Pulsars are fast-spinning stars that emit regular beams of light known for their clocklike regularity.More than forty years of study, astronomers still can’t nail down what causes these rapidly rotating stars to pulse. But when one, called PSR J1841, turned off for 580 days, it gave astronomers a glimpse of how pulsars behave when they can’t be seen. In December 2008, Fernando Camilo, of Columbia University in New York, was using the Parkes telescope in Australia to search for a known object when he found a steadily flashing star in his field of view. He quickly identified it as a pulsar that was spinning once every 0.9 seconds, a fairly standard rotation.
According to researchers the nomad planets could be surprisingly common in our bustling galaxy. The study predicts that there may be 100,000 times more of these wandering, homeless planets than stars in the Milky Way. If this is the case, these intriguing cosmic bodies would belong to a whole new class of alien worlds, shaking up existing theories of planet formation. These free-flying planets may also raise new and tantalizing questions in the search for life beyond Earth.According to researchers and while nomad planets cannot benefit from the heat given off from their parent stars, these worlds could generate heat from tectonic activity or internal radioactive decay.
According to new study an intensely bright X-ray beacon shining in the Andromeda galaxy is actually a signpost for a hungry black hole that is gobbling up matter at a furious pace.NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory first discovered the so-called ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) in late 2009 in the Andromeda galaxy, which is located about 2.5 million light-years away from our own Milky Way galaxy. Stellar black holes are formed by the collapse of massive stars and typically contain up to 10 or 20 times the mass of the sun. According to the new studies, the black hole causing the ULX object in Andromeda is at least 13 times more massive than our sun and formed after a massive star ended its life in a spectacular supernova explosion.
Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope astronomers, for the first time, have discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space.Prior to this discovery, the microscopic carbon spheres had been found only in gas form in the cosmos. Formally named buckministerfullerene, buckyballs are named after their resemblance to the late architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. They are made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged into a hollow sphere, like a soccer ball. Their unusual structure makes them ideal candidates for electrical and chemical applications on Earth, including superconducting materials, medicines, water purification and armor. In the latest discovery, scientists using Spitzer detected tiny specks of matter, or particles, consisting of stacked buckyballs.
With the help NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory astronomers have clocked the fastest wind yet discovered blowing off a disk around a stellar-mass black hole. The record-breaking wind is moving about 20 million mph, or about 3 percent of the speed of light. This is nearly 10 times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole. Stellar-mass black holes are born when extremely massive stars collapse. They typically weigh between five and 10 times the mass of the sun. The stellar-mass black hole powering this super wind is known as IGR J17091-3624, or IGR J17091 for short. IGR J17091 is a binary system in which a sun-like star orbits a black hole.
According to researchers an explosion in space first seen in the 19th century was apparently colder than before thought, throwing a new mystery into what may have triggered it. The cosmic eruption came from Eta Carinae, a star about 7,500 light-years away from Earth that is one of the most massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy. It blazed into ultra-brightness in 1838, becoming the second-brightest star in the sky for 10 years in a rare celestial outburst later dubbed the Great Eruption. The star later dimmed, and is now not even in the top 100 list of brightest stars. Scientists have found that Eta Carinae is a kind of star known as a luminous blue variable, meaning it goes through episodes of dimness and brightness.
A group of Japanese physicists has revealed where dark matter is for the first time. As it turns out, the mysterious substance is almost everywhere, drooping throughout intergalactic space to form an all-encompassing web of matter. Dark matter is invisible, It doesn’t interact with light, because of that astronomers cannot actually see it. So far, it has only been observed indirectly by way of the gravitational force it exerts on ordinary, visible matter. On the basis of this gravitational interaction, physicists have inferred that dark matter constitutes 22 percent of the matter-energy content of the universe, while ordinary detectable matter constitutes just 4.5 percent.
New images from the Planck mission show previously undiscovered islands of star formation and a mysterious haze of microwave emissions in our Milky Way galaxy. The views give scientists new treasures to mine and take them closer to understanding the secrets of our galaxy. Planck is a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation. The new images show the entire sky, dominated by the murky band of our Milky Way galaxy. One of them shows the unexplained haze of microwave light previously hinted at in measurements by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).
An international team of scientists led by David Martinez-Delgado (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany) has conducted research that reveals a “stealth merger” of dwarf galaxies, where an in-falling satellite galaxy is nearly undetectable by conventional means yet has a substantial influence on its host galaxy. Researchers used the Subaru Telescope to obtain high-resolution images of individual stars in a dense stream of stars in the outer regions of a nearby dwarf galaxy (NGC 4449), these outlying stars are the remains of an even smaller companion galaxy in the process of merging with its host.