Astronomy & Space - Astronomy news

Topological defects in the fabric of space and time

A cosmic string is a very long (possibly as long as the diameter of the visible universe), very thin (less than the width of a proton) high-density object formed during the early moments of the big bang. ...

Oct 10, 2014
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The spectra of white dwarf stars

Yesterday I talked about the Higgs, and how its discovery has led to a flurry of articles about how it might apply to astrophysics. So today here's another example, and this one's interesting because it's ...

Oct 09, 2014
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Spirals in a galaxy may arise from density waves

It's often said that the shape of a spiral galaxy follows the curve of a golden spiral. You can see this, for example, in the image above. While it's often implied that this curve matches exactly, that isn't ...

Oct 09, 2014
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The difficulties of cataloging dark nebulae

E. E. Barnard is an astronomer perhaps best known for measuring the proper motion of a faint red dwarf about six light years away, now known as Barnard's star. But Barnard was also a pioneer of astrophotography, ...

Oct 06, 2014
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The evidence for pair-instability supernovae

A supernova is a stellar explosion. They can occur when a large star exhausts its ability to fuse hydrogen into higher elements, and its core collapses. The resulting rebound rips apart the outer layers of ...

Oct 06, 2014
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Black hole activity deduced from reflected X-rays

The supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy, known as Sagittarius A*, is pretty quiet for a black hole. It does however flare up from time to time, when material is captured, as can be seen in ...

Oct 03, 2014
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The origins of local planetary orbits

A plutino is an asteroid-sized body that orbits the Sun in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune. They are named after Pluto, which also orbits the Sun twice for every three orbits of Neptune. It is thought that Pluto ...

Oct 01, 2014
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Image: The Pillars of Creation

The Pillars of Creation (seen above) is an image of a portion of the Eagle nebula (M16) taken by Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. It soon became one of the most iconic space images of all time. The Eagle nebula ...

Oct 01, 2014
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