Black holes that wander

Supermassive black holes that have escaped their host galaxies may be wandering the universe alone. Intriguing new observations i by NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope have | revealed what appears to be a supermassive | black hole being “kicked out of a galaxy at enormous speed,” Francesca Civano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics tells Space.com. Astronomers observed two distinct light […]

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Gold’s cosmic origins

gold meteor

All the gold on Earth was forged in the collisions of massively dense stars billions of years ago. Astronomers have come to this conclusion after observing and analyzing the afterglow of a crash between two neutron stars in a galaxy 3.9 billion light-years away that yielded a hoard of gold likely equal to the mass of 20 Earths. “At today’s […]

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Solar storm blasts Earth

The largest solar storm since 2005 swept across the planet this week, forcing airlines to reroute flights and disrupting communications from global positioning satellites. This spontaneous blast of solar radiation may have affected power grids and high-frequency radio communications in the northern latitudes, said the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center. A number of airlines, which route some U.S.-Asia flights over […]

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The most Earth-like planet yet

Have we found Earth’s twin? For the first time, astronomers have identified a planet outside our solar system that is both Earth-size and orbits its star in the so-called Goldilocks zone, where temperatures may be “just right” for supporting liquid water—and, therefore, life. Researchers discovered the planet while reviewing data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which has spent the past […]

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The biggest thing in the universe

British astronomers have identified a celestial object so large that it challenges scientists’ basic assumptions about the nature of the universe. Huge-LQG is a cluster of 73 quasars, each of which lies at the center of its own galaxy.The structure measures 4 billion light-years across at its greatest dimension; our own Milky Way galaxy, which is 100,000 light-years across, is […]

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Mapping the infant universe

Mapping the infant universe

Mapping the infant universe is no easy task. New data from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite is giving astronomers their most complete look yet at the very earliest moments of the universe. Planck, which measures microwave radiation, has created a heat map of the temperatures present in the universe a mere 370,000 years after the Big Bang. The data […]

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