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  • August 6, 2015
  • 01:22 AM
  • 92 views

Best evidence yet for active volcanism on Venus?

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewIn an article from Geophysical Research Letters, a team led by Eugene Shaygin used images taken by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) aboard Venus Express to identify transient hot spots on the surface. These hot spots are located near very young (~10 Mya) volcanoes and rifts, and are suggestive of active lava flows.Even though the surface is generally obscured from view by the thick clouds, there is a transparent window through which light can pass in the near infrared wavelengths, and t........ Read more »

Shalygin, E., Markiewicz, W., Basilevsky, A., Titov, D., Ignatiev, N., & Head, J. (2015) Active volcanism on Venus in the Ganiki Chasma rift zone. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(12), 4762-4769. DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064088  

  • August 5, 2015
  • 12:51 AM
  • 86 views

Quick Look: Vertical profiles of H2O, H2SO4, and sulfuric acid concentration at 45–75 km on Venus

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

An improved model for vertical profiles of water and sulfuric acid vapors as well as sulfuric acid concentrations in the Venus clouds is presented. From the April 2015 edition of Icarus:Title:Vertical profiles of H2O, H2SO4, and sulfuric acid concentration at 45–75 km on VenusAbstract:A method developed by Krasnopolsky and Pollack (Krasnopolsky, V.A., Pollack, J.B. [1994]. Icarus 109, 58–78) to model vertical profiles of H2O and H2SO4 vapors and sulfuric acid concentration in the Venus cloud........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 12:48 PM
  • 174 views

Research investigates whether solar events could trigger birth defects on Earth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Studies find airplane crews at high altitude are exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation from cosmic rays. But could these cosmic rays pose hazards even at sea level? In recent years, research has suggested congenital birth defects down on Earth’s surface could be caused by these “solar particle events” — spikes in cosmic rays from the sun that touch off the northern lights and sometimes hamper communications or the electric power grid.... Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 11:05 AM
  • 125 views

Quick Look: Touchdown on Venus: Analytic Wind Models and a Heuristic Approach to Estimating Landing Dispersions

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

I'm working through a lot of recent Venus-related papers, so here's another morsel for you that I will not have time to read in depth (I'm prioritizing articles relating to the Venusian surface). The author created a straightforward model of winds on Venus (using data from the VEGA Balloons and the Pioneer descent probes) to determine entry and descent dispersions for future Venus landers. From the April 2015 edition of Planetary and Space Science:Title:Touchdown on Venus: Analytic wind models ........ Read more »

  • July 19, 2015
  • 12:44 PM
  • 173 views

Dead galaxies in Coma Cluster may be packed with dark matter

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Galaxies in a cluster roughly 300 million light years from Earth could contain as much as 100 times more dark matter than visible matter, according to an Australian study. The research, published today, used powerful computer simulations to study galaxies that have fallen into the Coma Cluster, one of the largest structures in the Universe in which thousands of galaxies are bound together by gravity.... Read more »

Cameron Yozin et al. (2015) The quenching and survival of ultra-diffuse galaxies in the Coma cluster. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. info:/10.1093/mnras/stv1073

  • July 10, 2015
  • 01:23 AM
  • 111 views

Quick Look: Computer model shows imaging of Venus surface possible from balloon

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

From the April 2015 edition of Solar System Research:Title:Resolving the surface details on Venus in the balloon- or lander-borne images with a computer modeling methodAbstract:Due to the presence of opaque clouds at high altitudes, it is difficult to survey the surface of Venus in the optical spectral range. At the same time, in the under-cloud layer, there are transparency windows at the wavelengths λ = 1.08, 0.85, and 0.65 μm. At these wavelengths, the gaseous absorption (in the whole atmos........ Read more »

  • July 9, 2015
  • 01:22 AM
  • 153 views

Impact Crater Ejecta Mantling on Venusian Tesserae? Earth-based Radar Seems to Say Yes

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewThe Smithsonian's Bruce Campbell and his colleagues (Campbell et al., 2015) combined radar imagery captured in 1988 and 2012 by the Arecibo and Greenbank radio telescopes to better detect the parabola-shaped deposits of impact crater ejecta on Venus. They were looking for such deposits on the highly-deformed terrain of tessera regions, which are suspected of having formed at a time when there was still water on the surface.Previous researchers had identified large parabolic deposits of ........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2015
  • 06:06 AM
  • 208 views

Newly Found Galaxies Hold Clues About Universe Creation

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

With gravitational lensing, researchers have located population III stars in far galaxies.... Read more »

Rydberg, C., Zackrisson, E., Zitrin, A., Guaita, L., Melinder, J., Asadi, S., Gonzalez, J., Östlin, G., & Ström, T. (2015) A SEARCH FOR POPULATION III GALAXIES IN CLASH. I. SINGLY IMAGED CANDIDATES AT HIGH REDSHIFT. The Astrophysical Journal, 804(1), 13. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/804/1/13  

  • June 14, 2015
  • 12:05 AM
  • 183 views

Pluto and Planetary Pinball

by Angela Reisetter in Steeped in Science

A description of the formation of the solar system and how we think it got to be how it is today, with a focus on Pluto and Kuiper belt.... Read more »

Thayne Currie, Carey M. Lisse, Marc J. Kuchner, Nikku Madhusudhan, Scott J. Kenyon, Christian Thalmann, Joseph Carson, & John H. Debes. (2015) Direct Imaging and Spectroscopy of a Young Extrasolar Kuiper Belt in the Nearest OB Association. Astrophysical Journal Letters. arXiv: 1505.06734v1

Konstantin Batygin, & Gregory Laughlin. (2015) Jupiter's Decisive Role in the Inner Solar System's Early Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. arXiv: 1503.06945v2

  • June 7, 2015
  • 10:22 PM
  • 173 views

Looking back in time: newly discovered debris ring could shed light on early Solar System

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

How did our Solar System evolve to its current state?

That’s a difficult question to answer. Since the formation of the Solar System roughly 4.6 billion years ago, it has been in a state of constant change and evolution. Moons formed and planets shifted. Studying the evolution of the Solar System has been tricky because, well, we weren’t around to see it happen. While unearthing skeletons and imprints have helped us understand the evolution of plants and animals, similar records a........ Read more »

Thayne Currie, Carey M. Lisse, Marc J. Kuchner, Nikku Madhusudhan, Scott J. Kenyon, Christian Thalmann, Joseph Carson, & John H. Debes. (2015) Direct Imaging and Spectroscopy of a Young Extrasolar Kuiper Belt in the Nearest OB Association. Astrophysical Journal Letters. arXiv: 1505.06734v1

  • April 29, 2015
  • 06:01 PM
  • 324 views

Robot Discovers Two New Neighbors

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

Maunakea, Hawaii – A team of astronomers using ground-based telescopes in Hawaii, California, and Arizona recently discovered a planetary system orbiting a nearby star that is only 54 light-years away. All three planets orbit their star at a distance closer than Mercury orbits the sun, completing their orbits in just 5, 15, and 24 days. The paper is being published in the Astrophysical Journal.... Read more »

Benjamin J. Fulton, Lauren M. Weiss, Evan Sinukoff, Howard Isaacson, Andrew W. Howard, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Gregory W. Henry, Bradford P. Holden, & Robert I. Kibrick. (2015) Three Super-Earths Orbiting HD 7924. Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1504.06629v1

  • April 29, 2015
  • 06:00 AM
  • 323 views

Where Are All The Galaxy-Harvesting Alien Civilizations At?

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

The alien civilizations we search might be too advanced to be found.
... Read more »

  • April 24, 2015
  • 01:55 PM
  • 352 views

Hubble's 25th anniversary

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

Δεδομένης της ολοκλήρωσης των 25 χρόνων λειτουργίας του, παρουσιάζονται μερικές από τις σημαντ&iota........ Read more »

Periklis D. Livas. (2015) Hubble's 25th anniversary. Chilon. info:/

  • April 23, 2015
  • 10:35 AM
  • 278 views

of microwave noodles and extragalactic signals

by Greg Fish in weird things

FRBs just can’t seem to catch a break this month. First, they were an alien signal. Then just as quickly as they were attributed to aliens because the Daily Fail decided to get creative with two out of context words and no one seemed to bother to fact check them, the bursts were called a false signal caused by microwave interference. Not just any microwave interference mind you, but the kind in which you warm up leftovers [...]... Read more »

E. Petroff, E. F. Keane, E. D. Barr, J. E. Reynolds, J. Sarkissian, P. G. Edwards, J. Stevens, C. Brem, A. Jameson, S. Burke-Spolaor.... (2015) Identifying the source of perytons at the Parkes radio telescope. n/a. arXiv: 1504.02165v1

  • April 22, 2015
  • 08:03 AM
  • 258 views

why the great void didn’t cause the cold spot

by Greg Fish in weird things

Remember the anomalous Cold Spot, the bizarre, low temperature area spotted in the maps of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, or CMBR for short, the echo the Big Bang which gives us a very high level overview of the structure of our universe? Cosmologists bristled at an anomaly stretching some 1.8 billion light years and seemingly violating what we thought was a universal rule [...]... Read more »

Szapudi, I., Kovacs, A., Granett, B., Frei, Z., Silk, J., Burgett, W., Cole, S., Draper, P., Farrow, D., Kaiser, N.... (2015) Detection of a supervoid aligned with the cold spot of the cosmic microwave background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 450(1), 288-294. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv488  

  • April 21, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 223 views

peeking at dark matter during a tidal strip show

by Greg Fish in weird things

Dark matter is a substance that makes up nearly all mass in the universe, but decades after we discovered it, all we have are indirect measurements which show us that it’s there in very large amounts, forming galactic halos, but ultimately, little else. It doesn’t seem to interact with any of the stuff that makes stars, dust, and planets, it emits or reflects no radiation, and this utter lack of interesting properties we could study [...]... Read more »

Massey, R., Williams, L., Smit, R., Swinbank, M., Kitching, T., Harvey, D., Jauzac, M., Israel, H., Clowe, D., Edge, A.... (2015) The behaviour of dark matter associated with four bright cluster galaxies in the 10 kpc core of Abell 3827. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 449(4), 3393-3406. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv467  

  • April 20, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 243 views

Black hole hunters tackle a cosmic conundrum

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While mass media was busy misquoting Stephen Hawking and arguing about black holes, astrophysicists have been hard at work trying to solve still unanswered questions about them. Now a team has not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn’t supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.... Read more »

Thomas J. Whalen, Ryan C. Hickox, Amy E. Reines, Jenny E. Greene, Gregory R. Sivakoff, Kelsey E. Johnson, David M. Alexander, & Andy D. Goulding. (2015) Variable Hard X-ray Emission from the Candidate Accreting Black Hole in Dwarf Galaxy Henize 2-10. The Astrophysical journal . arXiv: 1504.03331v1

  • April 10, 2015
  • 08:06 PM
  • 402 views

The universe is expanding, but how fast?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We are expanding, well more accurately the universe is expanding. However researchers have found certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 465 views

Shields Up! Lay In A Course For Mars

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Deflector shields allowed Star Trek and other sci-fi franchises to have long space battles. Without them, one good strike and everyone was dead – that wouldn’t lend itself to sequels.

We don’t need shields for space battles yet, but we do need them to get to Mars. Cosmic radiation will kill or injure every astronaut unless we can deflect the radiation away from the spacecraft. We’re just about to build real deflectors, and our teachers are the magnetic fields we find ........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2015
  • 08:17 AM
  • 311 views

Modeling Life On Titan

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Lifeforms that live off methane instead of water are possible on Titan’s surface.... Read more »

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