okt 102012
 
Pulsars as Nature's own GPS in Space

  Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Leicester have been commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA) to investigate the feasibility of using dead stars to navigate spacecraft in deep space. The findings of the research will advise ESA strategy and if feasible this technique may in future revolutionise the [continue reading]

sep 252012
 
Scientists Shed Light on Riddle of Sun's Explosive Events

  Four decades of active research and debate by the solar physics community have failed to bring consensus on what drives the Sun’s powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can have profound “space weather” effects on Earth-based power grids and satellites in near-Earth geospace.  A computer visualization of the Sun (red sphere) and its magnetic [continue reading]

jul 172012
 
A 'Low-Field Magnetar' Discovered

  Is it a magnetar or is it a pulsar? A second member of a rare breed of dead, spinning star has been identified thanks to an armada of space-based X-ray telescopes, including ESA’s XMM-Newton.  A magnetar or a pulsar? Credit: ESA–C. Carreau Magnetars are a type of neutron star, the dead cores of massive stars [continue reading]

jul 042012
 
Oh, Baby! A Rapidly Spinning Protostar Shows Off Her X-ray Spots

  X-ray observations have revealed something curious about the young star that illuminates McNeil’s Nebula, a glowing jewel of cosmic dust in the Orion constellation: The object is a protostar rotating once a day, or 30 times faster than the sun. The stellar baby also has distinct birthmarks—two X-ray-emitting spots, where gas flows from a [continue reading]

jun 082012
 
How Black Holes Change Gear

  Black holes are extremely powerful and efficient engines that not only swallow up matter, but also return a lot of energy to the Universe in exchange for the mass they eat. When black holes attract mass they also trigger the release of intense X-ray radiation and power strong jets. But not all black holes [continue reading]

mei 162012
 
A Supernova Cocoon Breakthrough

  Observations with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that exploded. This discovery may help astronomers understand why some supernovae are much more powerful than others. On November 3, 2010, a supernova was discovered in the galaxy [continue reading]