Posts Tagged ‘million light years’

Australian Study Backs Major Assumption of Cosmology

September 17th, 2012 09:40 admin View Comments


cylonlover writes “In mankind’s attempts to gain some understanding of this marvelous place in which we live, we have slowly come to accept some principles to help guide our search. One such principle is that the Universe, on a large enough scale, is homogeneous, meaning that one part looks pretty much like another. Recent studies by a group of Australian researchers have established that, on sizes greater than about 250 million light years (Mly), the Universe is indeed statistically homogeneous, thereby reinforcing this cosmological principle.”

Source: Australian Study Backs Major Assumption of Cosmology

Andromeda On Collision Course With the Milky Way

May 31st, 2012 05:20 admin View Comments


ananyo writes “From the Nature story: ‘The Andromeda galaxy will collide with the Milky Way about 4 billion years from now, astronomers announced today. Although the Sun and other stars will remain intact, the titanic tumult is likely to shove the Solar System to the outskirts of the merged galaxies. Researchers came to that conclusion after using the Hubble Space Telescope between 2002 and 2010 to painstakingly track the motion of Andromeda as it inched along the sky. Andromeda, roughly 770,000 parsecs (2.5 million light years) away, is the nearest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.’”

Source: Andromeda On Collision Course With the Milky Way

See a Supernova From Your Backyard

September 5th, 2011 09:00 admin View Comments


hasanabbas1987 writes “Want to catch a glimpse of the closest supernova astronomers have discovered in the last 25 years? All you need to do is get yourself a small telescope or a pair of binoculars (some DSLRs would do just fine as well). Astronomers think that they may have found the supernova within hours of its initial explosion on August 24. Generally, supernovas are around 1 billion light years away but this one is only 21 million light years away. The supernova is in the Pinwheel Galaxy and you can see it within the Big Dipper.”

Source: See a Supernova From Your Backyard

‘Instant Cosmic Classic’ Supernova Discovered

August 26th, 2011 08:52 admin View Comments


chill sends this quote from a news release by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “A supernova discovered yesterday is closer to Earth — approximately 21 million light-years away—than any other of its kind in a generation. Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools. ‘We caught this supernova very soon after explosion. PTF 11kly is getting brighter by the minute. It’s already 20 times brighter than it was yesterday,’ said Peter Nugent, the senior scientist at Berkeley Lab who first spotted the supernova. … the supernova is still getting brighter, and might even be visible with good binoculars in ten days’ time, appearing brighter than any other supernova of its type in the last 30 years.”

Source: ‘Instant Cosmic Classic’ Supernova Discovered

A Map of the Universe, 10 Years In the Making

May 26th, 2011 05:21 admin View Comments


gabbo529 writes “Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have created a map of the universe called the 2MASS Redshift Survey. The astronomers put in 10 laborious years in creating the map and it is what they call the most complete 3-D map of the local universe (out to a distance of 380 million light-years) ever created. 2MASS Redshift Survey extends closer to the Galactic plane than any other map of the universe before it; the region is generally obscured by dust.”

Source: A Map of the Universe, 10 Years In the Making

Supernova 2011b Gradually Fading

February 4th, 2011 02:00 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “The recent stellar explosion known as ‘supernova 2011b’ is gradually fading after outshining its host galaxy for over a month. The explosion first flared up in early January, and peaked at magnitude 12.9, putting it within the reach of many amateur telescopes. The host galaxy, NGC 2655, lies 64 million light years away, meaning that the star exploded while the dinosaurs still roamed the planet. My own sketches are available at”

Source: Supernova 2011b Gradually Fading

Deepest Space: Hubble Spots the Most Distant Galaxy Ever Seen

January 27th, 2011 01:22 admin View Comments

Its’ time for another mind-blowing, record-breaking discovery by the Hubble Space Telescope. This time, it’s creeping closer than ever toward the beginning of the universe.

From Phil Plait:

Astronomers have just announced they have discovered what may be the most distant galaxy ever seen, smashing the previous record holder. This galaxy is at a mind-crushing distance of 13.2 billion light years from Earth, making it not just the most distant galaxy but also the most distant extant object ever detected!

Named UDFj-39546284, the galaxy is seen as it was just 480 million years after the Universe itself formed! The previous record holder — which was announced just last October — was 13.1 billion light years away. This new galaxy beats that by 120 million light years, a substantial amount. Mind you, these galaxies formed not long after the Big Bang, which happened 13.73 billion years ago. We think the very first galaxies started forming 200 – 300 million years after the Bang; if that’s correct then we won’t see any galaxies more than about 13.5 billion light years away. Going from 13.1 to 13.2 billion light years represents a big jump closer to that ultimate limit!

For plenty more about this, check out the rest of Phil’s post at Bad Astronomy.

Image: NASA, ESA

Source: Deepest Space: Hubble Spots the Most Distant Galaxy Ever Seen

NASA Announces Discovery of 30-Year-Old Black Hole

November 15th, 2010 11:06 admin View Comments

broknstrngz tips news of an announcement today from NASA about the discovery of a black hole in the M100 galaxy, roughly 50 million light-years from Earth. The discovery is notable because, if confirmed, it’s now the youngest known black hole, born from the remains of a supernova we observed in 1979. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains why scientists think it collapsed to a black hole, rather than a neutron star: “The way a neutron star emits X-rays is different than that of a black hole. As a neutron star cools, the X-ray emission will fade. However, a black hole blasts out X-rays as material falls in; that stuff forms a flat disk, called an accretion disk, around the black hole. As this matter falls onto the newly created black hole, it gets heated to unimaginable temperatures — millions of degrees — and blasts out X-rays. In that case, the X-rays emitted would be steady over time. What astronomers have found is that the X-rays from SN1979c have been steady in brightness over observations from 1995 – 2007. This is very strong evidence that the star’s core did indeed collapse into a black hole.” He also warns that we’re not certain quite yet, and we’ll have to keep our eye on it to make sure it’s not a pulsar.

Source: NASA Announces Discovery of 30-Year-Old Black Hole

Black Hole Emits a 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Gas Bubble

July 9th, 2010 07:59 admin View Comments

PhrostyMcByte writes “12 million light-years away, in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. (Abstract available at Nature.) The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour.”

Source: Black Hole Emits a 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Gas Bubble

Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster Found

May 10th, 2010 05:39 admin View Comments

The Bad Astronomer writes “Astronomers are reporting that they have detected the most distant cluster of galaxies ever seen: a mind-smashing 9.6 billion light years away, 400 million light years more distant than the previous record holder. The cluster, handily named SXDF-XCLJ0218-0510, was seen in infrared images by the giant Subaru telescope, and confirmed with spectroscopy and the X-ray detection of million-degree gas (a smoking gun of clusters). Every time astronomers push back the record for clusters, they learn more about the early conditions of the universe, so this cluster will provide insight into how the universe itself changed over the first few billion years after the Big Bang.”

Source: Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster Found