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Astronomy with a large helping of physics and a pinch of the other sciences.

Hubble-Spitzer Colour Mosaic of the Galactic Centre

Image credit: NASA, ESA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech), and Q.D. Wang (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). 

[High-res]

— 9 months ago with 255 notes
#astronomy  #hubble  #spitzer  #galactic centre  #long post 
NASA’S Spitzer Observes Gas Emission From Comet ISON

Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.
Images captured June 13 with Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera indicate carbon dioxide is slowly and steadily “fizzing” away from the so-called “soda-pop comet,” along with dust, in a tail about 186,400 miles (300,000 kilometers) long.
"We estimate ISON is emitting about 2.2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of what is most likely carbon dioxide gas and about 120 million pounds (54.4 million kilograms) of dust every day," said Carey Lisse, leader of NASA’s Comet ISON Observation Campaign and a senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. "Previous observations made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission and Deep Impact spacecraft gave us only upper limits for any gas emission from ISON. Thanks to Spitzer, we now know for sure the comet’s distant activity has been powered by gas."

Read more via NASA.gov
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/UCF

NASA’S Spitzer Observes Gas Emission From Comet ISON

Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.

Images captured June 13 with Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera indicate carbon dioxide is slowly and steadily “fizzing” away from the so-called “soda-pop comet,” along with dust, in a tail about 186,400 miles (300,000 kilometers) long.

"We estimate ISON is emitting about 2.2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of what is most likely carbon dioxide gas and about 120 million pounds (54.4 million kilograms) of dust every day," said Carey Lisse, leader of NASA’s Comet ISON Observation Campaign and a senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. "Previous observations made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission and Deep Impact spacecraft gave us only upper limits for any gas emission from ISON. Thanks to Spitzer, we now know for sure the comet’s distant activity has been powered by gas."

Read more via NASA.gov

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/UCF

— 1 year ago with 27 notes
#NASA  #Spitzer  #Comet ISON  #ISON 
NASA Chandra, Spitzer Study Suggests Black Holes Abundant Among The Earliest Stars

By comparing infrared and X-ray background signals across the same stretch of sky, an international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a significant number of black holes that accompanied the first stars in the universe. 
Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which observes in the infrared, researchers have concluded one of every five sources contributing to the infrared signal is a black hole. 
"Our results indicate black holes are responsible for at least 20 percent of the cosmic infrared background, which indicates intense activity from black holes feeding on gas during the epoch of the first stars," said Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. 
The cosmic infrared background (CIB) is the collective light from an epoch when structure first emerged in the universe. Astronomers think it arose from clusters of massive suns in the universe’s first stellar generations, as well as black holes, which produce vast amounts of energy as they accumulate gas. 
Even the most powerful telescopes cannot see the most distant stars and black holes as individual sources. But their combined glow, traveling across billions of light-years, allows astronomers to begin deciphering the relative contributions of the first generation of stars and black holes in the young cosmos. This was at a time when dwarf galaxies assembled, merged and grew into majestic objects like our own Milky Way galaxy. 
"We wanted to understand the nature of the sources in this era in more detail, so I suggested examining Chandra data to explore the possibility of X-ray emission associated with the lumpy glow of the CIB," said Guenther Hasinger, director of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and a member of the study team. 
Hasinger discussed the findings Tuesday at the 222nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Indianapolis. A paper describing the study was published in the May 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. 

Read more: [x]

NASA Chandra, Spitzer Study Suggests Black Holes Abundant Among The Earliest Stars

By comparing infrared and X-ray background signals across the same stretch of sky, an international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a significant number of black holes that accompanied the first stars in the universe. 

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which observes in the infrared, researchers have concluded one of every five sources contributing to the infrared signal is a black hole. 

"Our results indicate black holes are responsible for at least 20 percent of the cosmic infrared background, which indicates intense activity from black holes feeding on gas during the epoch of the first stars," said Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. 

The cosmic infrared background (CIB) is the collective light from an epoch when structure first emerged in the universe. Astronomers think it arose from clusters of massive suns in the universe’s first stellar generations, as well as black holes, which produce vast amounts of energy as they accumulate gas. 

Even the most powerful telescopes cannot see the most distant stars and black holes as individual sources. But their combined glow, traveling across billions of light-years, allows astronomers to begin deciphering the relative contributions of the first generation of stars and black holes in the young cosmos. This was at a time when dwarf galaxies assembled, merged and grew into majestic objects like our own Milky Way galaxy. 

"We wanted to understand the nature of the sources in this era in more detail, so I suggested examining Chandra data to explore the possibility of X-ray emission associated with the lumpy glow of the CIB," said Guenther Hasinger, director of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and a member of the study team. 

Hasinger discussed the findings Tuesday at the 222nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Indianapolis. A paper describing the study was published in the May 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. 

Read more: [x]

— 1 year ago with 37 notes
#physics  #astrophysics  #cosmology  #NASA  #Black holes  #Chandra  #Spitzer 
ulaulaman:

Spitzer Telescope Finds Hidden Jet
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope took this image of a baby star sprouting two identical jets (green lines emanating from fuzzy star). The jet on the right had been seen before in visible-light views, but the jet at left — the identical twin to the first jet — could only be seen in detail with Spitzer’s infrared detectors. The left jet was hidden behind a dark cloud, which Spitzer can see through. The twin jets, in a system called Herbig-Haro 34, are made of identical knots of gas and dust, ejected one after another from the area around the star. By studying the spacing of these knots, and knowing the speed of the jets from previous studies, astronomers were able to determine that the jet to the right of the star punches its material out 4.5 years later than the counter-jet. The new data also reveal that the area from which the jets originate is contained within a sphere around the star, with a radius of 3 astronomical units. An astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun. Previous studies estimated that the maximum size of this jet-making zone was 10 times larger. The wispy material is gas and dust. Arc-shaped bow shocks can be seen at the ends of the twin jets. The shocks consist of compressed material in front of the jets. The Herbig-Haro 34 jets are located at approximately 1,400 light-years away in the Orion constellation.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

ulaulaman:

Spitzer Telescope Finds Hidden Jet

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope took this image of a baby star sprouting two identical jets (green lines emanating from fuzzy star). The jet on the right had been seen before in visible-light views, but the jet at left — the identical twin to the first jet — could only be seen in detail with Spitzer’s infrared detectors. The left jet was hidden behind a dark cloud, which Spitzer can see through.
The twin jets, in a system called Herbig-Haro 34, are made of identical knots of gas and dust, ejected one after another from the area around the star. By studying the spacing of these knots, and knowing the speed of the jets from previous studies, astronomers were able to determine that the jet to the right of the star punches its material out 4.5 years later than the counter-jet.
The new data also reveal that the area from which the jets originate is contained within a sphere around the star, with a radius of 3 astronomical units. An astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun. Previous studies estimated that the maximum size of this jet-making zone was 10 times larger.
The wispy material is gas and dust. Arc-shaped bow shocks can be seen at the ends of the twin jets. The shocks consist of compressed material in front of the jets.
The Herbig-Haro 34 jets are located at approximately 1,400 light-years away in the Orion constellation.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(via scinerds)

— 2 years ago with 69 notes
#spitzer  #Herbig-Haro 34  #jets  #astronomy 
M104: The Sombrero Galaxy
The Sombrero Galaxy (NGC 4594) is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo located 28 million light years from earth. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero. The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of +9.0, making it easily visible with amateur telescopes. The large bulge, the central supermassive black hole, and the dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.
This galaxy’s most striking feature is the dust lane  that crosses in front of the bulge of the galaxy. This dust lane is  actually a symmetric ring that encloses the bulge of the galaxy. Most of the cold atomic hydrogen gas and the dust lies within this ring. The ring might also contain most of the Sombrero Galaxy’s cold molecular gas,although this is an inference based on observations with low resolution and weak detections. Additional observations are needed to confirm that the Sombrero galaxy’s molecular gas is constrained to the ring. Based on infrared spectroscopy, the dust ring is the primary site of star formation within this galaxy.
Image is composed from images taken by both Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

M104: The Sombrero Galaxy

The Sombrero Galaxy (NGC 4594) is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo located 28 million light years from earth. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its inclined disk. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero. The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of +9.0, making it easily visible with amateur telescopes. The large bulge, the central supermassive black hole, and the dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.

This galaxy’s most striking feature is the dust lane that crosses in front of the bulge of the galaxy. This dust lane is actually a symmetric ring that encloses the bulge of the galaxy. Most of the cold atomic hydrogen gas and the dust lies within this ring. The ring might also contain most of the Sombrero Galaxy’s cold molecular gas,although this is an inference based on observations with low resolution and weak detections. Additional observations are needed to confirm that the Sombrero galaxy’s molecular gas is constrained to the ring. Based on infrared spectroscopy, the dust ring is the primary site of star formation within this galaxy.

Image is composed from images taken by both Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

(Source: Wikipedia)

— 2 years ago with 16 notes
#Astronomy  #M104  #Messier objects  #NGC 4594  #Sombrero Galaxy  #Hubble  #Spitzer