Researchers Detected Normal Size Black Hole Beyond Our Galaxy

An international team of researchers detected a so-called “normal-size” black hole in the distant galaxy Centaurus A, which is located about 12 million light-years away from Earth. By observing the black hole’s X-ray emissions as it gobbles material from its surrounding environment, the scientists determined that it is a low-mass black hole, one likely in the final stages of an outburst and locked in a binary system with another star.

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There May be Billions of Habitable Alien Planets in Our Galaxy

New study suggests that there should be billions of habitable, rocky planets around the faint red stars of our galaxy. The findings are based on a survey of 102 stars in a class called red dwarfs. Red dwarfs are fainter, cooler, less massive and longer-lived than the sun, and are thought to make up about 80 percent of the stars in our galaxy. Using the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, astronomers found nine planets slightly larger than Earth over a six-year period.

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New Theory About Why Black Holes Become so Hugely Massive

The team of researchers from the University of Leicester (UK) and Monash University in Australia investigated how some black holes grow so fast that they are billions of times heavier than the sun. Professor Andrew King from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, said that almost every galaxy has an enormously massive black hole in its center. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, has one about four million times heavier than the sun.

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Runaway Planets Travel Through Interstellar Space

New study finds that planets in tight orbits around stars that get ejected from our galaxy may actually themselves be tossed out of the Milky Way at blisteringly fast speeds of up to 30 million miles per hour, or a fraction of the speed of light. As said Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. these warp-speed planets would be some of the fastest objects in the galaxy, aside from photons and particles like cosmic rays.

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Recycling of Galaxies May Help Explain Star Formation Mystery

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.

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Citizen Scientists Discovered More than 5000 Bubbles in Milky Way

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.

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Hubble New Image of Antlia Dwarf Galaxy

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.

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Disappeared Pulsar PSR J1841

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.

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Milky Way Galaxy May be Teeming With Homeless Planets

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.

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