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Mergers in G-Major

There has been a surprising affinity between astronomy and music. Both needed the inspiration of the muses to be performed in Ancient Greece, and expressions like the Music of the Spheres just shows the profound link between these two realms of human genius. In space, nobody can hear you scream, but it didn’t stop Coltrane…

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See A Baby Star Hatching From Its Birth Cloud

A new-born star cloaked in a golden veil stands starkly against the black filament of the Circinus cloud. While it might sound like the beginning of a fantasy novel, this is simply the description of this spectacular Hubble Image The Space Telescope caught a phenomenal view of a young star, IRAS 14568-6304, as it emerges…

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More On Gravitational Waves

In a previous post, we discussed the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves and it’s importance for science as a whole. Now LIGO has observed another detection, and it has the incredible feature of being the first direct observation of a spinning black hole. The merging objects are also smaller (8 and 14 solar masses) but…

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Crazy Ways To Reach The Stars – SpaceUp:UK

Do you think the stars are too far away for your liking? Then this is perfect for you! In this talk, I cover very briefly all the potential solutions to take humanity from home to Alpha Centauri and beyond. I discuss Breakthrough propulsion systems Em Drive Wormholes the Alcubierre Drive The Starshot project The idea…

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What Would Being In Space Without A Suit Be Like?

Spacesuits are a fundamental tool for keeping astronauts safe in space, but the protection they supply is often mistaken, exaggerated or romanticised in science fiction.   Spacesuits are garments worn by astronauts to survive the harsh conditions of outer space.  They should be thought of as a single-person spaceship. They are built to protect astronauts…

This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a peculiar galaxy known as NGC 1487, lying about 30 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Eridanus. Rather than viewing a celestial object, it is actually better to think of this as an event. Here, we are witnessing two or more galaxies in the act of merging together to form a single new galaxy. Each progenitor has lost almost all traces of its original appearance, as stars and gas have been thrown hither and thither by gravity in an elaborate cosmic whirl. Unless one is very much bigger than the other, galaxies are always disrupted by the violence of the merging process. As a result, it is very difficult to determine precisely what the original galaxies looked like and, indeed, how many of them there were. In this case, it is possible that we are seeing the merger of several dwarf galaxies that were previously clumped together in a small group. Although older yellow and red stars can be seen in the outer regions of the new galaxy, its appearance is dominated by large areas of bright blue stars, illuminating the patches of gas that gave them life. This burst of star formation may well have been triggered by the merger.

Huge Black Hole Found Accidentally In Three-Way Merger

The wonderful thing about astronomy is that you might discover amazing things even when you’re not looking for them. This is the case for a team of Australian astronomers who were testing a new radio telescope and stumbled on an incredible finding. The researchers discovered a 3.8 billion solar-mass black hole at the centre of…