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 052012
 
Star Racing Around Black Hole at Center of our Milky Way

  UCLA astronomers report the discovery of a remarkable star that orbits the enormous supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy in a blistering 11-and-a-half years — the shortest known orbit of any star near this black hole. The research is published Oct. 5 in the journal Science.   The two W. [continue reading]

Sep 252012
 
Milky Way is Surrounded by Huge Halo of Hot Gas

  Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to find evidence our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light-years. The estimated mass of the halo is comparable to the mass of all the stars in the galaxy. This artist’s illustration shows an [continue reading]

Sep 082012
 
Composition of Star Determines the Habitability of Planets

  A star’s internal chemistry can doom a planet’s life long before the star itself dies A new study by Arizona State University researchers suggests that the host star’s chemical makeup can also impact conditions of habitability of planets that orbit them. Image Credit: NASA The search for potentially habitable planets involves discussion of what [continue reading]

Aug 212012
 
Why Aren’t There More Stars?

  Boston University undergraduate researcher Rob Marchwinski and his colleagues in BU’s Astronomy Department may have found the answer to a universal question: Why aren’t there more stars? The Night sky. Image credit: NASA and H. Richer/University of British Columbia A possible answer to that question presented itself to Marchwinski while he, graduate student Michael Pavel [continue reading]

Aug 062012
 
How Accurate are the Models of Star- and Planet Formation?

  Stars form when gravitational forces coalesce the gas and dust in interstellar clouds until the material forms clumps dense enough to become stars. Precisely how this happens, however, is still very uncertain. The infall of matter is probably not symmetric, it may be inhibited by the pressure of very hot radiation around the young [continue reading]