jul 022013
Red Dwarfs Could Strip Away Protection of Their Planets

  Red dwarfs are the commonest type of stars, making up about 75% of the stars in our Galaxy. They are much smaller and much less massive than our Sun and for that reason a lot dimmer. If planets are found around these stars, then given the number of red dwarfs, life could then be [continue reading]

mei 242013
Magnetars are More Common than Thought

  Magnetars — the dense remains of dead stars that erupt sporadically with bursts of high-energy radiation — are some of the most extreme objects known in the Universe. A major campaign using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other satellites shows magnetars may be more diverse — and common — than previously thought. This [continue reading]

feb 062013
“Ribbon” Of Energy at the Edge of our Solar System Explained

  After three years of puzzling over a striking “ribbon” of energy and particles discovered by NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) at the edge of our Solar System, scientists may be on the verge of cracking the mystery. A three-dimensional diagram of the retention region shown as a “life preserver” around our heliosphere bubble along [continue reading]

jan 272013
A Big Piece to the Solar Corona Puzzle Solved

  The Sun’s visible surface, or photosphere, is 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As you move outward from it, you pass through a tenuous layer of hot, ionized gas or plasma called the corona. The corona is familiar to anyone who has seen a total solar eclipse, since it glimmers ghostly white around the hidden Sun. This [continue reading]

jan 272013
Giant, Magnetized Outflows from our Galactic Center

  Two years ago, CfA astronomers reported the discovery of giant, twin lobes of gamma-ray emission protruding about 50,000 light-years above and below the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, and centered on the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s core. The scientists argued then that the bubbles were produced either by an eruption from [continue reading]

jan 022013
Magnetic Fields Existed Even Before the First Stars

  Bochum physicist calculates field strengths in the early Universe   The early Universe consisted only of nonmagnetic elements and particles. Just how the magnetic forces came into existence has been researched by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schlickeiser at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. In the journal Physical Review Letters, he describes [continue reading]