Unknown Sources of Gamma Rays Baffle Scientists

The universe is filled with high-energy radiation, much of which is made of gamma rays belched out by strange pulsing stars and the remnants of supernova explosions. But nearly one-third of all gamma-ray emitting objects seen to date defy identification. The objects were spotted by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which scans the entire sky over the course of three hours, mapping the powerful spectrum.

Billion Stars Shine in New Photo of Our Milky Way Galaxy

An international team of astronomers snapped a new photo of our Milky Way galaxy. The new picture, which was released on March 28, combines infrared images of the Milky Way taken during sky surveys by two different instruments, the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii and the VISTA telescope in Chile. As said scientists the photo is part of a 10-year project that is gathering mountains of data to help guide future research.

Star May be Responsible for Newly Discoverd Supernova

Astronomers have identified the star that may be responsible for a supernova discovered by skywatchers last week. The supernova popped up in the galaxy M95 about 33 million light-years from Earth. It was first reported last week by a several different observers and soon confirmed by major observatories. Now a team led by Nancy Elias-Rosa of Spain’s Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia has compared new photos of the exploded star with pictures taken before the supernova occurred to identify what could very well have been the culprit star.

Dawn Sees Bright Spots on Giant Asteroid Vesta

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed unexpected details on the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The new photos of Vesta from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft highlight odd, shiny spots that are nearly twice as bright as other parts of the asteroid, suggesting it is original material left over from the space rock’s birth 4 billion years ago, NASA officials said on March 21. With a width of about 330 miles (530 km), asteroid Vesta is one of the largest and brightest objects in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Astronomers Discovered Rare Dwarf Galaxy

An international team of astronomers from Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and Finland has discovered a rare dwarf galaxy, called LEDA 074886, which has a striking resemblance to an emerald cut diamond. The astronomers discovered the rectangular shaped galaxy within a group of 250 galaxies some 70 million light years away. As said Associate Professor Alister Graham from Swinburne University of Technology in the Universe around us, most galaxies exist in one of three forms: spheroidal, disc-like, or lumpy and irregular in appearance.

Origin of Important Supernova Class

Studies using X-ray and ultraviolet observations from NASA’s Swift satellite provide new insights into the elusive origins of an important class of exploding star called Type Ia supernovae. These explosions, which can outshine their galaxy for weeks, release large and consistent amounts of energy at visible wavelengths. These qualities make them among the most valuable tools for measuring distance in the universe.

NASA Delays Launch of NuSTAR

The launch of NASA’s next science mission, a spacecraft to study black holes and other high-energy enigmas of the universe, has been officially delayed. This instrument ,called NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array), is an X-ray space observatory that will study the universe through the shortest wavelength, highest-frequency range of light. The spacecraft is designed to collect data with greater sensitivity and clarity than any X-ray mission before. As reported Nasa the mission will advance our understanding of how structures in the universe form and evolve.

Messier 9 Shines in Hubble’s New Photo

The globular cluster, called Messier 9, shines in this new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope.The cluster Messier 9 contains hordes of stars swarming in a spherical cloud about 25,000 light-years from Earth. The object is too faint to be seen with the naked eye, and when it was discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1764, the scientist could only resolve it as a faint smudge that he classified as a nebula. Hubble Space Telescope released a new picture of Messier 9 on March 16.

Astronomers Found Quasars Acting as Gravitational Lenses

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).

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