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  • August 7, 2014
  • 05:50 AM

Nature’s Magnifying Glass: Gravitational Lensing

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

Gravitational lensing is a clean probe of the Universe and has much to tell us about its two most mysterious components – dark matter and dark energy. This article explains what it is, what is can discover and what Sherlock Holmes has to do with it.... Read more »

Kenneth C. Wong, Kim-Vy H. Tran, Sherry H. Suyu, Ivelina G. Momcheva, Gabriel B. Brammer, Mark Brodwin, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Aleksi Halkola, Glenn G. Kacprzak, Anton M. Koekemoer.... (2014) Discovery of a Strong Lensing Galaxy Embedded in a Cluster at z . The Astrophysical Journal Letters vol. 789 . arXiv: 1405.3661v2

  • July 23, 2014
  • 01:21 PM

Voyager has hit interstellar space…. maybe?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Poor Voyager, he just can’t catch a break. We’ve said it’s hit interstellar space more times than we want to admit and in 2012, the Voyager mission team announced that […]... Read more »

G. Gloeckler, & L. A. Fisk. (2014) A test for whether or not Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause. Geophysical Research Letters. info:/10.1002/2014GL060781

  • June 5, 2014
  • 12:03 PM

The Surprisingly Magnetic Black Hole

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Black holes suck. Nothing can escape a black hole, not even light, which is why they are “black”. They are also an interesting bit of physics. Normally “classical” physics applies […]... Read more »

Zamaninasab, M., Clausen-Brown, E., Savolainen, T., & Tchekhovskoy, A. (2014) Dynamically important magnetic fields near accreting supermassive black holes. Nature, 510(7503), 126-128. DOI: 10.1038/nature13399  

S. W. Hawking. (2014) Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes. Cornell University Library . arXiv: 1401.5761v1

  • May 10, 2014
  • 07:54 AM

How lessons from space put the greenhouse effect on the front page

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Interest in atmospheres of outer planets took Jim Hansen from Iowa to NASA, where he came to realise that humans adding CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere would lead to an unprecedented warming, and brought that fact to the world’s attention.... Read more »

Somerville, R.C.J., P.H. Stone, M. Halem, J.E. Hansen, J.S. Hogan, L.M. Druyan, G. Russell, A.A. Lacis, W.J. Quirk, and J. Tenenbaum. (1974) The GISS model of the global atmosphere. J. Atmos. Sci. DOI: 10.1007/BFb0019776  

Hansen, J., Johnson, D., Lacis, A., Lebedeff, S., Lee, P., Rind, D., & Russell, G. (1981) Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. Science, 213(4511), 957-966. DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4511.957  

Rasool, S. (1983) On predicting calamities. Climatic Change, 5(2), 201-202. DOI: 10.1007/BF00141271  

  • May 2, 2014
  • 04:03 AM

Entire Star Cluster Thrown Out of its Galaxy

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

The galaxy known as M87 has a fastball that would be the envy of any baseball pitcher. It has thrown an entire star cluster toward us at more than two million miles per hour. The newly discovered cluster, which astronomers named HVGC-1, is now on a fast journey to nowhere. Its fate: to drift through the void between the galaxies for all time.

News release April 30, 2014 HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS... Read more »

Nelson Caldwell, Jay Strader, Aaron J. Romanowsky, Jean P. Brodie, Ben Moore, Jurg Diemand, & Davide Martizzi. (2014) A Globular Cluster Toward M87 with a Radial Velocity . Cornell University Library. arXiv: 1402.6319v2

  • May 1, 2014
  • 03:45 PM

Shockwave findings set to rewrite scientific theories

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

For the first time an international team of astronomers has measured circular polarisation in the bright flash of light from a dying star collapsing to a black hole, giving insight into an event that happened almost 11 billion years ago.

New insights into gamma-ray Burst afterglows-Niels Bohr Institute University of Copenhagen

Astronomers observe corkscrew nature of light from a distant black hole - Curtin University

Study of Gamma-Ray Bursts afterglow surprises scientists -University o........ Read more »

Wiersema, K., Covino, S., Toma, K., van der Horst, A., Varela, K., Min, M., Greiner, J., Starling, R., Tanvir, N., Wijers, R.... (2014) Circular polarization in the optical afterglow of GRB 121024A. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13237  

  • May 1, 2014
  • 02:01 PM

Search for life on exoplanets more difficult than thought

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

A new study from the University of Toronto Scarborough suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought.

The study, authored by a team of international researchers led by UTSC Assistant Professor Hanno Rein from the Department of Physical and Environmental Science, finds the method used to detect biosignatures on such planets, known as exoplanets, can produce a false positive result.

News release Apr 29, 2014 By Don Campbell Uni........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2014
  • 05:20 AM

Cosmic illusion revealed

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Kashiwa Japan – A team of researchers led by Robert Quimby at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) has announced the discovery of a galaxy that magnified a background, Type Ia supernova thirtyfold through gravitational lensing. This is the first example of strong gravitational lensing of a supernova confirms the team’s previous explanation for the unusual properties of this supernova.

News release April 25, 2014 Kavli Institute for ........ Read more »

Quimby, R., Oguri, M., More, A., More, S., Moriya, T., Werner, M., Tanaka, M., Folatelli, G., Bersten, M., Maeda, K.... (2014) Detection of the Gravitational Lens Magnifying a Type Ia Supernova. Science, 344(6182), 396-399. DOI: 10.1126/science.1250903  

  • April 13, 2014
  • 01:56 PM

Intro to External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP)

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP)  is something that’s been discussed for some time. In fact, it was originally proposed by Stanislaw Ulam way back in 1947. Unfortunately the public perception of atomic technology as well as pieces of otherwise well meaning legislation have called into question the feasibility of spacecraft that operate using this advanced … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 27, 2014
  • 05:18 PM

First sightings of solar flare phenomena

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Video of magnetic field lines “slipping reconnection” bring scientists a step closer to predicting when and where large flares will occur.

Human civilisation is nowadays maintained by technology and that technology is vulnerable to space weather

Dr Jaroslav Dudik

News Release March 27, 2014 University of Cambridge... Read more »

Dudík, J., Janvier, M., Aulanier, G., Del Zanna, G., Karlický, M., Mason, H., & Schmieder, B. (2014) SLIPPING MAGNETIC RECONNECTION DURING AN X-CLASS SOLAR FLARE OBSERVED BY /AIA . The Astrophysical Journal, 784(2), 144. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/784/2/144  

  • February 20, 2014
  • 02:46 AM

Elements found in two hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

Astronomers have reported the chemical composition of two white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133, outside the solar system. Oxygen, magnesium, Silicon and Calcium are found in both planetesimals.

Published in:

The Astrophysical Journal

Study Further:

White Dwarf:

It is a small, dim, extremely dense star that has collapsed on itself and is in the final stages of its evolution.

Elements in white dwarfs:

Calcium is the most easily noticed element and has been found in ........ Read more »

S. Xu (许偲艺), M. Jura, D. Koester, B. Klein, B. Zuckerman. (2014) Elemental compositions of two extrasolar rocky planetesimals. The Astrophysical Journal. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/783/2/79  

  • February 12, 2014
  • 11:03 AM

Formation of jets during the death of stars

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Astronomers have found that only "strongly interacting" binary stars have the ability to end with powerful, bipolar jets of gas and dust.

Published in:

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Study Further:


Nebula refers to a region or cloud of interstellar dust and gas appearing variously as a hazy bright or dark patch. It is also called as nebulosity.


Supernova refers to a catastrophic explosion of a large star in the l........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2014
  • 07:36 AM

Galaxy of about 8 redshift and about 2,300 light-years width

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Astronomers have reported the discovery of one of the most distant galaxies, dubbed Abell2744 Y1.

Published in:

Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters

Study Further:

Redshift and previous findings:

Redshift refers to a shift in the spectrum of a celestial body toward longer wavelengths, or toward the red end of the spectrum, caused by its motion away from the Earth.

Previously, scientists reported a galaxy dubbed MACS1149-JD1 at a redshift of about 10, i.e. the galax........ Read more »

N. Laporte, A. Streblyanska, B. Clement, I. Pérez-Fournon, D. Schaerer, H. Atek, F. Boone, J.-P. Kneib, E. Egami, P. Martínez-Navajas, R. Marques-Chaves, R. Pelló, J. Richard. (2014) The first Frontier Fields cluster: 4.5mum excess in a z-8 galaxy candidate in Abell 2744 . Astronomy . DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201323179  

  • February 11, 2014
  • 05:32 AM

One of the strongest indications of water on Mars

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

NASA spacecraft revolving around and studying Mars have found the strongest indications of water flows on Mars while studying seasonal features.

Published in:

Geophysical Research Letters

Study Further:

In a study by NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover, it has been observed that water was present on Mars about four billion years ago that was probably supportive of life (DOI: 10.1126/science.1248097)

Now scientists have found some indications of water on Mars in cer........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2014
  • 01:00 AM

Mass of neutrons can help in solving a cosmological discrepancy

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Scientists have measured the mass of ghostly sub-atomic particles called neutrinos for the first time by using the observations of the Big Bang and the curvature of space-time.

Published in:

Physical Review Letters

Study Further:

Cosmic Microwave Background:

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) can be referred to as the fading glow of the Big Bang, i.e. oldest light in the Universe.

Study of CMB helps scientists to study and measure accurately different cosmological........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 11:43 AM

Solving a 30-Year-Old Problem in High Mass Star Formation

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Some 30 years ago, astronomers found that regions of ionized gas around young high mass stars remain small (under a third of a light-year) for ten times longer than they should if they were to expand as expected in simple models. Recent supercomputer simulations predicted that these regions actually flicker in brightness over this period … Read More →... Read more »

C. G. De Pree, T. Peters, M.-M. Mac Low, D. J. Wilner, W. M. Goss, R. Galván-Madrid, E. R. Keto, R. S. Klessen, & A. Monsrud. (2014) Flickering of 1.3 cm Sources in Sgr B2: Toward a Solution to the Ultracompact H II Region Lifetime Problem. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 781(L36). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/781/2/L36  

  • January 29, 2014
  • 04:29 AM

Hydrogen is connecting galaxies - found about 22 million light-years away

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Astronomer has seen the river of hydrogen flowing through space with the help of NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT).

Published in:

The Astronomical Journal

Study Further:

The data presented by GBT is showing that the shining hydrogen is present between the larger galaxy and its smaller companions. Hydrogen can be seen in the image in the form of dense hydrogen in orange color and the extremely diffuse and extended field of hydrogen in red color. In th........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2014
  • 10:19 AM

Neptune-sized planet about 431 light-years away from Earth

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Astronomers have found Kepler-410Ab that is a Neptune-sized planet outside of our solar system in a binary star system.

Published in:

The Astrophysical Journal

Study Further:

Kepler-410Ab is found to be rotating around a star present in a binary system named Kepler-410 that is also known as HD 175289 or KOI-42. This system has a fast-rotating planet host star, Kepler-410A, and a fainter companion, Kepler-410B, and is present in the constellation Lyra about 431 light-ye........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2014
  • 10:06 AM

Quasar reveals “cosmic web” about 10 billion light-years away

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

Astronomers have found a gas cloud in the Universe that is the largest known to humanity. It is about 2 million light years across and reveals “cosmic web”.

Published in:


Study Further:

Astronomers utilize the 10-m Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and found the remote shining quasar UM 287 that shed light on the nearby gas cloud that is the largest known gas cloud, i.e. nebula, in the Universe. It is of about 460,000 parsecs ........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2014
  • 03:02 PM

Gaia-ESO data show Milky Way may have formed ‘inside-out’, and provide new insight into Galactic evolution

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Research on first data release from Gaia-ESO project suggests the Milky Way formed by expanding out from the centre, and reveals new insights into the way our Galaxy was assembled.

20 Jan 2014 University of Cambridge

We have been able to shed new light on the timescale of chemical enrichment across the Milky Way disc, showing that outer regions of the disc take a much longer time to form

Maria Bergemann... Read more »

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