Astronomers by using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope were able to find several examples of galaxies containing quasars, which act as gravitational lenses, amplifying and distorting images of galaxies aligned behind them. Quasars are among the brightest objects in the universe, far outshining the total starlight of their host galaxies. Quasars are powered by supermassive black holes. To find these rare cases of galaxy-quasar combinations acting as lenses, a team of astronomers led by Frederic Courbin at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) selected 23,000 quasar spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).
Two teams of astronomers have used data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes to map the distribution of dark matter in a galaxy cluster known as Abell 383.Abell 383 is located about 2.3 billion light years from Earth. Researchers also able to determine how the dark matter is distributed along the line of sight. The recent work on Abell 383 provides one of the most detailed 3-D pictures yet taken of dark matter in a galaxy cluster. The X-ray data (purple) from Chandra in the composite image show the hot gas, which is by far the dominant type of normal matter in the cluster.
New observations which was made by using ESO’s Very Large Telescope will help to better understand the growth of teenage galaxies. In the biggest survey of its kind astronomers have found that galaxies changed their eating habits during their teenage years the period from about 3 to 5 billion years after the Big Bang. At the start of this phase smooth gas flow was the preferred snack, but later, galaxies mostly grew by cannibalising other smaller galaxies. Galaxies examined through the VLT are located in a tiny patch of sky more than 40 million light-years away, in the constellation of Cetus.
Astronomers have caught a galaxy in the act of recycling material that it previously threw out, which may explain the discrepancy. New observations provide the first direct evidence of gas flowing into distant galaxies that are actively creating baby stars, offering support for the “galactic recycling” theory. Our Milky Way galaxy seems to turn about one solar mass’ worth of matter into new stars every year.
In October 2010, a neutron star near the center of our galaxy erupted with hundreds of X-ray bursts that were powered by a barrage of thermonuclear explosions on the star’s surface. On October 10, 2010, the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite detected a transient X-ray source in the direction of Terzan 5, a globular star cluster about 25,000 light-years away toward the constellation Sagittarius. The object, dubbed IGR J17480–2446, is classed as a low-mass X-ray binary system, in which the neutron star orbits a star much like the sun and draws a stream of matter from it.
A team of volunteers has pored over observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and discovered more than 5,000 bubbles in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy. Young, hot stars blow these bubbles into surrounding gas and dust, indicating areas of brand new star formation. Upwards of 35,000 citizen scientists sifted through the Spitzer infrared data as part of the online Milky Way Project to find these telltale bubbles. The volunteers have turned up 10 times as many bubbles as previous surveys so far.
The myriad faint stars that comprise the Antlia Dwarf galaxy are more than four million light-years from Earth, but this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image offers such clarity that they could be mistaken for much closer stars in our own Milky Way. This very faint and sparsely populated small galaxy was only discovered in 1997. This image was created from observations in visible and infrared light taken with the Wide Field Channel of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Telescope have observed what appears to be a clump of dark matter left behind from a wreck between massive clusters of galaxies. The result could challenge current theories about dark matter that predict galaxies should be anchored to the invisible substance even during the shock of a collision. Abell 520 is a gigantic merger of galaxy clusters located 2.4 billion light-years away.
According to new study newfound clouds of gas that stream from gigantic black holes may dictate the pace of star formation in the galaxies around them and the growth of the black holes themselves. These outflows of gas appear to feed on matter that would otherwise fall into an expanding supermassive black hole, halting its growth.As they travel outward, the clouds may also sweep away the raw materials that form new stars in a vast, roughly spherical area known as the galaxy’s bulge, slowing the pace of star formation in the process.