astronomy

Moon plays lead role in new astronomical technique

Lunar occultation sky maps of Cygnus X-1 obtained using the Lunar Prospector Gamma-Ray Spectrometer. The features correspond to the location of the Moon’s horizon, projected onto the celestial sphere (equatorial coordinates), during intervals when Cygnus X-1 rose and set relative to the spacecraft. Also shown is an illustration of the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. Credit: Richard …

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Hubble finds universe may be expanding faster than expected

This illustration shows the three steps astronomers used to measure the universe’s expansion rate to an unprecedented accuracy, reducing the total uncertainty to 2.4 percent. Astronomers made the measurements by streamlining and strengthening the construction of the cosmic distance ladder, which is used to measure accurate distances to galaxies near and far from Earth. Beginning …

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Dozens of new variable stars found in a dense globular cluster

Messier 54 as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA June 1, 2016 by Tomasz Nowakowski (Phys.org)—Located some 87,000 light years away, a dense globular cluster named Messier 54 (also known as NGC 6715) is a real gold mine for astronomers. Recently, an international team has discovered dozens of new variable stars …

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Blowing bubbles in the Milky Way’s magnetic field

June 1, 2016 An international team of astronomers has discovered a possible connection between the magnetic fields of supernova remnants and that of our own Milky Way Galaxy. The study, recently published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, found that the orientation of supernova remnants can help astronomers understand the nature and shape of the …

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