Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Recreating a slice of the universe

(Phys.org) -- Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and their colleagues at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have invented a new computational approach ...

Aug 15, 2012
5 / 5 (12) 8 | with audio podcast

The cosmic infrared background

(Phys.org) -- The cosmic infrared background is the collective infrared radiation emitted by cosmic sources throughout the history of the universe, including sources inaccessible to current telescopes. The ...

Aug 13, 2012
3.3 / 5 (9) 7 | with audio podcast

Hidden galactic nuclei

(Phys.org) -- At the core of most galaxies including our own Milky Way is a massive black hole. Material falling into the environment of the black hole heats up, and can radiate dramatically, sometimes also ...

Aug 10, 2012
5 / 5 (7) 19 | with audio podcast

The spectral energy distribution of protostars

(Phys.org) -- Stars form when gravitational forces coalesce the gas and dust in interstellar clouds until the material forms clumps dense enough to become stars. Precisely how this happens, however, is still ...

Aug 06, 2012
5 / 5 (4) 2 | with audio podcast

Probing gravity

(Phys.org) -- Einstein's theory of relativity is remarkable not only because it is so successful in explaining seemingly bizarre observations (like the bending of starlight) or because it has assembled a coherent ...

Jul 30, 2012
4.8 / 5 (10) 196 | with audio podcast

Accretion around a young star

(Phys.org) -- The star TW Hydrae is located about 150 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation of Hydrae, the Water Snake. This star is relatively young, about 10 million years old, and ...

Jul 24, 2012
4.8 / 5 (4) 3

Searching for oxygen in space

(Phys.org) -- Searches for interstellar molecular oxygen, O2,have a long history, and the motivation for these searches has evolved. Prior to the late 1990’s, efforts to detect O2 were driven by a desire ...

Jun 28, 2012
5 / 5 (1) 0 | with audio podcast

Accreting black holes in galaxies

(Phys.org) -- Seyfert galaxies are like normal galaxies, our own Milky Way included, except in one critical respect: their nuclei are fantastically bright. In some instances they are as luminous as 100 billion ...

Jun 28, 2012
5 / 5 (3) 9 | with audio podcast

Radio galaxies in the distant universe

(Phys.org) -- For over a decade astronomers have been probing a region of the northern sky, not far from the handle of the Big Dipper, that is relatively free of bright stars and the diffuse glow of the Milky ...

Jun 26, 2012
4.8 / 5 (6) 0 | with audio podcast

Alien earths could form earlier than expected

(Phys.org) -- Building a terrestrial planet requires raw materials that weren't available in the early history of the universe. The Big Bang filled space with hydrogen and helium. Chemical elements like silicon ...

Jun 13, 2012
5 / 5 (6) 5 | with audio podcast

Ghostly gamma-ray beams blast from Milky Way's center

(Phys.org) -- As galaxies go, our Milky Way is pretty quiet. Active galaxies have cores that glow brightly, powered by supermassive black holes swallowing material, and often spit twin jets in opposite directions. ...

May 29, 2012
4.2 / 5 (11) 16 | with audio podcast

The anatomy of a stellar outflow

(Phys.org) -- Astronomers used to think that star formation simply involved the gradual coalescence of material under the influence of gravity. No longer. Making a new star is a complex process, among other ...

May 28, 2012
5 / 5 (10) 4 | with audio podcast

The older we get, the less we know (cosmologically)

(Phys.org) -- The universe is a marvelously complex place, filled with galaxies and larger-scale structures that have evolved over its 13.7-billion-year history. Those began as small perturbations of matter ...

May 22, 2012
3.4 / 5 (18) 14 | with audio podcast