ECLIPSES
A Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses
Huntsville AL (SPX) Mar 31, 2014 – For people in the United States, an extraordinary series of lunar eclipses is about to begin. The action starts on April 15th when the full Moon passes through the amber shadow of Earth, producing a midnight eclipse visible across North America. So begins a lunar eclipse tetrad-a series of 4 consecutive total eclipses occurring at approximately six month intervals. The total eclipse of Apr … more

TIME AND SPACE
The Search for Seeds of Black Holes
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 31, 2014 – How do you grow a supermassive black hole that is a million to a billion times the mass of our sun? Astronomers do not know the answer, but a new study using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has turned up what might be the cosmic seeds from which a black hole will sprout. The results are helping scientists piece together the evolution of supermassive black holes – … more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Dark energy hides behind phantom fields
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Mar 31, 2014 – Quintessence and phantom fields, two hypotheses formulated using data from satellites, such as Planck and WMAP, are among the many theories that try to explain the nature of dark energy. Now researchers from Barcelona and Athens suggest that both possibilities are only a mirage in the observations and it is the quantum vacuum which could be behind this energy that moves our universe. Cosmo … more