive black hole clears star-making gas from galaxy's core
A new study provides the first observational evidence that a supermassive black hole at the center of a large galaxy can power huge, wide-angled outpourings of material from deep inside the galaxy's core. These outflows remove massive quantities of star-making gas, thus influencing the size, shape and overall fate of the host galaxy.
Publ.Date : Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:18:59 EDT

Explosions of Jupiter's aurora linked to extraordinary planet-moon interaction
New observations of the planet's extreme ultraviolet emissions show that bright explosions of Jupiter's aurora likely also get kicked off by the planet-moon interaction, not by solar activity.
Publ.Date : Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:08:23 EDT

NASA satellites catch 'growth spurt' from newborn protostar
Using data from orbiting observatories and ground-based facilities, astronomers have discovered an outburst from a star thought to be in the earliest phase of its development. The eruption, scientists say, reveals a sudden accumulation of gas and dust by an exceptionally young protostar known as HOPS 383.
Publ.Date : Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:36:32 EDT

NASA studies the sun in soft x-rays
At any given moment, our sun emits a range of light waves far more expansive than what our eyes alone can see: from visible light to extreme ultraviolet to soft and hard X-rays. In 2012 and 2013, a detector was launched on a sounding rocket for a 15 minute trip to look at a range of sunlight previously not well-observed: soft X-rays.
Publ.Date : Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:36:30 EDT

Wandering Jupiter accounts for our unusual solar system
Jupiter may have swept through the early solar system like a wrecking ball, destroying a first generation of inner planets before retreating into its current orbit, according to a new study. The findings help explain why our solar system is so different from the hundreds of other planetary systems that astronomers have discovered in recent years.
Publ.Date : Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:22:45 EDT

Chemical fingerprints of ancient supernovae found
A search of nearby galaxies for their oldest stars has uncovered two stars in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy that were born shortly after the galaxy formed, approximately 13 billion years ago. The unusual chemical content of the stars may have originated in a single supernova explosion from the first generation of Sculptor stars.
Publ.Date : Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:28:52 EDT

Colliding stars explain enigmatic 17th century explosion
New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision.
Publ.Date : Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:22:56 EDT

Comet probe detects 'most wanted molecule': Nitrogen gas
ESA's comet probe Rosetta has for the first time ever measured nitrogen gas at a comet, providing clues to the early stages of the formation of our solar system.
Publ.Date : Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:06:54 EDT

Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'
Sifting through the center of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have made the first direct observations -- using an infrared telescope aboard a modified Boeing 747 -- of cosmic building-block dust resulting from an ancient supernova.
Publ.Date : Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:34:24 EDT

More than a million stars are forming in a mysterious dusty gas cloud in a nearby galaxy
An extremely hot, dusty cloud of molecular gases is forming more than a million young stars in a tiny nearby galaxy, astronomers report.
Publ.Date : Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:55:05 EDT

Extent of moon's giant volcanic eruption is revealed
Scientists have produced a new map of the Moon's most unusual volcano showing that its explosive eruption spread debris over an area much greater than previously thought. A team of astronomers and geologists studied an area of the lunar surface in the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex.
Publ.Date : Wed, 18 Mar 2015 10:12:36 EDT

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, researchers calculate
Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets using the Kepler satellite. By analyzing these planetary systems, researchers have calculated the probability for the number of stars that might have planets in the habitable zone. The calculations show that billions of stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and where life could exist.
Publ.Date : Wed, 18 Mar 2015 07:45:15 EDT

Time lapse snapshots of a nova's fading light
Scientists have, for the first time, examined a detailed "time lapse" X-ray image of the expansion of a classical nova explosion using the GK Persei nova -- a binary star system which underwent a nova explosion in 1901. Through this work, they hope to gain a better understanding of the expansion of gases in the universe, including not only in classical novae but also in supernovae -- tremendous stellar explosions that are believed to be responsible for the creation of heavy elements such as uranium which cannot be produced by normal stars.
Publ.Date : Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:49:16 EDT