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, 18 Apr 2015 02:40:19 EDT

Giant galaxies die from the inside out: Star formation shuts down in the centers of elliptical galaxies first
Astronomers have shown for the first time how star formation in "dead" galaxies sputtered out billions of years ago. Astronomers have revealed that three billion years after the Big Bang, these galaxies still made stars on their outskirts, but no longer in their interiors. The quenching of star formation seems to have started in the cores of the galaxies and then spread to the outer parts.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:11:47 EDT

Intense magnetic field close to supermassive black hole
Astronomers have revealed an extremely powerful magnetic field, beyond anything previously detected in the core of a galaxy, very close to the event horizon of a supermassive black hole.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:10:26 EDT

Dwarf planet Ceres color map reveals surface diversity
A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active body.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:56:52 EDT

NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Nears Historic July 14 Encounter with Pluto
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is three months from returning to humanity the first-ever close up images and scientific observations of distant Pluto and its system of large and small moons.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:19:46 EDT

Northern lights: How 'black' auroras actually work
While our understanding of how the aurora's shimmering curtains of colour are formed, scientists have struggled to explain the black patches between the bright beams. Now scientists have discovered what happens at the heart of these so-called "black aurora". 
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:09:04 EDT

First signs of self-interacting dark matter? Dark matter may not be completely dark after all
For the first time dark matter may have been observed interacting with other dark matter in a way other than through the force of gravity. Observations of colliding galaxies have picked up the first intriguing hints about the nature of this mysterious component of the Universe.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:21:54 EDT

Planet spotted deep within our galaxy: One of the most distant planets known
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant planets known.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:07:22 EDT

Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies
After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization's technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Apr 2015 10:10:00 EDT

Violent methane storms on Titan may solve dune direction mystery
Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is among the most Earthlike places in the solar system. As the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft examines Titan, its discoveries bring new mysteries. One of these is that the seemingly wind-created sand dunes spotted near the moon's equator point one direction, but the near-surface winds point another direction. Astronomers may have solved this mystery.
Publ.Date : Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:37:38 EDT

Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter in the cosmos
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will improve our understanding of dark matter's role in the formation of galaxies.
Publ.Date : Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:13:08 EDT

Mars might have salty liquid water
Researchers have long known that there is water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate has been found in the soil, which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty water -- a brine.
Publ.Date : Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:06:11 EDT

Accelerating universe? Not so fast
Astronomers have found that the type of supernovae commonly used to measure distances in the universe fall into distinct populations not recognized before. The findings have implications for our understanding of how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang.
Publ.Date : Sat, 11 Apr 2015 09:16:07 EDT

An exoplanet with an infernal atmosphere: 1000 kph winds; 3000 degree temps
Astronomers have come to measure the temperature of the atmosphere of an exoplanet with unequaled precision, by crossing two approaches. The first approach is based on the HARPS spectrometer and the second consists of a new way of interpreting sodium lines. From these two additional analyses, researchers have been able to conclude that the HD189733b exoplanet is showing infernal atmospheric conditions: wind speeds of more than 1000 kilometers per hour, and the temperature being 3000 degrees. These results open up perspectives to approach the study of exoplanet atmospheres.
Publ.Date : Fri, 10 Apr 2015 09:55:47 EDT

Cosmic debris: Study looks inside the universe’s most powerful explosions
A new study provides an inside look at the most powerful explosions in the universe: gamma-ray bursts. These rare explosions happen when extremely massive stars go supernova. The stars' strong magnetic fields channel most of the explosion's energy into two powerful plasma jets, one at each magnetic pole. The jets spray energetic particles for light-years in both directions, at close to light speed.
Publ.Date : Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:31:50 EDT

Small solar eruptions can have profound effects on unprotected planets
While no one yet knows what's needed to build a habitable planet, it's clear that the interplay between the sun and Earth is crucial for making our planet livable -- a balance between a sun that provides energy and a planet that can protect itself from the harshest solar emissions.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 18:29:57 EDT

When you land, can you stand? One-Year Mission video miniseries: Functional performance
You always want to be the last man standing, especially at NASA. Optimal functional performance, such as standing, is taken even more seriously when preparing for future missions to Mars and beyond. Learn why functional performance is important for astronauts and patients recuperating from long-term bed rest.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 15:08:17 EDT

Our sun came late to the Milky Way's star-birth party
Astronomers compiled a story of our Milky Way's growth by studying galaxies similar in mass to our galaxy, found in deep surveys of the universe. Stretching back more than 10 billion years, the census contains nearly 2,000 snapshots of Milky Way-like galaxies.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:29:09 EDT

Holometer extends limit on knowable universe
The Holometer experiment is sensitive to gravitational waves at frequencies in the range of a million cycles per second. Thus it addresses a spectrum not covered by experiments such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which searches for lower-frequency waves to detect massive cosmic events such as colliding black holes and merging neutron stars.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:32:08 EDT

First real-time observation of the onset of stellar jets during the formation of a massive protostar
An international team of astronomers has first observed the moment in which a massive protostar begins to develop jets of matter and energy, crucial for star formation.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 10:20:35 EDT

Violent formation of the moon: New view
Scientists have reconciled the accepted model of the moon's formation with the unexpectedly similar isotopic fingerprints of both bodies. The results suggest that the impact that formed the moon was so violent, the resulting debris cloud mixed thoroughly before settling down and forming the moon.
Publ.Date : Wed, 08 Apr 2015 13:30:45 EDT