Stellar Grouping NGC 2040

These bright stars shining through what looks like a haze in the night sky are part of a young stellar grouping in one of the largest known star formation regions of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.The LMC is the third closest galaxy to our Milky Way. It is located some 160 000 light-years away, and is about 100 times smaller than our own. The image was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

Cosmic Rays Have Left Scientists in Dark

Cosmic rays are charged subatomic particles that streak to Earth from deep in outer space. A few rare cosmic rays are extraordinarily powerful, with energies up to 100 million times greater than any attained by human-made particle colliders, such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The sources of these cosmic rays are a mystery. According to study co-author Francis Halzen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, principal investigator at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a massive telescope designed to find the tiny subatomic particles nature is capable of accelerating elementary particles to macroscopic energies.

Missing Dark Matter

Dark matter is one of the greatest cosmic mysteries of our time, an invisible, intangible material thought to make up five-sixths of all matter in the universe. Scientists currently think it is composed of a new type of particle, one that interacts normally with gravity but only very weakly with all the other known forces of the universe. As such, dark matter is detectable only via the gravitational pull it generates.

Secrets of Molecule H3

For the first time, researchers have calculated the vibration patterns of a compound called H3+ (also known as a triatomic hydrogen ion), which consists of three hydrogen atoms sharing two electrons. Knowing how the molecule can vibrate allows scientists to predict which wavelengths of lightit will emit, giving them a way to identify its signature in astronomical observations. H3+ is important because it is thought to have been prevalent in the universe just after the Big Bang that started things off around 13.7 billion years ago.

Rogue Alien Planets

According to study many wandering alien worlds, which were ejected from the solar systems in which they formed, likely find new homes with different suns. The finding could explain why some alien planets orbit extremely far from their stars.Study lead author Hagai Perets, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and co-author Thijs Kouwenhoven of China’s Peking University simulated the evolution of young star clusters containing about as many free-floating planets as stars.

Space Shuttle Discovery Arrived in Washington

The space shuttle Discovery arrived in Washington on April 17, where it will go on permanent display at the Smithsonian later this week.The retired space plane was delivered to the nation’s capital mounted to the space agency’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet, on a final ferry flight that included a historic flyover of the National Mall and some of its nearby monuments and federal buildings.

Sun Erupted in an Amazing Solar Flares

The sun erupted in an amazing solar flare on April 16, unleashing an intense eruption of super-heated plasma that arced high above the star’s surface before blasting out into space. The powerful solar flare occurred at 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 GMT) and registered as a moderate M1.7-class on the scale of sun storms, placing it firmly in the middle of the scale used by scientists to measure flare strength. The storm is not the strongest this year from the sun, but photos and video of the solar flare captured by NASA spacecraft revealed it to be an eye-popping display of magnetic plasma.

Oldest and Closest White Dwarfs

Scientists from the University of Oklahoma have identified two white dwarf stars considered the oldest and closest known to man. Astronomers identified these 11- to 12-billion-year-old white dwarf stars only 100 light-years away from Earth. According to scientists these stars are the closest known examples of the oldest stars in the universe forming soon after the Big Bang. Mukremin Kilic, assistant professor of physics and astronomy in the OU College of Arts and Sciences and lead author on a recently published paper said that a white dwarf is like a hot stove, once the stove is off, it cools slowly over time.

Hubble Captured Globular Cluster Messier 70

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the brilliance of the compact center of Messier 70, a globular cluster. This picture was obtained with the Wide Field Camera of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The field of view is around 3.3 by 3.3 arcminutes. Quarters are always tight in globular clusters, where the mutual hold of gravity binds together hundreds of thousands of stars in a small region of space. Messier 70 has undergone what is known as a core collapse.

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