Astronomers use massive objects in space as huge telescopes, find brightest galaxy via gravity lens

Whenever a massive object, with an equally massive gravitational pull, like black holes or galaxy clusters, falls between an observer, say a telescope, and a distant target in the background to be observed, than a gravitational lens is formed. Light emitted from the distant object gets twisted by the massive object, and ends up distorted at the telescope – this

Astronomers spot galaxy made out of mostly dark matter

Using a technique called ‘gravitational lensing’, astronomers were able to spot a dwarf galaxy, some 10 billion light years away, which they believe is made out mostly of dark matter. It is only the second ‘black dwarf’ ever found – why there are so few of them is one of the biggest questions in astronomy. Even though dark matter is

Top Astrophysicists Throng Goa (India) to Share Experiences on “Gravity and Cosmology” in VII International Conclave

Panaji (Goa-India), Dec 12, 2011: Hunt for finding the hypothetical massive elementary particle, the Higgs boson, popularly known as ‘The God Particle’. Exploring the pulls and pressures among the planets and the dark matter above. Building capacities to explore hitherto lesser known Universe to benefit humanity using science and technology tools through global collaborative efforts. This is what eminent astrophysicists

Astronomers find biggest, baddest black holes yet

Don’t get too close – you might not be able to get away. Researchers have found and measured the biggest black holes discovered so far – abyssal surfaces 10 times bigger than our Solar system – and several billion times heavier. Yes, you read that right; these unimaginable giants likely devoured billions of Sun in their existence, destroying them like

Don’t miss the last total eclipse of the year on 12/10

Lunar eclipses are one of the most dazzling sights you’ll ever have the chance of experiencing, though unfortunately they are rather rare events. Next week, on December 10, North American western residents will be able to experience the rare beauty of a total lunar eclipse – for some just a one in a lifetime opportunity. A lunar eclipse occurs when the

NASA’s Curiosity Rover prep to head for Mars

In a week filled with bad news for space exploration, astronomers finally have something to be happy about: the Mars Curiosity rover is ready to head towards the Red Planet, as NASA makes the final preparations for a launch scheduled for November 25. The rover is currently waiting patiently ontop an Atlas V rocket, just waiting for orders that will

100 year starship program seeds the future for mankind

This weekend one of the most fascinating symposiums of the year will take place in Orlando, Fla, where apparently “nut-case” scientists will seriously take key and discuss subjects like warp interstellar travel, terraforming planets in our solar system and beyond, as well as many other subjects taken off science fiction novels – for now, at least. The event called the “100-Year

Supercomputer simulation confirms Universe formation model

Astronomers at  UC Santa Cruz have set  a new benchmark for cosmological research for decades to come maybe, after successfully simulating the forming of distant galaxies, like our very own Milky Way, under the mysterious forces of dark matter and dark energy. Named Bolshoi – for the Russian word meaning “grand” or “great” – the simulation’s results are on par with what

Planet orbiting around two suns found by Kepler

A remarkable discovery which turns once again turns fiction into reality, the Kepler spacecraft has found the first confirmed planet to orbit around two suns, much like the iconic Tatooine in the Star Wars Universe. It’s by no means habitable, however. Located 200 light years from Earth and the size of Jupiter, the planet dubbed Kepler-16b, is half rock, half

Astronomers find best candidate for Earth-like planet, only 38 light years away

The HARPS team at the La Silla Observatory in Chile recently discovered a slew of 50 exoplanets, all in one go. Among these highly promising finds, lies a rocky planet, with a mass 3.6 times that of our Earth, which might offer conditions to support life. Dubbed HD 85512b, the super-Earth planet is located in the constellation Vela, just 38

SpaceX founder wants man to become a multi-planetary species

More than just a SciFi dream, Paypal founder and billionaire Elon Musk wants to make “man on Mars” a reality. Speaking at a recent spaceflight propulsion conference held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics on Tuesday, Musk unveiled during his keynote how his company, SpaceX, plans on sending humanity to Mars in coming decades. “Ultimately, the thing that is

Icy moon rains water on Saturn

For the past 14 years, astronomers have been scratching their heads trying to find out just where does the water in Saturn’s upper atmosphere comes from; now, ESA’s Herschel space observatory has solved that mystery – the water is expelled from Enceladus, one of the planet’s moons. Enceladus is eliminating about 250 kilograms of water every second through a set

Enormous water reservoir found in space is bigger than 140 trillion earth oceans

Astronomers have discovered the largest body of water so far known, a reservoir of water floating in space around a ancient distant quasar,  holding 140 trillion times the mass of water in the Earth’s oceans. Remarkably enough, the find was dated as being 12 billion light years away, only  1.6 billion light years farther from the Big Bang. “Since astronomers

[VIDEO] The ISS and Atlantis shuttle as seen in broad daylight

Incredibly enough, using a a simple, standard issued astrophotography set-up, amateur astronomer Scott Ferguson was able to film in incredible detail the ISS docked together with Atlantis as they both orbited above him – all in clear sky, broad daylight. How did he do this? Well, as equipment goes Scott, like I said, used a simple 20 cm (8 inch) telescope

NASA’s DAWN spacecraft successfully enters Vesta’s orbit. Snaps detailed photo

This weekend, NASA‘s DAWN spacecraft finally put a lot of tension and nerves to rest after it successfully entered Vesta’s orbit, the second largest object in the Asteroid Belt. The whole event took place at 1 a.m. EDT Saturday (0500 GMT), marking the first time a man made spacecraft entered the orbit of an object from the Asteroid Belt. Although

NASA spacecraft set to visit giant asteroid this weekend

After a four year journey, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will finally reach the orbit of Vesta, the second largest asteroid in our solar system. The object, located 117 million miles from Earth and spanning across a circumference of 329 miles, will be visited in premiere by Dawn this weekend when the latter will hover over on July 16. For whoever’s interested,

Most distant quasar in known Universe found

Astronomers have discovered the most distant quasar known so far, dubbed ULAS J1120+0641, powered by a supermassive black hole with a mass 2 billion times that of our sun – it’s also the brightest object in the known Universe. At a redshift of 7.1, placing it at only 770 million years after the Big Bang, the newly discovered quasar is so far away that

Incredible picture of the red Moon during the eclipse (with explanation)

I sure hope everybody knows what an eclipse is and there’s no need to pass through that again; if not, here’s the wikipedia article about eclipse. What I’m more interested in telling you about is why the Moon tends to get this delicious reddish hue during some eclipses – as observed in this fascinating picture. The matter can be understood