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Tag Archives: Astronomy

In Some Places, Black Holes are Tearing Apart Thousands of Stars at a Time

At the heart of the more massive galaxies in the Universe, there are supermassive black holes (SMBHs) so powerful that they outshine all of the stars in their galactic disks. The core regions of these galaxies are known as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), or by their more popular-moniker “quasars.” The ongoing study of these objects has provided a testbed for ...

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Astronomy Jargon 101: Big Bang Theory

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be off to a good start with today’s topic: the big bang theory! The Big Bang theory is the current best understanding of the history of the Universe. The theory is a physical model, based on many lines of evidence, that says that our Universe was ...

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Imaging the Galaxy’s Centre in Unprecedented Detail Reveals More Mysterious Filaments

The inner 600 light years of our galaxy is a maelstrom of cosmic radiation, turbulent swirling gas clouds, intense star formation, supernovae, huge bubbles of radio energy, and of course a giant supermassive black hole. This bustling downtown of the Milky Way is a potential treasure trove of discovery but has been difficult to study as the galaxy’s central regions ...

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An Asteroid has Been Discovered With Three Moons!

Planets aren’t the only celestial objects with moons – asteroids can have them too. They are usually other, smaller asteroids in orbit around a larger central one.  Now, a team of Thai and French astronomers found an asteroid system with three satellites.  The new four-body system makes complex gravitational problems like the three-body problem look simple by comparison. The asteroid ...

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TESS Finds Almost 100 Quadruple Star Systems

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has found over 5000 candidate exoplanet candidates, and 197 confirmed exoplanets since its mission began in late 2018. TESS is good at finding exoplanets, but the spacecraft is a powerful scientific platform, and it’s made other discoveries, too. Scientists working with TESS recently announced 97 quadruple star candidates, nearly doubling the number of known ...

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Webb is Cool, but it Still Needs to get Cooler

Cooling things down in space is trickier than it might sound.  But that is exactly the process the James Webb telescope is going through right now.  Getting down to cryogenic temperature is imperative for its infrared imaging systems to work correctly.  While the telescope has already started, it will be another few weeks before the process is complete, and it’s ...

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Asteroids are Dangerous, but They Might Also be the Key to Life on Earth

Trying to piece together the appearance of life on Earth is a little like looking through a kaleidoscope. There are competing theories for where Earth’s water came from, and there’s incomplete evidence for how the Moon formed and what role it played in life’s emergence. There are a thousand other questions, each with competing answers. Sometimes, contradictory research is published ...

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