Largest Quasar Outflow Observed

Largest Quasar Outflow Observed

  Virginia Tech physicists have discovered a quasar with the most energetic outflow ever seen, a finding that may answer questions about how the mass of a galaxy is linked to its central supermassive black hole mass and why there are so few large galaxies in the Universe. This artist’s impression shows the material ejected [continue reading]

Anne's Picture of the Day: Henize 70

Anne’s Picture of the Day: Henize 70

November 28, 2012 Henize 70, a superbubble in the LMC Image Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT, ESO Henize 70 (also known as N70 and DEM301) is a bright superbubble of about 300 light-years across within the Large Magellanic Cloud (a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy), located some 160,000 light-years away in the southern [continue reading]

Solar Systems Without Jupiters Mean Massive Comet Belts

Solar Systems Without Jupiters Mean Massive Comet Belts

  Using ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds. The comet reservoirs could have delivered life-giving oceans to the innermost planets. Artist impression of the debris disk and planets around the star known as Gliese 581, superimposed on Herschel PACS images [continue reading]

Anne's Picture of the Day: NGC 6384

Anne’s Picture of the Day: NGC 6384

November 27, 2012 NGC 6384, a barred spiral galaxy in Ophiuchus Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA NGC 6384 is a barred spiral galaxy of some 150,000 light-years across, located some 80 million light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. It is speeding away from us at roughly 1680 kilometers per second. The positioning [continue reading]

Highly Inflated Jupiters, a New Subclass of Exoplanets

Highly Inflated Jupiters, a New Subclass of Exoplanets

  There are currently 851 confirmed exoplanets. Of these, 289 were detected because their orbits (as seen from Earth) take them across the face of their host star, dimming the star’s light in what is known as a transit event. The Kepler satellite has provided the largest set of transiting exoplanets and, if the list [continue reading]

The Horsehead Nebula is a Cosmic Petroleum Refinery

The Horsehead Nebula is a Cosmic Petroleum Refinery

  Astronomers find indications for vast petroleum reservoirs in the Horsehead Nebula   What sounds like science fiction is actually reality: using the 30m-telescope of the Institute for Radio Astronomy for astronomical observations in the millimetre range of wavelengths, astronomers have detected, for the first time, the interstellar molecule C3H+, in our galaxy. It belongs [continue reading]