A rare medium-sized black hole known as NGC 2276-3c could be the “missing link” in the development of exotic bodies astronomers have been seeking for decades. A jet seen emanating from the object also seems to be snuffing out star formation in its neighborhood. The black hole sits within the galaxy NGC 2276, roughly 100 million light years from Earth.
Ground-breaking observations have been reported by an international team of astronomers, who is the first to witness the formation of a multiple-star system in its earliest stage. Their findings help support one of several proposed mechanisms by which scientists think these multistar systems might form.
NASA is working hard on a variety of scientific missions and has big plans to send a robotic mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Europa has long been thought to be one of the most likely locations to hold life outside of the Earth in our solar system. NASA is gearing up to launch the mission by the mid 2020s thanks to a boosted budget that it received for 2016.
If a black hole is Voldemort, a quasar is Sauron; Despite being concentrated in an area no larger than our solar system, one, single quasar can outshine our galaxy by a factor of 100, generating more energy in moments than the Sun ever will. However, the mechanism by which they are powered is remarkably simple: at the heart of every quasar is a black hole that has been turbocharged. At least, that’s the working theory anyway.
In March, NASA’ Dawn spacecraft will arrive ceres to begin the first close-up examination of a dwarf planet. Ceres is 600 miles wide the largest of the asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. “We’re going to reveal the fascinating details of a giant world of rock and ice,” said Marc Rayman, the chief engineer for NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. “Ceres has 38 percent of the area of the continental United States. It’s actually the largest body between the sun and Pluto that a spacecraft has not yet visited.”
A gigantic but fleeting burst of radio waves has been caught in the act for the first time, helping to narrow down the vast array of things that might cause them. Figuring out what these fast radio bursts – sometimes called blitzars – are or where they come from could help answer some of the biggest cosmological questions.
When you crush the Sun to the size of a small town and crush the Earth to the size of a peanut … you will know how big the black holes can be. This crazy black hole comparison will definitely blow your mind, hopely I was able to convey my fascination. Enjoy
An asteroid, called 2004 BL86, will sweep safely past Earth on January 26, 2015. The flyby is notable because 2004 BL86 will be the closest of any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027. This asteroid is estimated from its reflected brightness to be about 500 meters in diameter (about a third of a mile, or 0.5 km).
The central regions of many glittering galaxies, our own Milky Way included, harbor cores of impenetrable darkness—black holes with masses equivalent to millions, or even billions, of suns. What is more, these supermassive black holes and their host galaxies appear to develop together, or “co-evolve.” Theory predicts that as galaxies collide and merge, growing ever more massive, so too do their dark hearts.
Thanks to NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, we’re learning new things about the red planet nearly every day. However, we’re also learning a few new details about ancient Mars here on Earth, thanks to a meteorite from the planet discovered over 30 years ago.
Keeping warm? 21/12 marked the start of astronomical winter for the northern hemisphere, meaning long nights and (hopefully) clear, cold skies. But we’ve also got another reason to brave the cold this week, as Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is set to put on a show for northern hemisphere observers.
Since it was launched in 2009, the Kepler space telescope has found nearly 1,000 planets in distant solar systems. However, in May 2013, the spacecraft was temporarily shut down due to a hardware malfunction. In May 2014, NASA scientists devised a solution and turned it back on — and Thursday, they announced the telescope has found yet another exoplanet.