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Weighing in at 40 billion times the mass of Earth, the giant cloud of mist swaddles a type of actively feeding supermassive black hole known as a quasar. Among the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe, quasars are black holes at the centers of galaxies that are gravitationally consuming surrounding disks of material while burping back out powerful energy jets. "As this disk of material is consumed by the central black hole, it releases energy in the form of x-ray and infrared radiation, which in turn can heat the surrounding material, resulting in the observed water vapor," said study co-author Eric Murphy, an astronomer with the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. The vapor around this particular quasar represents enough water "to fill all the oceans on the Earth over 140 trillion times—that's a lot of water."
Einstein Les physiciens de l'expérience internationale Opera ont mesuré des particules allant plus vite que la lumière, pourtant considérée jusqu'à présent comme une limite infranchissable. De quoi chambouler la théorie de la relativité ? J'ai publié un article ce matin dans Libération, il sera en ligne demain sur le blog.
Scientists have found the biggest and oldest reservoir of water ever--so large and so old, it’s almost impossible to describe. The water is out in space, a place we used to think of as desolate and desert dry, but it's turning out to be pretty lush. Researchers found a lake of water so large that it could provide each person on Earth an entire planet’s worth of water--20,000 times over. Yes, so much water out there in space that it could supply each one of us all the water on Earth--Niagara Falls, the Pacific Ocean, the polar ice caps, the puddle in the bottom of the canoe you forgot to flip over--20,000 times over.
An artist's rendering of the lunar core as identified in new findings by a NASA-led research team. NASA/MSFC/Renee Weber State-of-the-art seismological techniques applied to Apollo-era data suggest our Moon has a core similar to Earth's. Uncovering details about the lunar core is critical for developing accurate models of the Moon's formation.
Two planets previously discovered around Gliese 581 had a very small chance of being habitable because they were right on the edge of the habitable zone. One of them is shown in this artist's concept. (European Space Observatory) Astronomers believe they have found the first Earth-sized planet outside our solar system that is likely to support liquid water and therefore life. Planet "g," which orbits a red dwarf star called Gliese 581, is right in the middle of the star's "habitable zone," reported a team led by Steve Vogt of the University of California Santa Cruz and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.
I sometimes think I’ve seen everything there is in the sky, with nothing new left to see. Then I get a rude — but welcome — wake-up call. Check.
Cosmic geometry. A six-sided shape appears during a lab experiment to simulate Saturn’s north polar atmosphere. Scientists think the results can help explain the appearance of a gigantic hexagon on the planet ( lower right ). Credit: Anna Barbosa Agular; (inset) NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Published: Aug. 18, 2010 at 5:33 PM LONDON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- British astronomers say the discovery of a rare magnetic star, dubbed a magnetar, challenges widely accepted theories about the origin of black holes. Magnetars are a special type of neutron star with a powerful magnetic field formed by gravitational collapse after the original or progenitor star explodes in a catastrophic supernova, the BBC reported Wednesday.
With a mass of more than 10 000 suns packed into a volume with a diameter of a mere three light-years, the massive young star cluster in the nebula NGC 3603 is one of the most compact stellar clusters in the Milky Way and a natural lab to test theories for their formation, revealing whether the stars were in the process of drifting apart, or about to settle down. The cluster, formally known as the NGC 3603 Young Cluster, is about 20 000 light-years from the Sun which makes these measurements extraordinarily difficult. It is necessary to compare images that were made years or even decades apart. The telescope and camera used must give very sharp images and be extremely stable over long periods. A team of astronomers from the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and the University of Cologne led by Wolfgang Brandner realized that the Hubble Space Telescope was the best for the job.
Ever wanted X-ray specs or super-human vision? Chromoscope lets you explore our Galaxy (the Milky Way) and the distant Universe in a range of wavelengths from gamma-rays to the longest radio waves. Change the wavelength using the slider in the top right of the screen and explore space using your mouse. For more information we have a quick video tour or you can read more on our blog . If you get stuck, click "Help" in the bottom left. Chromoscope is kindly funded by the Cardiff University Astronomy and Astronomy Instrumentation Groups.