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<p>How Gravity Can Bend Starlight</p>

<p>This illustration reveals how the gravity of a white dwarf star warps space and bends the light of a distant star behind it.</p>

<p>White dwarfs are the burned-out remnants of normal stars. The Hubble Space Telescope captured images of the dead star, called Stein 2051 B, as it passed in front of a background star. During the close alignment, Stein 2051 B deflected the starlight, which appeared offset by about 2 milliarcseconds from its actual position. This deviation is so small that it is equivalent to observing an ant crawl across the surface of a quarter from 1,500 miles away. From this measurement, astronomers calculated that the white dwarf's mass is roughly 68 percent of the sun's mass.</p>

<p>Stein 2051 B resides 17 light-years from Earth. The background star is about 5,000 light-years away. The white dwarf is named for its discoverer, Dutch Roman Catholic priest and astronomer Johan Stein.</p>
Observation confirms Einsteins general theory of relativity.
Astronomers have used NASA Hubble Space Telescope to repeat a century-old test of Einsteins general theory of relativity
<p>This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals an unusual sight: a runaway quasar fleeing from its galaxy's central hub. A quasar is the visible, energetic signature of a black hole. Black holes cannot be observed directly, but they are the energy source at the heart of quasars — intense, compact gushers of radiation that can outshine an entire galaxy.</p>

<p>The green dotted line marks the visible periphery of the galaxy. The quasar, named 3C 186, appears as a bright star just off-center. The quasar and its host galaxy reside 8 billion light-years from Earth. Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy.</p>

<p>The Hubble image combines visible and near-infrared light taken by the Wide Field Camera 3.</p>

<p>Courtesy: NASA</p>
Gravitational Wave Kicks Monster Black Hole Out of Galactic Core
Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

<p>Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy's gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy's ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory</p>
Milky Way-like Galaxies in Early Universe Embedded in 'Super Halos'
By harnessing the extreme sensitivity of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have directly observed a pair of Milky Way-like galaxies seen when the universe was only eight percent of its current age.
<p>NEOS Detector</p>

<p>Courtesy: ibs</p>
Finding the 'Ghost Particles' Might be More Challenging
Results from the NEOS experiment on sterile neutrinos differ partly from the theoretical expectations.


Earth’s Magnetic Field Reveals Details Of A Dramatic Past
ESA’s Swarm satellites are seeing fine details in one of the most difficult layers of Earth’s magnetic field to unpick – as well as our planet’s magnetic history imprinted on Earth’s crust.
Scientists Evade The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The study, published in Nature, reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Using Light to Control Curvature of Plastics
Researchers have developed a technique that uses light to get two-dimensional (2-D) plastic sheets to curve into three-dimensional (3-D) structures, such as spheres, tubes or bowls.

Science Facts

Saturn: The Basics

by NASA Headquarters and ScienceIQ.com

: Image Courtesy NASA To ancient astronomers, Saturn was a wandering light near the edge of the known universe. The planet and its rings have been objects of beauty and wonder ever since Galileo noticed the 'cup handles' that seemed attached to a round world. Saturn is a smaller version of Jupiter, made up of a similar mix of gases, mostly the very light hydrogen and helium. Like Jupiter, all we see of Saturn is the tops of its clouds. With their subdued hues of yellow, gray and brown, they lack the sharp, brightly colored belts of Jupiter. Above the clouds there seems to be a high haze of frozen ammonia crystals. Saturn's rings, its best known feature since Galileo's time, stretch far out around the planet, extending to more than half the distance from the Earth to the Moon. They actually consist of a series of individual rings separated by small gaps and composed of huge numbers of small particles.

Saturn has at least 15 moons, some only recently discovered by passing spacecraft. Among those that have long been known is Titan, one of the largest moons in the solar system, massive enough to retain a thick, cold atmosphere that obscures any view of its surface. Organic compounds are present on Titan, and it has occasionally been speculated that life may exist there.

Saturn is far out. A billion miles from Earth, the planet was not reached by any spacecraft until September, 1979, when Pioneer Saturn, after a six-year trip by way of Jupiter, flew past the rings to within 21,000 kilometers (13,000 miles) of Saturn's cloud tops. Voyager 1, with better, more sophisticated instruments (which had explored Jupiter in 1979) reached Saturn slightly more than a year after Pioneer. On November 12, 1980, Voyager 1 ducked under the rings, passed Saturn at 124,000 kilometers (77,000 miles) above the cloud tops, crossed the ring plane again, and headed out of the solar system at 90,000 kilometers per hour (56,000 miles per hour). In a few hectic days, the television cameras and other instruments of Voyager 1 told us more about Saturn, its rings, and its moons than was learned in all the centuries that people have studied this strange and beautiful world.


This actual Hubble image of Quaoar is a sum of sixteen separate exposures made with Hubble
The Kuiper Belt

The Kuiper (pronounced Ki-Per) Belt is often called our solar system's 'final frontier.' This disk-shaped region of icy debris is about 12 to 15 billion kilometers (2.8 billion to 9.3 billion miles) f ...
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This is an artist
Cosmos Provides Astronomers with Planet-Hunting Tool

If only astronomers had a giant magnifying glass in space, they might be able to uncover planets around other stars. Now they do -- sort of. Instead of magnifying a planet, astronomers used the magnif ...
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Artists conception of matter swirling around a black hole, both in the accretion disk and captured by the magnetic field.
Astronomers Glimpse Feeding Of A Galactic Dragon

A team of radio astronomers has found a cold ring of gas around a supermassive black hole in the fiery nuclear region of quasar galaxy 'QSO I Zw 1,' the most detailed observational evidence yet that g ...
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Science Quote

'The strength and weakness of physicists is that we believe in what we can measure. And if we can't measure it, then we say it probably doesn't exist. And that closes us off to an enormous amount of phenomena that we may not be able to measure because they only happened once. For example, the Big Bang. ... That's one reason why they scoffed at higher dimensions for so many years. Now we realize that there's no alternative... '

Michio Kaku
(1947-)


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