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4 Oct 2018, 14:00 UTC Astronomers comparing data from an ongoing major survey of the sky using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to data from earlier surveys likely have made the first discovery of the afterglow of a powerful gamma ray burst that produced no gamma rays detectable at Earth. The unprecedented discovery of this “orphan” gamma ray burst (GRB) offers key clues to understanding the aftermath of these highly energetic events.“GRBs emit their gamma rays in narrowly focused beams. In this case, we believe the beams were pointed away from Earth, so gamma ray telescopes did not see this event. What we found is the radio emission from the explosion’s aftermath, acting over time much as we expect for a GRB,” said Casey Law, of the University of California, Berkeley.While searching through data from the first epoch of observing for the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) in late 2017, the astronomers noted that an object that appeared in images from an earlier VLA survey in 1994 did not appear in the VLASS images. They then searched for additional data from the VLA and other radio telescopes. They found that observations of the object’s location in the sky dating back ... Next Previous
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24 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC Data from the international Cassini spacecraft that explored Saturn and its moons between 2004 and 2017 has revealed what appear to be giant dust storms in equatorial regions of Titan. The discovery, described in a paper published in Nature Geoscience today, makes Titan the third body in the Solar System where dust storms have been observed – the other two are Earth and Mars. Next Previous
ESA Top News 20 Oct 2018, 01:50 UTC The ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury lifts off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 17 Oct 2018, 17:06 UTC The single most important puzzle in today's cosmology (the study of the universe as a whole) can be summarized in one question: How old is it? For nearly a century -- since the discoveries by Einstein, Hubble, LeMaitre and others led to the big bang model of creation -- we have known the answer.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 17 Oct 2018, 16:30 UTC Long ago, sky watchers linked the brightest stars into patterns reflecting animals, heroes, monsters and even scientific instruments into what is now an official collection of 88 constellations. Now scientists with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have devised a set of modern constellations constructed from sources in the gamma-ray sky to celebrate the mission’s 10th year of operations.
Universities Space Research Association 16 Oct 2018, 19:07 UTC Collimated jets provide astronomers with some of the most powerful evidence that a supermassive black hole lurks in the heart of most galaxies. Some of these black holes appear to be active, gobbling up material from their surroundings and launching jets at ultra-high speeds, while others are quiescent, even dormant. Why are some black holes feasting and others starving? Recent observations from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, are shedding light on this question.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory 16 Oct 2018, 15:00 UTC A distant cosmic relative to the first source that astronomers detected in both gravitational waves and light may have been discovered, as reported in our latest press release. This object, called GRB 150101B, was first detected by identified as a gamma ray burst (GRB) by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in January 2015.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory 15 Oct 2018, 17:00 UTC When astrophysicists look at the gamma-ray glow from a galaxy outside our own, all they typically see is a small spot because the galaxy is extremely far away. So, when a galaxy appears as an extended blob, something extraordinary must be going on that could help researchers better understand the properties of deep space.
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Astro Watch 18 Oct 2018, 22:51 UTC The Moon may be the key to unlocking how the first stars and galaxies shaped the early Universe. A team of astronomers led by Dr Benjamin McKinley at Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) observed the Moon with a radio telescope to help search for the faint signal from hydrogen atoms in the infant Universe.
A Star Exploded as a Supernova and Then Collapsed Into a Neutron Star. But Only a Fraction of its Matter was Released18 Oct 2018, 20:46 UTC For almost a century, astronomers have been studying supernovae with great interest. These miraculous events are what take place when a star enters the final phase of its lifespan and collapses, or is stripped by a companion star of its outer layers to the point where it undergoes core collapse. In both cases, this event usually leads to a massive release of material a few times the mass of our Sun. However, an international team of scientists recently witnessed a supernova that was a surprisingly faint and brief. Their observations indicate that the supernova was caused by an unseen companion, likely a neutron star that stripped its companion of material, causing it to collapse and go supernova. This is therefore the first time that scientists have witnessed the birth of a compact neutron star binary system.
SPACE.com 18 Oct 2018, 15:30 UTC A monthslong journey. Docking on a faraway moon. What scenarios would make a human voyage to Mars possible? In late September, four experts participated in an hourlong conversation about what a mission to Mars would actually look like. "An Evening with Trailblazers — Are We Going to Mars?" took place at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, on Sept. 26.
Astro Bob 18 Oct 2018, 04:37 UTC A team of astronomers recently used the VIMOS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope to identify a gigantic proto-supercluster of galaxies forming in the early Universe, just 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers gave it the name Hyperion after the Greek Titan god of heavenly light. It’s the largest and most massive structure to be found so early in the formation of the universe and appears to be an evolving early supercluster.