discoverySoccer Balls in Interstellar Space
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Mar 11, 2013 – An international team of astronomers led by Masaaki Otsuka (Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics or ASIAA) has detected the C60 fullerene (molecules of carbon with 60 atoms arranged in patterns resembling a soccer ball) (Note 1) in the dying star M1-11. Data from the Subaru Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the 1.88 m telescope at th … more

Distance to nearest galaxy measured
Pasadena CA (SPX) Mar 11, 2013 – A team of astronomers including Carnegie’s Ian Thompson have managed to improve the measurement of the distance to our nearest neighbor galaxy and, in the process, refine an astronomical calculation that helps measure the expansion of the universe. Their work is published March 7 by Nature. The Hubble constant is a fundamental quantity that measures the current rate at which our universe i … more

CSI: Milky Way
Nashville TN (SPX) Mar 11, 2013 – These days the core of the Milky Way galaxy is a pretty tame place…cosmically speaking. The galactic black hole at the center is a sleeping giant. Existing stars are peacefully circling. Although conditions are favorable, there doesn’t even seem to be much new star formation going on. But there is growing evidence that several million years ago the galactic center was the site of all man … more

New 3-D reconstructions show buried flood channels on Mars
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 11, 2013 – New maps of the subsurface of Mars show for the first time buried channels below the surface of the red planet. Mars is considered to have been cold and dry over the past 2.5 billion years, but these channels suggest evidence of flooding. Understanding the source and scale of the young channels present in Elysium Planitia-an expanse of plains along the equator, and the youngest volcanic re … more

Hubble Finds Birth Certificate of Oldest Known Star
Baltimore, MD (SPX) Mar 11, 2013 – A team of astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken an important step closer to finding the birth certificate of a star that’s been around for a very long time. “We have found that this is the oldest known star with a well-determined age,” said Howard Bond of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. … more