Tech News Feed
Computer simulations of galaxies growing over billions of years have revealed a likely scenario for how they feed: a cosmic version of swirly straws. The results show that cold gas -- fuel for stars -- spirals into the cores of galaxies along filaments, rapidly making its way to their "guts." Once there, the gas is converted into new stars, and the galaxies bulk up in mass.
Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
Radiation from all galaxies that ever existed suffuses the universe with a diffuse extragalactic background light (EBL). Measuring the EBL is as fundamental to cosmology as measuring heat from the Big Bang (cosmic microwave background) at radio wavelengths. Researchers describe the best measurement yet of the evolution of the EBL over the past 5 billion years, based on observations from radio waves to gamma rays from NASA spacecraft and ground-based telescopes.
Astronomers have resolved a major problem in their understanding of a class of stars that undergo regular outbursts by accurately measuring the distance to a famous example of the type.
The Ring Nebula's distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books. But new observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the glowing gas shroud around an old, dying, sun-like star reveal a new twist.
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.
With this new view of a spectacular stellar nursery ESO is celebrating 15 years of the Very Large Telescope — the world's most advanced optical instrument. This picture reveals thick clumps of dust silhouetted against the pink glowing gas cloud known to astronomers as IC 2944. These opaque blobs resemble drops of ink floating in a strawberry cocktail, their whimsical shapes sculpted by powerful radiation coming from the nearby brilliant young stars.
Saturn's moon Titan might be in for some wild weather as it heads into its spring and summer, if two new models are correct. Scientists think that as the seasons change in Titan's northern hemisphere, waves could ripple across the moon's hydrocarbon seas, and hurricanes could begin to swirl over these areas, too. The model predicting waves tries to explain data from the moon obtained so far by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Both models help mission team members plan when and where to look for unusual atmospheric disturbances as Titan summer approaches.
Two hungry young galaxies that collided 11 billion years ago are rapidly forming a massive galaxy about 10 times the size of the Milky Way, according to new research.
Researchers have uncovered an important mechanism behind the generation of astrophysical magnetic fields such as that of the Sun.
NASA is getting ready to launch a new mission, a mission to observe a largely unexplored region of the solar atmosphere that powers its dynamic million-degree outer atmosphere and drives the solar wind. In late June 2013, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. IRIS will advance our understanding of the interface region, a region in the lower atmosphere of the sun where most of the sun's ultraviolet emissions are generated. Such emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earth's climate.
When did the first stars and galaxies form in the universe? How brightly did they burn their nuclear fuel? Scientists will seek to gain answers to these questions with the launch of the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRIment (CIBER) on a Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket between 11 and 11:59 p.m. EDT, June 4 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth's moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.210 statute miles or 35.744 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until yesterday.
NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016.
Johnny Cash may have preferred this galaxy's burning ring of fire to the one he sang about falling into in his popular song. The "starburst ring" seen at center of a new image in red and yellow hues is not the product of love, as in the song, but is instead a frenetic region of star formation. The galaxy, a spiral beauty called Messier 94, is located about 17 million light-years away.
What is the long-range weather forecast for the giant planets Uranus and Neptune? These planets are home to extreme winds blowing at speeds of over 1000 km/hour, hurricane-like storms as large around as Earth, immense weather systems that last for years and fast-flowing jet streams. Researchers set an upper limit for the thickness of jet streams on Uranus and Neptune.
An international team of astronomers have reported the first scientific results from the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) in South Africa.
On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) -- or larger -- radar telescope at their disposal.
Much like the inside of an operating room, in the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., engineers worked meticulously to implant part of the eyes of the James Webb Space Telescope. They scrubbed up and suited up to perform one of the most delicate performances of their lives. That part of the eyes, the MIRI, or Mid-Infrared Instrument, will glimpse the formation of galaxies and see deeper into the universe than ever before.
Taking before and after pictures of the Martian terrain, researchers have identified nearly 250 fresh impact craters on the Red Planet. The results provide scientists with a better yardstick to estimate how frequently craters are blasted on Mars, allowing them to assess recently formed features with greater accuracy.
Scientists have created the first global topographic map of Saturn's moon Titan, giving researchers a valuable tool for learning more about one of the most Earthlike and interesting worlds in the solar system.