Lord of the Rings distance pinpointed

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are a few ways to measure the distance of a star in our galaxy. Unfortunately when the Luminosity is unknown and it is too far away to use parallaxes method, we are stumped for ways to estimate the distance. Once in a while though we get lucky and we have events that allow us to calculate distance in other ways. Circinus X-1 is one of these events. Circinus X-1 is an x-ray binary; an x-ray binary is a system of two stars where material from one companion is accreting on the neutron star, which in turns emits x-rays.

Interstellar Travel Meets The Real Universe

Interstellar travel is about to go from a Sci-fi idea to physical reality, but the jump comes with a series of considerations that fiction writers don't have to consider. This could work as an introduction...

Cracking the Moon

The Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms) is the largest of the lunar maria (seas) covering roughly 4 million square kilometers (about the surface area of the EU). Its wide flat basaltic surface was believed...

The Very Hungry Supermassive Black Hole

We all get the munchies, but when you're a supermassive black hole (SMBH) your hunger might have dire consequences. And just like that an SMBH has outgrown its galaxy and jumped to the top of the heavyweight objects in the universe. About 12 billion light years from us, there is a galaxy called CID-947. It has a mass similar to our own Milky Way (about 1000 billion times the mass of the Sun) and it was only remarkable because it had an active galactic nucleus (AGN, i.e. an accreting SMBH).

Are there cows on Mars?

Obviously there are no cows on Mars but NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover detected an increase of methane in the atmosphere and organic molecules from the soil during one of its drilling sessions. The findings were...

Negative mass could theoretically exists in our Universe

Saoussen Mbarek and Manu Paranjape at the Université de Montréal in Canada have published a paper that details the conditions for negative mass to exist in our Universe without the need to include exotic...

Testing Relativity With Nothing

There are two big problems with astrophysics, and they are called dark energy and dark matter. Dark energy is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Dark matter keeps the galaxies together, and we...

Some Earths Like It Hot

Planetary systems form from the same cloud as its parent star. As the cloud contracts under the effect of gravity, the gas acquires more angular velocity. Spinning faster it flattens out into a disk...

Probing the furthest Universe to understand how spiral galaxies formed.

A new paper accepted for publication this month has highlighted how spiral galaxies came to form in the early Universe. By using the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a team lead by...

A billion-ton pounding: evidence of an asteroid encountering a pulsar.

 A pulsar is a highly magnetised fastly rotating neutron star which formed during a supernova explosion. The name pulsar is a portmanteau for pulsating star, because it emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation usually...

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