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Star formation

— Space

ALMA captures sharpest ever view of star formation in the distant universe

By - June 17, 2015 3 Pictures

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has succeeded in imaging star formation regions in a distant galaxy, with a resolution six times greater than that achievable by the Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy, dubbed HATLAS J090311.6+003906 or SDP.81, would ordinarily be far too distant to be observed in such impressive detail. However, thanks to an amazing cosmic coincidence, it has fallen foul of a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, which essentially grants astronomers the opportunity to gaze into the distant past.

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— Space

Astronomers create first 3D image of iconic Pillars of Creation

By - April 30, 2015 2 Pictures
Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory have used data from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument to compile the first 3D image of the Pillars of Creation, uncovering some key characteristics of the structures in the process. A shot of the magnificent structures composed of interstellar gas was first captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, and remains one of the most iconic images of space exploration to date. Read More
— Space

Hubble and VLT team up to reveal giant galaxies shutting down from the inside out

By - April 17, 2015 3 Pictures
Astronomers have used the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in conjunction with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to reveal the secrets of how star formation shuts down in distant galaxies, just three billion years after the Big Bang. Focusing on huge, quiescent elliptical galaxies known as spheroids, the findings are expected to improve our understanding of the evolution of the Universe. Read More
— Space

Researchers theorize two mechanisms that prevent prolific star creation in galaxy clusters

By - March 11, 2015 1 Picture
For a long time, scientists have been searching for an answer as to how galaxy clusters regulate the number of stars they create. Given that the amount of interstellar gas used to create the stellar giants exists in such abundance, this theoretically allows for the creation of many times the current number of stars. A team of researchers from MIT, Columbia University and Michigan State University believe they have found the answer. Read More
— Space

NASA aims to unlock mysteries of celestial giants by observing rare black hole

By - March 2, 2015 2 Pictures
Ever since they were theorized by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity back in 1915, black holes have captured the imagination and curiosity of the public and scientists alike. However, despite this popularity, relatively little is known about how these all-consuming giants evolve and shape the environment around them. NASA scientists are hoping to unravel some of these mysteries by observing an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) sitting 100 million light years away in the spiral arm of galaxy NGC 2276. Read More
— Space

Hubble captures stunning image of galaxies colliding

By - February 4, 2015 2 Pictures
NASA's venerated Hubble Space Telescope has captured a striking image of the larger galaxy NGC 7714 colliding with its smaller companion NGC 7715. A similar cataclysmic collision is due to take place between our own galaxy – the Milky Way – and our closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, in around four billion years. The image itself is a composite, comprised of a number of images captured by Hubble over a wide range of wavelengths. Read More
— Space

Discovery of new molecule suggests origins of life may reside in interstellar space

By - September 29, 2014 2 Pictures
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) group of radio telescopes have discovered a carbon-based molecule with a branched structure – a common feature in molecules that are required for life to form. Contained within a giant gas cloud in the star-forming region of Sagittarius B2, the molecule of isopropyl cyanide is the first hint that other complex molecules may form in space before finding their way to the surface of planets. Read More
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