background preloader

Scientists Now Know: We're From Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy!

Scientists Now Know: We're Not From Here! Summary & comments by Dan Eden for Viewzone "This first full-sky map of Sagittarius shows its extensive interaction with the Milky Way," Majewski said. "Both stars and star clusters now in the outer parts of the Milky Way have been 'stolen' from Sagittarius as the gravitational forces of the Milky Way nibbled away at its dwarf companion. This one vivid example shows that the Milky Way grows by eating its smaller neighbors." The study's map of M giants depicts 2 billion years of Sagittarius stripping by the Milky Way, and suggests that Sagittarius has reached a critical phase in what had been a slow dance of death. "After slow, continuous gnawing by the Milky Way, Sagittarius has been whittled down to the point that it cannot hold itself together much longer," said 2MASS Science Team member and study co-author Martin Weinberg of the University of Massachusetts. Does this mean we are at a unique moment in the life of our galaxy? From Dan Eden: Hi Dan,

Related:  astronomy, outer space and our solar systemGalactic astronomy

The 6 Most Mind-Blowing Things Ever Discovered in Space It's actually really easy to think of space as boring. The planets in our own solar system all seem to be empty rocks or balls of gas, and you find a whole lot of nothing before you get to the next star. Meanwhile, Hollywood's most creative minds can't get past populating the place with planets that look a whole lot like Earth (and specifically, parts of California) featuring monsters, rapey aliens or Muppets. But real space is far, far stranger. You just have to know where to look to find things like ... #6.

Extragalactic astronomy Galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field Extragalactic astronomy is the branch of astronomy concerned with objects outside our own Milky Way galaxy. In other words, it is the study of all astronomical objects which are not covered by galactic astronomy, the next level of galactic astronomy. As instrumentation has improved, more distant objects can now be examined in detail. It is therefore useful to sub-divide this branch into Near-Extragalactic Astronomy and Far-Extragalactic Astronomy. The former deals with objects such as the galaxies of our Local Group, which are close enough to allow very detailed analyses of their contents (e.g. supernova remnants, stellar associations).

Quark Star (update) Some of the strange stuff that is coming out about quark stars: 1) that quark stars may be connected to dark matter (or even dark energy?) Some dark matter might just be “strangelets” roaming the cosmos, blasted free from quark stars: or 2) That some smaller sized black holes may actually be quark stars: “Some black holes may actually be ‘quark stars’:” or 3) The light given off by a quark star is called bremsstrahlung emissions. Astronomical Resources on the Internet Astronomical Resources on the Internet Joe Kraus Science Librarian University of Denver, Denver, Pete Banholzer Technical Information Specialist Goddard Space Flight Center IntroductionAudience, Scope & MethodologyStarting PointsArticle & Preprint Databases Journals & Magazines Books Catalogs and Data Centers Organizations Software Observing Programs Telescope Making Educational Resources Online Star Charts Terminology Miscellaneous Web SitesReferences Introduction

Galactic astronomy Galactic astronomy is the study of our own Milky Way galaxy and all its contents. This is in contrast to extragalactic astronomy, which is the study of everything outside our galaxy, including all other galaxies. Galactic astronomy should not be confused with galaxy formation and evolution, which is the general study of galaxies, their formation, structure, components, dynamics, interactions, and the range of forms they take. Darkest exoplanet spotted by astronomers 12 August 2011Last updated at 11:09 By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News TrES-2b is literally darker, on average, than coal A dark alien world, blacker than coal, has been spotted by astronomers. The Jupiter-sized planet is orbiting its star at a distance of just five million km, and is likely to be at a temperature of some 1200C. The planet may be too hot to support reflective clouds like those we see in our own Solar System, but even that would not explain why it is so dark.

Newborn Star's 'Snow Line' Reveals Clues About Planet Formation Astronomers have identified the point where carbon monoxide (CO) freezes in the disk around a sunlike star — information that could help them understand how planets form. A team of international scientists has calculated the CO "snow line" for a star called TW Hydrae, determining that the gas solidifies at about the distance of the orbit of Neptune, where it could help feed the formation of the outer edges of the system. "The CO snow line is interesting, not only because CO is abundant in the disks, but its snow line is the most accessible to direct observations due to its low freeze-out temperature — it's farther away from the star," said principal investigator Chunhua Qi of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "It could mark the starting point where smaller icy bodies, like comets, and dwarf planets, like Pluto, would begin to form."

Top 3 Questions People Ask an Astrophysicist (and Answers) Credit: Alain R. | Wikimedia Commons Whether he's teaching class, socializing at a cocktail party or talking to visitors at the planetarium where he works, Charles Liu knows that sooner or later he's going to get asked at least one of three questions: Is there a god? Are there aliens? What would happen if I fell into a black hole? "I've never been in a public environment where people know what I do where at least one of these questions was not asked," Liu said.