19 Mar 2019, 16:00 UTC Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) have found a pulsar speeding away from its presumed birthplace at nearly 700 miles per second, with its trail pointing directly back at the center of a shell of debris from the supernova explosion that created it. The discovery is providing important insights into how pulsars — superdense neutron stars left over after a massive star explodes — can get a “kick” of speed from the explosion.“This pulsar has completely escaped the remnant of debris from the supernova explosion,” said Frank Schinzel, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). “It’s very rare for a pulsar to get enough of a kick for us to see this,” he added.The pulsar, dubbed PSR J0002+6216, about 6,500 light-years from Earth, was discovered in 2017 by a citizen-science project called Einstein@Home. That project uses computer time donated by volunteers to analyze data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. So far, using more than 10,000 years of computing time, the project has discovered a total of 23 pulsars.Radio observations with the VLA clearly show the pulsar outside the supernova remnant, with a tail of shocked particles and magnetic energy some 13 light-years ... Next Previous
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28 Feb 2019, 01:00 UTC Astronomers have detected a stealthy black hole from its effects on an interstellar gas cloud. This intermediate mass black hole is one of over 100 million quiet black holes expected to be lurking in our galaxy. These results provide a new method to search for other hidden black holes and help us understand the growth and evolution of black holes.Black holes are objects with such strong gravity that everything, including light, is sucked in and cannot escape. Because black holes do not emit light, astronomers must infer their existence from the effects their gravity produce in other objects. Black holes range in mass from about 5 times the mass of the Sun to supermassive black holes millions of times the mass of the Sun. Astronomers think that small black holes merge and gradually grow into large ones, but no one had ever found an intermediate mass, hundreds or thousands of times the mass of the Sun.A research team led by Shunya Takekawa at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan noticed HCN–0.009–0.044, a gas cloud moving strangely near the center of the Galaxy 25,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. They used ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) to perform ... Next Previous
28 Feb 2019, 16:22 UTC Next Previous
26 Feb 2019, 05:00 UTC Astronomers have unveiled the enigmatic origins of two different gas streams from a baby star. Using ALMA, they found that the slow outflow and the high speed jet from a protostar have misaligned axes and that the former started to be ejected earlier than the latter. The origins of these two flows have been a mystery, but these observations provide telltale signs that these two streams were launched from different parts of the disk around the protostar.Stars in the Universe have a wide range of masses, ranging from hundreds of times the mass of the Sun to less than a tenth of that of the Sun. To understand the origin of this variety, astronomers study the formation process of the stars, that is the aggregation of cosmic gas and dust.Baby stars collect the gas with their gravitational pull, however, some of the material is ejected by the protostars. This ejected material forms a stellar birth cry which provides clues to understand the process of mass accumulation.Yuko Matsushita, a graduate student at Kyushu University and her team used ALMA to observe the detailed structure of the birth cry from the baby star MMS5/OMC-3 and found two different gaseous flows: a slow ... Next Previous
20 Feb 2019, 18:00 UTC Next Previous
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 19 Mar 2019, 17:30 UTC This image shows a view across asteroid Bennu’s southern hemisphere and into space, and it demonstrates the number and distribution of boulders across Bennu’s surface. The image was obtained on Mar. 7 by the PolyCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a distance of about 3 miles (5 km). The large, light-colored boulder just below the center of the image is about 24 feet (7.4 meters) wide, which is roughly half the width of a basketball court.
NASA Breaking News 19 Mar 2019, 16:33 UTC A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid’s surface. Bennu also revealed itself to be more rugged than expected, challenging the mission team to alter its flight and sample collection plans, due to the rough terrain.
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) 18 Mar 2019, 18:42 UTC Scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research in Japan,the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden,and the University of Virginia in the USA and collaborators used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe a molecular cloud that is collapsing to form two massive protostars that will eventually become a binary star system.
ASTRON 18 Mar 2019, 08:07 UTC An international team of astrophysicists observed for the first time that the jet of a quasar is less powerful on long radio wavelengths than earlier predicted. This discovery gives new insights in the evolution of quasar jets. They made this observation using the international Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope, that produced high resolution radio images of quasar 4C+19.44 located over 5 billion light-years from Earth.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 15 Mar 2019, 11:30 UTC This Hubble picture shows Messier 28, a globular cluster in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), in jewel-bright detail. It is about 18,000 light-years away from Earth.
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Universe Today 19 Mar 2019, 18:50 UTC Roughly 12,800 years ago, planet Earth went through a brief cold snap that was unrelated to any ice age. For years, there have been geologists that have argued that this period was caused by an airburst or meteor fragments (known as the Younger Dryas Impact Theory). This event is beleived to have caused widespread destruction and the demise of the Clovis culture in North American.
Centauri Dreams 19 Mar 2019, 16:30 UTC Dust rings in the Solar System are of interest because they offer clues about the formation of the planets, as well as allowing us to contrast our own circumstellar dust with what we see around other stars in varying stages of planetary development. Recent work out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center offers a dust ring with a difference from others we’ve found in our own system. Scientists have traced a dust ring near the orbit of Venus, and it’s one with origins different than the dust that occurs in Earth’s orbit as well as dust found near Mercury.
Sky and Telescope 19 Mar 2019, 13:52 UTC It's been 2½ months since NASA's piano-size New Horizons zipped past a tiny target in the Kuiper Belt in the first hours of New Year's Day. That body, designated 2014 MU69 and nicknamed "Ultima Thule" by mission scientists, wasn't even discovered until 8½ year after the spacecraft's launch. Since the flyby, enough observations have trickled back to Earth to start to piece together this object's remarkable story — and this week those first chapters are being presented at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Drew Ex Machina 19 Mar 2019, 12:56 UTC Probably one of the more overlooked Apollo missions was that of Apollo 9 launched on March 3, 1969. Coming just a couple of months after the historic voyage of Apollo 8 to the Moon, its mission in low Earth orbit did not seem all that spectacular and generated little public interest even at the time. But this mission, which tested the Lunar Module (LM) in flight with a crew on board for the first time, was a vital stepping stone for the Apollo 11 mission four months later making the successes of this and subsequent Apollo lunar landing missions possible.