jan 192013
"Cosmic fog" of the Nearby Universe measured

  Researchers from the Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet (CNRS/École Polytechnique) have carried out the first measurement of the intensity of the diffuse extragalactic background light (EBL) in the nearby Universe, a fog of photons that has filled the Universe ever since its formation. Using some of the brightest gamma-ray sources in the southern hemisphere, the study was [continue reading]

nov 052012
Fermi Measures Cosmic 'Fog' Produced by Ancient Starlight

  Astronomers using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have made the most accurate measurement of starlight in the Universe and used it to establish the total amount of light from all of the stars that have ever shone, accomplishing a primary mission goal. This plot shows the locations of 150 blazars (green dots) [continue reading]

okt 292012
Blazars Still Mysterious Cosmic Objects

  A blazar is a galaxy with an intensely bright central nucleus containing a supermassive black hole, much like a quasar. The difference is that a blazar can emit light with extremely high energy gamma rays that are sometimes over a hundred million times more energetic than the highest energy X-rays that the Chandra X-ray [continue reading]

jul 022012
Galaxy Harbours Many Star-Snacking Black Holes

  Astronomers have found evidence of hundreds of black holes in a galaxy 250 million light years away. The discovery, made with a worldwide network of radio telescopes, gives scientists a new way to find out how black holes are created. Three variable radio sources in Arp 220, a galaxy 250 million light years away. [continue reading]

mei 152012
Black holes turn up the heat for the Universe

  Astrophysicists discover a new heating source in cosmological structure formation. So far, astrophysicists thought that super-massive black holes can only influence their immediate surroundings. A collaboration of scientists at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and in Canada and the US now discovered that diffuse gas in the universe can absorb luminous gamma-ray [continue reading]

apr 132012
NASA's WISE Mission Sees Skies Ablaze With Blazars

Astronomers are actively hunting a class of supermassive black holes throughout the universe called blazars thanks to data collected by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The mission has revealed more than 200 blazars and has the potential to find thousands more. This artist’s concept shows a “feeding,” or active, supermassive black hole with a [continue reading]