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Astronomy.com - Interactive Star Charts, Planets, Meteors, Comets, Telescopes Mysterious New Object Discovered in Space A strange and mysterious new object in space may the brightest and long-lasting "micro-quasar" seen thus far, a miniature version of the brightest objects in the universe. The object suddenly began pumping out radio waves last year in the relatively nearby galaxy M82, some 10 million light-years away. Its discovery was announced Tuesday. "The new object, which appeared in May 2009, has left us scratching our heads — we've never seen anything quite like this before," said researcher Tom Muxlow, a radio astronomer at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory in England. M82 is a "starburst galaxy," one that churns out new stars at a prodigious rate. In comparison, the mystery object turned on very rapidly within a few days and has shown no sign of dying down, even after nearly a year. Quasars big and small Quasars are found in the center of galaxies and contain supermassive black holes. However, this newfound object seems to lie roughly 100 light years from M82's heart ?

Home The Second Law and Energy | MIT World How to See the Best Meteor Showers of 2010: Tools, Tips and 'Sav NASA JPL Home California Institute of Technology Michigan Sea Grant: Enhancing the sustainability of Michigan’s coastal communities, residents, and businesses through research, outreach and education. Dimensions Home A film for a wide audience! Nine chapters, two hours of maths, that take you gradually up to the fourth dimension. Mathematical vertigo guaranteed! Click on the image on the left to watch the trailer ! Free download and you can watch the films online! The film can also be ordered as a DVD. This film is being distributed under a Creative Commons license. Now with even more languages for the commentary and subtitles: Commentary in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian. Film produced by: Jos Leys (Graphics and animations) Étienne Ghys (Scenario and mathematics) Aurélien Alvarez (Realisation and post-production)

HubbleSite -- Out of the ordinary...out of this world. World's Biggest Tsunami | 1720 feet-tall - Lituya Bay, Alaska (As reported by Don J. Miller in United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 354-C, Giant Waves in Lituya Bay, Alaska, 1960) Account of Howard G. Ulrich Mr. "The wave definitely started in Gilbert Inlet, just before the end of the quake. Ulrich continued to watch the progress of the wave until it reached his boat about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes after it was first sighted. After the giant wave passed the water surface returned to about normal level, but was very turbulent, with much sloshing back and forth from shore to shore and with steep, sharp waves up to 20 feet high. Account of William A. Mr. and Mrs. The Badger, still at anchor, was lifted up by the wave and carried across La Chaussee Spit, riding stern first just below the crest of the wave, like a surfboard.

One Sad Monkey » Carl Sagan What lady could resist my turtleneck? I was listening to the love story between Carl Sagan and his third and final wife Anne Druyan from an episode in Radiolab. I kept playing it again and again because there this gigantic gap in the story that seems to require a giant cognitive leap that I just couldn’t make. Carl was on his second marriage with his wife Linda Salzman with which he had a child with. Anne Druyan was in a serious relationship with a man and the two couples were friends. Here is the story as written by Anne Druyan in the Epilogue of Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium with a few minor edits by me. In the early spring of 1977, Carl was invited by NASA to assemble a committee to select the contents of a phonograph record that would be affixed to each of the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft… Here was an opportunity to send a message to possible beings of other worlds and times. What message did she leave him? Carl and Anne Oh Snap!

X-Ray Observations Find Evidence for "Missing Matter" in the Uni Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter This artist's illustration (left) shows a close-up view of the Sculptor Wall, which is comprised of galaxies along with the warm-hot intergalactic medium (WHIM). Credit: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss; Spectrum: NASA/CXC/Univ. of California Irvine/T. Fang et al. From a Chandra press release: Scientists have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton to detect a vast reservoir of gas lying along a wall-shaped structure of galaxies about 400 million light years from Earth. An X-ray spectrum of the background source is given in the inset, where the yellow points show the Chandra data and the red line shows the best model for the spectrum after including all of the Chandra and XMM data. This result supports predictions that about half of the normal matter in the local Universe is found in a web of hot, diffuse gas composed of the WHIM. Source: Chandra Tagged as: Chandra, XMM-Newton

Bad Astronomy Well now, this is an interesting discovery: astronomers have found what looks like a "super-Earth" – a planet more massive than Earth but still smaller than a gas giant – orbiting a nearby star at the right distance to have liquid water on it! Given that, it might – might – be Earthlike. This is pretty cool news. We’ve found planets like this before, but not very many! And it gets niftier: the planet has at least five siblings, all of which orbit its star closer than it does. Now let me be clear: this is a planet candidate; it has not yet been confirmed. The star is called HD 40307, and it’s a bit over 40 light years away (pretty close in galactic standards, but I wouldn’t want to walk there). Massive planets tug on their star harder, so they’re easier to find this way. In this case, HD 40307 was originally observed a little while back by HARPS, and three planets were found. We don’t know how big the planet is, unfortunately. That’s exciting because of the prospect for life.

H2356-309 :: 11 May 10 Scientists have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton to detect a vast reservoir of gas lying along a wall-shaped structure of galaxies about 400 million light years from Earth. In this artist's impression, a close-up view of the so-called Sculptor Wall is depicted. Spiral and elliptical galaxies are shown in the wall along with the newly detected intergalactic gas, part of the so-called Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM), shown in blue. This discovery is the strongest evidence yet that the "missing matter" in the nearby Universe is located in an enormous web of hot, diffuse gas. The X-ray emission from WHIM in this wall is too faint to be detected, so instead a search was made for absorption of light from a bright background source by the WHIM, using deep observations with Chandra and XMM. This result supports predictions that about half of the normal matter in the local Universe is found in a web of hot, diffuse gas composed of the WHIM.

A hole in space… no really, an actual hole! | Bad Astronomy | Di Space is black. I mean, duh, right? But really, it’s black because it’s almost entirely empty, so even with stars scattered around, there’s nothing to light up. But some parts of space are bright: clouds of gas can be lit up by nearby stars, making them glow. NGC 1999 — seen here in a famous Hubble picture — has all these ingredients. A lot of the time those dense spots are where stars are being born, and the only way to see them is in the infrared. Here’s the Herschel image they got. Wait, what? So the astronomers followed up with more observations from the ground, and found something astonishing: it really is a hole, an actual empty region in the middle of a dense cloud! It turns out that the fault may lie in the stars themselves. NGC 1999 is a familiar object to a lot of astronomers. Surprises in science are the best results you can get. Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI), ESA/HOPS Consortium

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