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 : Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:11:26 EST

'Cannibalism' between stars
Stars do not accumulate their final mass steadily, but in a series of violent events manifesting themselves as sharp stellar brightening. Stellar brightening can be caused by fragmentation due to gravitational instabilities in massive gaseous disks surrounding young stars, followed by migration of dense gaseous clumps onto the star, according to a new theory.
Publ.Date : Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:45:22 EST

Turbulent times: When stars approach
Astrophysicists are using new methods to simulate the common-envelope phase of binary stars, discovering dynamic irregularities that may help to explain how supernovae evolve.
Publ.Date : Thu, 04 Feb 2016 11:20:56 EST

A violent wind blown from the heart of a galaxy tells the tale of a merger
Astronomers have revealed the detailed structure of a massive ionized gas outflow streaming from the starburst galaxy NGC 6240. The light-collecting power and high spatial resolution of Subaru Telescope made it possible to study, for the first time, the complex structure of one of the largest known superwinds being driven by starbirth -- and star death.
Publ.Date : Thu, 04 Feb 2016 09:49:30 EST

New study challenges Jupiter's role as planetary shield, protecting Earth from comet impacts
Not only is the 'Jupiter as shield' concept, implying that the planet shields Earth from comet impacts, not true, but perhaps Jupiter's most important role in fostering the development of life on Earth was just the opposite -- delivering the volatile materials from the outer Solar System needed for life to form. This new simulation study, and the previously underestimated role that Saturn may have also played in the evolution of life on Earth.
Publ.Date : Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:09:38 EST

Galactic center's gamma rays unlikely to originate from dark matter, evidence shows
Studies by two independent groups from the US and the Netherlands have found that gamma ray signals from the inner galaxy come from a new source rather than from the collision of dark matter particles. The new source is likely to be rapidly rotating pulsars, rather than the as-yet undetected invisible dark matter particles thought to make up 85 percent of the mass in the Universe.
Publ.Date : Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:09:28 EST

Bright sparks shed new light on the dark matter riddle
The origin of matter in the universe has puzzled physicists for generations. Today, we know that matter only accounts for 5 percent of our universe; another 25 percent is constituted of dark matter. And the remaining 70 percent is made up of dark energy. Dark matter itself represents an unsolved riddle.
Publ.Date : Mon, 01 Feb 2016 10:35:51 EST

Understanding the magnetic sun
Scientists have turned to a combination of real time observations and computer simulations to best analyze how material courses through the corona.
Publ.Date : Sat, 30 Jan 2016 18:21:12 EST

Novel calibration tool will help astronomers look for habitable exoplanets
Promising new calibration tools, called laser frequency combs, could allow astronomers to take a major step in discovering and characterizing earthlike planets around other stars. These devices generate evenly spaced lines of light, much like the teeth on a comb for styling hair or the tick marks on a ruler--hence their nickname of "optical rulers."
Publ.Date : Fri, 29 Jan 2016 17:10:09 EST

Moon was produced by a head-on collision between Earth and a forming planet
The moon was formed from a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a 'planetary embryo' called Theia approximately 100 million years after the Earth formed, almost 4.5 billion years ago.
Publ.Date : Fri, 29 Jan 2016 09:04:51 EST

Monstrous cloud boomerangs back to our galaxy
New Hubble telescope observations suggest that a high-velocity gas cloud was launched from the outer regions of our own galaxy around 70 million years ago. Now, the cloud is on a return collision course and is expected to plow into the Milky Way's disk in about 30 million years. Astronomers believe it will ignite a spectacular burst of star formation then.
Publ.Date : Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:57:51 EST

Antarctic fungi survive Martian conditions on the International Space Station
Scientists have gathered tiny fungi that take shelter in Antarctic rocks and sent them to the International Space Station. After 18 months on board in conditions similar to those on Mars, more than 60 percent of their cells remained intact, with stable DNA. The results provide new information for the search for life on the red planet. Lichens from the Sierra de Gredos (Spain) and the Alps (Austria) also traveled into space for the same experiment.
Publ.Date : Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:38:15 EST

NASA Webb Telescope mirrors installed with robotic arm precision
Inside a massive clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the James Webb Space Telescope team is steadily installing the largest space telescope mirror ever. Unlike other space telescope mirrors, this one must be pieced together from segments using a high-precision robotic arm.
Publ.Date : Thu, 28 Jan 2016 07:43:39 EST

Stellar parenting: Making new stars by 'adopting' stray cosmic gases
Astronomers have for the first time found young populations of stars within globular clusters that have apparently developed courtesy of star-forming gas flowing in from outside of the clusters themselves. This method stands in contrast to the conventional idea of the clusters' initial stars shedding gas as they age in order to spark future rounds of star birth.
Publ.Date : Wed, 27 Jan 2016 14:14:08 EST

The Milky Way's clean and tidy galactic neighbor
Many galaxies are chock-full of dust, while others have occasional dark streaks of opaque cosmic soot swirling in amongst their gas and stars. However, the subject of this new image, snapped with the OmegaCAM camera on ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, is unusual -- the small galaxy, named IC 1613, is a veritable clean freak! IC 1613 contains very little cosmic dust, allowing astronomers to explore its contents with great clarity.
Publ.Date : Wed, 27 Jan 2016 08:35:53 EST

One trillion kilometers apart: A lonely planet and its distant star
Astronomers have found a planet, until now thought to be a free floating or lonely planet, in a huge orbit around its star. Incredibly the object, designated as 2MASS J2126, is about 1 trillion (1 million million) kilometers from the star, or about 7000 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun.
Publ.Date : Tue, 26 Jan 2016 09:10:39 EST

How to find and study a black hole
Black holes sound too strange to be real. But they are actually pretty common in space. There are dozens known and probably millions more in the Milky Way and a billion times that lurking outside. The makings and dynamics of these monstrous warpings of spacetime have been confounding scientists for centuries.
Publ.Date : Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:52:36 EST

In galaxy clustering, mass may not be the only thing that matters
An international team of researchers has shown that the relationship between galaxy clusters and their surrounding dark matter halo is more complex than previously thought. The researchers' findings are the first to use observational data to show that, in addition to mass, a galaxy cluster's formation history plays a role in how it interacts with its environment.
Publ.Date : Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:42:33 EST

Newly discovered star offers opportunity to explore origins of first stars sprung to life in early universe
A team of researchers has observed the brightest ultra metal-poor star ever discovered. The star is a rare relic from the Milky Way's formative years. As such, it offers astronomers a precious opportunity to explore the origin of the first stars that sprung to life within our galaxy and the universe.
Publ.Date : Fri, 22 Jan 2016 14:47:33 EST

Dark 'noodles' may lurk in the Milky Way
Invisible structures shaped like noodles, lasagne sheets or hazelnuts could be floating around in our Galaxy radically challenging our understanding of gas conditions in the Milky Way. Astronomers say the structures appear to be 'lumps' in the thin gas that lies between the stars in our Galaxy. The observations were made possible by an innovative new technique.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Jan 2016 14:51:40 EST

Dazzling diamonds in the sky
Single stars are often overlooked in favor of their larger cosmic cousins -- but when they join forces, they create truly breathtaking scenes to rival even the most glowing of nebulae or swirling of galaxies. A new image features the star cluster Trumpler 14. One of the largest gatherings of hot, massive and bright stars in the Milky Way, this cluster houses some of the most luminous stars in our entire galaxy.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Jan 2016 11:09:19 EST