Gamma-ray burst blasted Earth in 8th century: study
Paris (AFP) Jan 21, 2013 – A mystery wave of cosmic radiation that smashed into Earth in the eighth century may have come from two black holes that collided, a study published on Monday says. Clues for the strange event were unearthed last year by Japanese astrophysicist Fusa Miyake, who discovered a surge in carbon-14 – an isotope that derives from high-energy radiation – in the rings of ancient cedar trees. Da … more

A Microquasar Makes a Giant Manatee Nebula
Charlottesville VA (SPX) Jan 22, 2013 – A new view of a 20,000-year old supernova remnant demonstrates the upgraded imaging power of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and provides more clues to the history of this giant cloud that resembles a beloved endangered species, the Florida Manatee. W50 is one of the largest supernova remnants ever viewed by the VLA. At nearly 700 light years a … more

Black holes growing faster than expected
Melbourne, Australia (SPX) Jan 22, 2013 – Astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia have discovered how supermassive black holes grow – and it’s not what was expected. For years, scientists had believed that supermassive black holes, located at the centres of galaxies, increased their mass in step with the growth of their host galaxy. However, new observations have revealed a dramatically different behaviour. … more