Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Twists and turns in interacting galaxies

(Phys.org)—Almost thirty years ago the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, IRAS, discovered that the universe contained many fabulously luminous galaxies, some of them more than a thousand times brighter than ...

dateOct 08, 2012 in Astronomy
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Kepler's supernovae

(Phys.org)—Supernovae, the explosive deaths of massive stars, are among the most momentous events in the cosmos because they disburse into space all of the chemical elements that were produced inside their ...

dateSep 18, 2012 in Astronomy
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Planets can form in the galactic center

(Phys.org)—At first glance, the center of the Milky Way seems like a very inhospitable place to try to form a planet. Stars crowd each other as they whiz through space like cars on a rush-hour freeway. ...

dateSep 11, 2012 in Astronomy
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All about dust

(Phys.org)—The space between stars is not empty—it contains copious amounts of gas and dust. Astronomers estimate that about 5-10% of the total mass of our Milky Way galaxy is contained in the interstellar ...

dateAug 28, 2012 in Astronomy
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A super cluster of galaxies

(Phys.org)—Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of several to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the "Local Group," a band of about fifty galaxies whose other large ...

dateAug 28, 2012 in Astronomy
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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 ...

dateAug 15, 2012 in Astronomy
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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 ...

dateAug 13, 2012 in Astronomy
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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 ...

dateAug 10, 2012 in Astronomy
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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 ...

dateAug 06, 2012 in Astronomy
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