SOLAR SCIENCE
extra extra newspaperResearchers reveal model of Sun’s magnetic field
Leeds, UK (SPX) May 24, 2013 – Researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Chicago have uncovered an important mechanism behind the generation of astrophysical magnetic fields such as that of the Sun. Scientists have known since the 18th Century that the Sun regularly oscillates between periods of high and low solar activity in an 11-year cycle, but have been unable to fully explain how this cycle is generated. I … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
Riverside CA (SPX) May 27, 2013 – How much light has been emitted by all galaxies since the cosmos began? After all, almost every photon (particle of light) from ultraviolet to far infrared wavelengths ever radiated by all galaxies that ever existed throughout cosmic history is still speeding through the Universe today. If we could carefully measure the number and energy (wavelength) of all those photons – not only at the … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
U Alberta teams with citizen researchers 370 light years from Earth
Edmonton, Canada (SPX) May 28, 2013 – A University of Alberta physicist brought together back-yard astronomers and professionals to confirm the mysterious behaviour of two stars more than 300 light years from Earth. U of A astrophysics researcher Gregory Sivakoff was part of an international team that re-examined an established theory about periodic bursts of light coming from a binary star. The two stars are called a bi … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Hubble Sees a Swirl of Star Formation
Baltimore MD (SPX) May 28, 2013 – This beautiful, glittering swirl is named, rather un-poetically, J125013.50+073441.5. A glowing haze of material seems to engulf the galaxy, stretching out into space in different directions and forming a fuzzy streak in this image. It is a starburst galaxy – a name given to galaxies that show unusually high rates of star formation. The regions where new stars are being born are highlighte … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Galaxies Fed by Funnels of Fuel
Pasadena CA (JPL) May 28, 2013 – Computer simulations of galaxies growing over billions of years have revealed a likely scenario for how they feed: a cosmic version of swirly straws. The results show that cold gas – fuel for stars – spirals into the cores of galaxies along filaments, rapidly making its way to their “guts.” Once there, the gas is converted into new stars, and the galaxies bulk up in mass. “Galaxy for … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
A Hidden Population of Exotic Neutron Stars
Huntsville AL (SPX) May 28, 2013 – Magnetars – the dense remains of dead stars that erupt sporadically with bursts of high-energy radiation – are some of the most extreme objects known in the Universe. A major campaign using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other satellites shows magnetars may be more diverse – and common – than previously thought. When a massive star runs out of fuel, its core collapses to form … more

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Accurate distance measurement resolves major astronomical mystery
Washington DC (SPX) May 28, 2013 – Sometimes astronomy is like real estate – what’s important is location, location, and location. Astronomers have resolved a major problem in their understanding of a class of stars that undergo regular outbursts by accurately measuring the distance to a famous example of the type. The researchers used the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and the European VLBI N … more

EXO WORLDS
Big Weather on Hot Jupiters
Huntsville AL (SPX) May 28, 2013 – Among the hundreds of new planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft are a class of exotic worlds known as “hot Jupiters.” Unlike the giant planets of our own solar system, which remain at a safe distance from the sun, these worlds are reckless visitors to their parent stars. They speed around in orbits a fraction the size of Mercury’s, blasted on just one-side by starlight hundreds of times … more