Tag: telescope

Look at This: Colorful Birthplace of Galaxy’s Youngest Black Hole

By Breanna Draxler | February 14, 2013 10:18 am

This highly distorted supernova remnant may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. The composite image combines X-rays from Chandra (blue and green), radio data from the Very Large Array (pink), and infrared data from the Palomar Observatory (yellow). Image courtesy of NASA.

This colorful supernova remnant is called W49B, and inside it astronomers think they may have found the Milky Way’s youngest black hole. It’s only 1,000 years old, as seen from Earth, and 26,000 lightyears away.

From a vantage point on NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers observed and measured the remnant and determined it to be very unique. The supernova explosion of this massive star was not symmetrical like most, and instead of collapsing to form a telltale neutron star at its center, this supernova seems to have a black hole.

Read More


Asteroid Will Make Close Pass by Earth on Friday

By Breanna Draxler | February 12, 2013 9:24 am

This image shows a close-up view of Eros, an asteroid with an orbit that takes it somewhat close to Earth, though not nearly as close as 2012 DA14 will be on Friday. Image courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL

On Friday, February 15, astronomers will get an unusually good look at a near-Earth asteroid called 2012 DA14. It will be the first time a known object of this size will come this close to Earth—a mere 8 percent the distance between us and our moon.

The asteroid, which measures 150 feet across, was first spotted by astronomers when it zoomed by Earth this time last year. This asteroid’s fly-bys occur about once a year since its orbit around the sun is very similar to our own.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Physics & Math, Space, Top Posts

“Potentially Hazardous” Asteroid to Pass by Earth

By Breanna Draxler | January 7, 2013 3:03 pm

Eros, like Apophis, is a near-Earth asteroid.

Apophis is a big name in the world of asteroids, and on Wednesday the famed space object will be making an appearance for astronomers across the globe.

A flurry of apocalyptic hoopla was generated in 2004 when astronomers found an asteroid that looked like it may be headed for Earth. Apophis measures almost 1000 feet across, and if it were to hit Earth, the fateful collision would occur on Friday the 13th, in April of 2029. So astronomers set out to take more pictures of the asteroid’s orbit and better estimate the chances of a collision. As a clearer picture of its orbit emerged, the odds went from 1 in 300, to 1 in 45, to zero. But that doesn’t mean the threat is gone.

Read More

MORE ABOUT: asteroid, telescope

Star Formation is Coming to a Close

By Breanna Draxler | November 9, 2012 10:21 am

star formation
A composite image of a molecular cloud used as a model to determine how stars are formed.

Hot off the astronomical press: the star census is complete. An international team of astronomers has conducted the first, comprehensive survey of stellar formation in the universe. The undertaking was ten times bigger than any star formation study before it, and confirmed that the rate of star formation has slowed significantly over time. But the researchers upped the stakes with this one by finding that the universe is now almost out of star-making materials. 

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology

To Photograph Distant Planets, Just Turn Off the Starlight

By Sophie Bushwick | July 9, 2012 10:09 am

Although we can detect the planets orbiting distant stars through indirect methods, an optical image would provide much more information about how planets form and evolve. But those stars are so much brighter than the planets around them that the starlight simply drowns out the smaller orbs, like a flashlight beam in bright daylight. But now, researchers have developed an imaging system called Project 1640—a collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History, the California Institute of Technology, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory—that can create a dark space around a planet to snap its photo.

Update, July 16: The Project 1640 researchers provided some more images showing how the system works, so we assembled them into the gallery below.


Images courtesy of Project 1640


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.

See More

Collapse bottom bar