Category: "Saturn"

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  02:31:04 pm, by   , 161 words  
Categories: Saturn

Milky Way faster and heavier than thought


WASHINGTON DC: The Milky Way is spinning much faster and has 50 per cent more mass than previously believed, increasing the chance of a collision with another galaxy, say astronomers.

An international team of researchers have used ten telescopes spread out between Hawaii, the Caribbean and the northeastern United States to determine that the Milky Way is rotating at a speed of 161,000 km/h faster than previously thought.

Gravitational pull

That increase in speed boosts the Milky Way's mass by 50 per cent, said Mark Reid, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, in research presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting this week in Long Beach, California.

"No longer will we think of the Milky Way as the little sister of the Andromeda Galaxy," he said.

The larger mass, however, also means that the galaxy has a greater gravitational pull, which heightens the likelihood of collisions with the Andromeda galaxy or smaller nearby galaxies, Reid said.

  02:28:46 pm, by   , 93 words  
Categories: Saturn

Gravity betrays black heart of Milky Way


Gravity betrays black heart of Milky Way

PARIS: Studies of the movement of stars provide the best evidence yet that a huge, gravity-sucking hole sits at the heart of our galaxy.

The observations, to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, also offer the best proof that supermassive black holes – among the most enigmatic and powerful forces in the universe – really do exist.

By tracking the orbit of 28 stars inside the Milky Way for more than 16 years, scientists in Germany were able to trace the most detailed portrait ever obtained of these invisible monsters.

  02:13:22 pm, by   , 237 words  
Categories: Saturn

Milky Way map shows complex outer galaxy


SYDNEY: The Milky Way is encircled by streams of stars in shapes resembling a “jumble of pasta” according to scientists examining data from the biggest survey ever made of our galaxy.

The sky was mapped by the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) survey, which will ultimately create a detailed 3-dimensional map of the galaxy, featuring 240,000 stars.

Ripped apart

The survey has revealed new details of streams of stars that wrap around our galaxy. Astronomers found 14 distinct stream structures, 11 of them previously unknown. Many are believed to be dwarf galaxies on the margins of the Milky Way that were ripped apart by the gravity of their larger companion.

Kevin Schlaufman, lead astrophysicist behind the work at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said the new discoveries were just a small fraction of the mysterious structures waiting to be found within the Milky Way’s more than 100 billion stars.

"Even with SEGUE, we are still only mapping a small fraction of the Galaxy, so 14 streams in our data implies a huge number when we extrapolate to the rest of the Milky Way," he said.

The SEGUE project is part of the ambitious Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), being conducted by the 2.5-metre telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, USA. Schlaufman presented the results of the project earlier this month at the SDSS symposium in Chicago, Illinois.


  10:57:55 pm, by   , 77 words  
Categories: Saturn

Hexagonal Storm on Saturn's Pole

from: and

Hexagonal Storm on Saturn's Pole
Hexagonal Storm on Saturn's Pole

This nighttime movie of the depths of the north pole of Saturn taken by the visual infrared mapping spectrometer onboard NASA's Cassini Orbiter reveals a dynamic, active planet lurking underneath the ubiquitous cover of upper-level hazes. The defining feature of Saturn's north polar regions--the six-sided hexagon feature--is clearly visible in the image.

  10:38:13 pm, by   , 17 words  
Categories: Saturn

Amazing Images of the Saturnian System


The beautiful Cassini Probe Imaging:

Amazing Images of the Saturnian System
Amazing Images of the Saturnian System

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