jan 292013
Io's Volcanism Controls Jupiter's Auroral Activity

  Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io spews out volcanic gas, which reaches its atmosphere and becomes ionized, forming what is known as the Io plasma torus. This plasma torus can interact with Jupiter’s magnetosphere, possibly affecting auroral activity there. This ultraviolet image of Jupiter was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on 26 [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 262013
Pulsar Acts Like a Chameleon

  An international team – led by Dutch astronomers (SRON, NOVA and ASTRON) – has made a tantalizing discovery about the way pulsars emit radiation. The emission of X-rays and radio waves by these pulsating neutron stars is able to change dramatically in seconds, simultaneously, in a way that cannot be explained with current theory. [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]

okt 042012
Surprise: Two Black Holes in One Globular Star Cluster

  An unexpected discovery by an international team of astronomers is forcing scientists to rethink their understanding of the environment in globular star clusters, tight-knit collections containing hundreds of thousands of stars. Two black holes in a globular star cluster. Image Credit: The University of Southampton The astronomers, including Dr Tom Maccarone from the University of [continue reading]

sep 052012
The Mystery of Dark Matter Near to Being Deciphered

  The universe is comprised of a large amount of invisible matter, dark matter. It fills the space between the galaxies and between the stars in the galaxies. Since the prediction of the existence of dark matter more than 70 years ago, all sorts of researchers – astronomers, cosmologists and particle physicists have been looking [continue reading]