Snippets

compiled by Surabhi Agarwal

Hubble view: A hungry starburst galaxy
Source: NASA; Published: Friday, May 2, 2014 in Science Daily

Messier 61. Credit: NASA

Messier 61. Credit: NASA

A new Hubble picture is the sharpest ever image of the core of spiral galaxy Messier 61. Taken using the High Resolution Channel of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, the central part of the galaxy is shown in striking detail. Also known as NGC 4303, this galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years across, comparable in size to our galaxy, the Milky Way. Both Messier 61 and our home galaxy belong to a group of galaxies known as the Virgo Supercluster in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) — a group of galaxy clusters containing up to 2,000 spiral and elliptical galaxies in total.

For the complete article go to: A hungry starburst galaxy

Nearby galaxy is a ‘fossil’ from the early universe
Source: Carnegie Institution; Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Science Daily

On the left, Segue 1 (note that you can't see the galaxy); on the right, the stars that are part of Segue 1 are circled.

On the left, Segue 1 (note that you can’t see the galaxy); on the right, the stars that are part of Segue 1 are circled. Credit: Marla Geha Yale University

Scientists analyzed the chemical elements in the faintest known galaxy, called Segue 1, and determined that it is effectively a fossil galaxy left over from the early universe. Stars form from gas clouds and their composition mirrors the chemical composition of the galactic gas from which they were born.

The complete article may be found at: Nearby galaxy is a ‘fossil’

First ever gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernovae discovered
Source: Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI); Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Science Daily

 Fireworks of cataclysmic stellar explosions outshining entire galaxies of stars. Credit: NASA

Fireworks of cataclysmic stellar explosions outshining entire galaxies of stars. Credit: NASA

Astronomers have discovered three distant exploding stars that have been magnified by the immense gravity of foreground galaxy clusters, which act like ‘cosmic lenses.’ These supernovae are the first of their type ever to be observed magnified in this way and they offer astronomers a powerful tool to check the prescription of these massive lenses.

Massive clusters of galaxies act as “gravitational lenses” because their powerful gravity bends light passing through them. This lensing phenomenon makes faraway objects behind the clusters appear bigger and brighter — objects that might otherwise be too faint to see, even with the largest telescopes.

For the full article go to: Type Ia supernovae discovered

Traces of recent water on Mars: Liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago
Source: University of Gothenburg; Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 in Science Daily

Debris flows. Credit: NASA/JPL/UofA for HiRISE

Debris flows. Credit: NASA/JPL/UofA for HiRISE

New research has shown that there was liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago. The southern hemisphere of Mars is home to a crater that contains very well-preserved gullies and debris flow deposits. The geomorphological attributes of these landforms provide evidence that they were formed by the action of liquid water in geologically recent time.

For the full story go to: Traces of recent water on Mars

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This entry was posted in May 2014, Sidereal Times and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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