Tag: Spitzer space telescope

Latest NASA Spitzer Measure on Expanding Universe.Videos.

Those who follow the Theory of Relativity may be aware of the Expanding universe, that is The universe is expanding every second, with no boundary!

Hubble developed a system to calculate the expansion and this has been improved upon by The Spitzer Space Telescope of NASA.

Hubble used Long Infra Red Wave Length for measurement of the Expanding Universe.

By using the same procedure the Spitzer has made out calculations.

The expansion rate is mind-boggling.

If one were to take the factor of Time, one is aghast! (please read my post on Time,A Non Linear Theory)

“Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have announced the most precise measurement yet of the Hubble constant, or the rate at which our universe is stretching apart.

The Hubble constant is named after the astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who astonished the world in the 1920s by confirming our universe has been expanding since it exploded into being 13.7 billion years ago. In the late 1990s, astronomers discovered the expansion is accelerating, or speeding up over time. Determining the expansion rate is critical for understanding the age and size of the universe.

Unlike NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which views the cosmos in visible light, Spitzer took advantage of long-wavelength infrared light to make its new measurement. It improves by a factor of 3 on a similar, seminal study from the Hubble telescope and brings the uncertainty down to 3 percent, a giant leap in accuracy for cosmological measurements. The newly refined value for the Hubble constant is 74.3 ± 2.1 kilometers per second per megaparsec. A megaparsec is roughly 3 million light-years.

“Spitzer is yet again doing science beyond what it was designed to do,” said project scientist Michael Werner at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Werner has worked on the mission since its early concept phase more than 30 years ago. “First, Spitzer surprised us with its pioneering ability to study exoplanet atmospheres,” said Werner, “and now, in the mission’s later years, it has become a valuable cosmology tool.”

In addition, the findings were combined with published data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe to obtain an independent measurement of dark energy, one of the greatest mysteries of our cosmos. Dark energy is thought to be winning a battle against gravity, pulling the fabric of the universe apart. Research based on this acceleration garnered researchers the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics.

“This is a huge puzzle,” said study lead author Wendy Freedman of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena. “It’s exciting that we were able to use Spitzer to tackle fundamental problems in cosmology: the precise rate at which the universe is expanding at the current time, as well as measuring the amount of dark energy in the universe from another angle.” Freedman led the ground-breaking Hubble Space Telescope study that earlier had measured the Hubble constant.

Glenn Wahlgren, Spitzer program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said infrared vision, which sees through dust to provide better views of variable stars called cepheids, enabled Spitzer to improve on past measurements of the Hubble constant. “These pulsating stars are vital rungs in what astronomers call the cosmic distance ladder: a set of objects with known distances that, when combined with the speeds at which the objects are moving away from us, reveal the expansion rate of the universe,” said Wahlgren.

Cepheids are crucial to the calculations because their distances from Earth can be measured readily. In 1908, Henrietta Leavitt discovered these stars pulse at a rate directly related to their intrinsic brightness. ”


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Galaxy with ‘Split Personality Found’

Now it is the turn of the galaxy to have Split Personality!

Universe ,Study by NASA.

“RELEASE : 12-130

NASA’s Spitzer Finds Galaxy with Split Personality
 WASHINGTON — While some galaxies are rotund and others are slender disks like our spiral Milky Way, new observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is both. The galaxy, which is a round, elliptical with a thin disk embedded inside, is one of the first known to exhibit characteristics of the two different types. The findings will lead to a better understanding of galaxy evolution, a topic still poorly understood.

“The Sombrero is more complex than previously thought,” said Dimitri Gadotti of the European Southern Observatory in Chile and lead author of a new paper on the findings appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. “The only way to understand all we know about this galaxy is to think of it as two galaxies, one inside the other.”

The Sombrero galaxy, also known as NGC 4594, is located 28 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo. From our viewpoint on Earth, we can see the thin edge of its flat disk and a central bulge of stars, making it resemble a wide-brimmed hat. Astronomers do not know whether the Sombrero’s disk is shaped like a ring or a spiral, but agree it belongs to the disk class.

“Spitzer is helping to unravel secrets behind an object that has been imaged thousands of times,” said Sean Carey of NASA’s Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.. “It is intriguing Spitzer can read the fossil record of events that occurred billions of years ago within this beautiful and archetypal galaxy.”

Spitzer captures a different view of the galaxy than visible-light telescopes. In visible views, the galaxy appears to be immersed in a glowing halo, which scientists had thought was relatively light and small. With Spitzer’s infrared vision, a different view emerges. Spitzer sees old stars through the dust and reveals the halo has the right size and mass to be a giant elliptical galaxy.

While it is tempting to think the giant elliptical swallowed a spiral disk, astronomers say this is highly unlikely because that process would have destroyed the disk structure. Instead, one scenario they propose is that a giant elliptical galaxy was inundated with gas more than nine billion years ago. Early in our universe, networks of gas clouds were common, and they sometimes fed growing galaxies, causing them to bulk up. The gas would have been pulled into the galaxy by gravity, falling into orbit around the center and spinning out into a flat disk. Stars would have formed from the gas in the disk.

“This poses all sorts of questions,” said Rubén Sánchez-Janssen from the European Southern Observatory, co-author of the study. “How did such a large disk take shape and survive inside such a massive elliptical? How unusual is such a formation process?”

Researchers say the answers could help them piece together how other galaxies evolve. Another galaxy, called Centaurus A, appears also to be an elliptical galaxy with a disk inside it. But its disk does not contain many stars. Astronomers speculate that Centaurus A could be at an earlier stage of evolution than the Sombrero and might eventually look similar.

The findings also answer a mystery about the number of globular clusters in the Sombrero galaxy. Globular clusters are spherical nuggets of old stars. Ellipticals typically have a few thousand, while spirals contain a few hundred. The Sombrero has almost 2,000, a number that makes sense now but had puzzled astronomers when they thought it was only a disk galaxy. ‘


Related articles

infrared image of Sombrero galaxy
infrared image of Sombrero galaxy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two Suns at the same time.Videos.

Monday, 07 March 2011 09:16

China had two suns recently and there seems to be no valid explanation for the odd phenomenon. The appearance of the two suns comes just weeks after a rumor sent the web into a frenzy by saying that a star would soon blow up causing two suns to appear in the sky. Was this the star showing up or is there some other explanation for the odd event?


If nearby star Betelgeuse goes supernova we could end up with two suns in the sky.

Dr. Brad Carter of the University of Southern Queensland detailed a scenario in which if Betelgeuse went supernova it would create what would appear to be a second sun in the sky for several weeks, despite it being 1300 light years away.

Earth could be getting a second sun, at least temporarily. Dr. Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland, outlined the scenario to news. com. au. Betelgeuse, one of the night sky‘s brightest stars, is losing mass, indicating it is collapsing. It could run out of fuel and go super-nova at any time.





The Four Suns of HD 98800

How would it look to have four suns in the sky? Planets of the HD 98800 system, if they exist, would experience such a view.

HD 98800 is a multiple star system about 150 light years from Earth — right in our section of the Milky Way Galaxy. For years it has been known that HD 98800 consists of two pairs of double stars, with one pair surrounded by a disk of dust. Recent data from the Earth-trailing Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared light indicate that the dust disk has gaps that appear consistent with being cleared by planets orbiting in the disk. If so, one planet appears to be orbiting at a distance similar to Mars of our own Solar System. Pictured above is an artist’s drawing of how the HD 98800 system might appear to a nearby observer.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)



Giant Ring of Blackholes.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a new image of a ring — not of jewels — but of black holes. This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute, or STScI.

Arp 147 contains the remnant of a spiral galaxy (right) that collided with the elliptical galaxy on the left. This collision has produced an expanding wave of star formation that shows up as a blue ring containing in abundance of massive young stars. These stars race through their evolution in a few million years or less and explode as supernovas, leaving behind neutron stars and black holes.

A fraction of the neutron stars and black holes will have companion stars, and may become bright X-ray sources as they pull in matter from their companions. The nine X-ray sources scattered around the ring in Arp 147 are so bright that they must be black holes, with masses that are likely ten to twenty times that of the sun.

An X-ray source is also detected in the nucleus of the red galaxy on the left and may be powered by a poorly-fed supermassive black hole. This source is not obvious in the composite image but can easily be seen in the X-ray image. Other objects unrelated to Arp 147 are also visible: a foreground star in the lower left of the image and a background quasar as the pink source above and to the left of the red galaxy.

Infrared observations with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and ultraviolet observations with NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) have allowed estimates of the rate of star formation in the ring. These estimates, combined with the use of models for the evolution of binary stars have allowed the authors to conclude that the most intense star formation may have ended some 15 million years ago, in Earth’s time frame. 

These results were published in the October 1st, 2010 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. The authors were Saul Rappaport and Alan Levine from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Pooley from Eureka Scientific and Benjamin Steinhorn, also from MIT.

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S .Rappaport et al., Optical: NASA/STScI


Astronomers Reveal First Objects In Our Universe-Video.

June 1, 2007 — Astronomers removed light from closer and better known galaxies and stars from pictures taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The remaining images are believed to be the first objects in space, 13 billion light years away.

The first stars in our universe are long gone, but their light still shines, giving us a peek at what the universe looked like in its early years.
Astrophysicists believe they’ve spotted a faint glow from stars born at the beginning of time. Harvey Moseley, Ph.D., an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, says, “The reason they’re faint is just because they’re very, very far away, they’re over at the far edge of the universe.”
After the big bang, the universe stayed dark for about 200 million years. Now, new pictures reveal the first light from objects 13 billion light years away, the infants of our universe. “So, we’re seeing what sometimes people call the first light in the universe, which formed after the big bang,” Dr. Moseley explains.
Using pictures taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists first removed light from closer stars and galaxies. The light areas left in the background are believed to be the first objects in space. Alexander Kashlinsky, Ph.D., astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, says, “The early universe was a very hot place in this sense, like it was filled with objects that have been emitting light much more furiously than today.”
Researchers say the objects are either stars, hundreds of times more massive than our own sun, or enormous black holes. Either way, the pictures bring us one step closer to learning how the universe was born. NASA’s planned James Webb Space Telescope will be able to identify the nature of the newfound clusters and determine if they are stars or black holes.
BACKGROUND: Using a telescope as a time machine, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are closer to identifying the first objects of the universe. The latest observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that infrared light detected in a prior study comes from clusters of bright objects that lived within the first billion years after the Big Bang.
THE DARK AGE: According to current science, space, time and matter originated 13.7 billion years ago in a tremendous explosion called the Big Bang. A few hundred million years later, the first stars formed, ending the “dark age” of the universe. Astronomers believe the objects observed by the Spitzer telescope are either the first stars — hundreds of times more massive than our sun — or voracious black holes that are consuming gas and spilling out tons of energy. If they turn out to be stars, then the clusters might be the first mini-galaxies. Our own Milky Way was probably created when mini-galaxies like these merged.
IN THE INFRARED: The Spitzer scientists were looking specifically at the cosmic infrared background of the universe, a diffuse light from the early epoch when structure first emerged in the cosmos. A prior study reported in 2005 detected infrared light, suggesting that it originated from clumps of the very first objects in the universe. This second analysis indicates that this patchy light is scattered across the entire sky and comes from clusters of bright, monstrous objects more than 13 billion light-years away. Although that light began its journey as ultraviolet or visible light, by the time it reached earth, its wavelengths had been stretched into the infrared by the growing space-time that causes the universe’s expansion. Based on the strength of the infrared light signal, they concluded that the total amount of energy produced by the objects was so large, only very large stars or black holes consuming a lot of matter would be capable of emitting it. Other parts of the cosmic infrared background are from distant starlight absorbed by dust and re-emitted as infrared light.
SEEING IS BELIEVING: When we peer into space with a telescope, we are actually looking back in time. Telescopes detect emitted light, and the light that reaches us from the closest galaxy, Andromeda, for instance, has taken two million years to reach us. The Spitzer telescope looked at the first brilliant objects to exist in our universe. The Spitzer telescope scanned five areas of the sky for about 25 hours per region, collecting light even from the faintest of objects. Then astronomers meticulously subtracted light from things that were in the way, such as foreground galaxies and dust in our solar system, or in interstellar clouds. When all that was left was the most ancient light, the scientists studied fluctuations in the intensity of the infrared brightness, revealing a clustering of objects to produce the observed light pattern.
The American Astronomical Society contributed to the information contained in the video portion of this report.

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