jul 052012
'Impossible' Binary Stars Discovered

  A team of astronomers have used the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Hawaii to discover four pairs of stars that orbit each other in less than 4 hours. Until now it was thought that such close-in binary stars could not exist. The new discoveries come from the telescope’s Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) Transit [continue reading]

jun 202012
Most Quasars Live on Snacks, Not on Large Meals

  Black holes in the early universe needed a few snacks rather than one giant meal to fuel their quasars and help them grow, a new study shows. The galaxies in these four images have so much dust surrounding them that the brilliant light from their quasars cannot be seen in these Hubble Space Telescope [continue reading]

mei 202012
New Clues to the Geological History of Venus

  ESA’s Venus Express has been used to study the geology in a region near Venus’ equator. Using near-infrared observations collected by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC), scientists have found evidence that the planet’s rugged highlands are scattered with geochemically more evolved rocks, rather than the basaltic rocks of the volcanic plains. This finding is [continue reading]

apr 082012
First Light of Powerful New MOSFIRE Instrument

Engineers and astronomers are celebrating the much anticipated first light of the MOSFIRE instrument, now installed on the Keck I telescope at W. M. Keck Observatory. MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer For Infra-Red Exploration) will vastly increase the data gathering power of what is already the world’s most productive ground-based observatory. First light with MOSFIRE, and unprocessed [continue reading]