X-ray Quasars, and a Distance Record

X-ray Quasars, and a Distance Record

Quasars are thought to be galaxies whose bright nuclei contain massive black holes around which disks are actively accreting matter. The accretion process releases vast amounts of energy, often including a wind, and as a result quasars are among the most powerful energy sources known. Because they are so bright, quasars can be seen even [continue reading]

‘Ridiculously’ Dim Cluster of Stars Found Beyond Milky Way

‘Ridiculously’ Dim Cluster of Stars Found Beyond Milky Way

A team of American, Canadian and Chilean astronomers have stumbled onto a remarkably faint cluster of stars orbiting the Milky Way that puts out as much light as only 120 modest Sun-like stars. The tiny cluster, called Muñoz 1, was discovered near a dwarf galaxy in a survey of satellites around the Milky Way using [continue reading]

Astronomers find a new habitable exoplanet

Astronomers find a new habitable exoplanet

Astronomers have discovered their “holy grail” – a planet capable of supporting life outside our solar system. The planet lies in what they describe as a ‘habitable zone’, neither too near its sun to dry out or too far away which freezes it. And the discovery could help answer the question of whether we are alone [continue reading]

Cassini Finds Titan Lake is like a Namibia Mudflat

Cassini Finds Titan Lake is like a Namibia Mudflat

A new study analyzing data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that the lake, known as Ontario Lacus, behaves most similarly to what we call a salt pan on Earth. A group led by Thomas Cornet of the Université de Nantes, France, a Cassini associate, found evidence for long-standing channels etched into the lake bed within [continue reading]

Astronomers Detect Coolest Radio Star

Astronomers Detect Coolest Radio Star

Astronomers using the world’s largest radio telescope, at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, have discovered flaring radio emission from an ultra-cool star, not much warmer than the planet Jupiter, shattering the previous record for the lowest stellar temperature at which radio waves were detected. The team from Penn State University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the [continue reading]

Where Do the Highest-Energy Cosmic Rays Come From?

Where Do the Highest-Energy Cosmic Rays Come From?

… Probably Not from Gamma-Ray Bursts.   The IceCube Collaboration, in which Berkeley Lab is a crucial contributor, has taken the first steps toward clearing up a cosmic mystery – and made the mystery more intriguing. The IceCube neutrino telescope encompasses a cubic kilometer of clear Antarctic ice under the South Pole, a volume seeded [continue reading]