For decades, astrophysicists have encountered a puzzling contradiction: although many galactic-wind models -- simulations of how matter is distributed in our universe -- predict that the majority of the "normal" matter exists in stars at the center of galaxies, in actuality these stars account for less than 10 percent of the matter in the universe.
A new set of simulations offer insight into this mismatch between the models and reality: the energy released by individual stars within galaxies can have a substantial effect on where matter is located in the universe.
The Feedback in Realistic Environments, or FIRE results suggest that the radiation from stars is powerful enough to push matter out of galaxies. And this push is enough to account for the "missing" galactic mass in previous calculations, says Philip Hopkins, assistant professor of theoretical astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and lead author of a paper resulting from the project.
Read more: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122153910.htm
Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up periodically from Ceres when portions of.its icy surface warm slightly. Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet.
Until now, ice had been theorized to exist on Ceres but had not been detected conclusively. It took Herschel's far-infrared vision to see, finally, a clear spectral signature of the water vapor. But Herschel did not see water vapor every time it looked. While the telescope spied water vapor four different times, on one occasion there was no signature.
The results are somewhat unexpected because comets, the icier cousins of asteroids, are known typically to sprout jets and plumes, while objects in the asteroid belt are not.
Read more: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122132535.htm
An international team of astronomers at Stellar Astrophysics Centre in Aarhus, Denmark, has discovered a new exoplanet, christened Kepler-410A b. The planet is about the size of Neptune and orbits the brightest star in a double star system 425 light years from Earth.
Read more: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122134022.htm
A research team led by Ali Javey, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, layered carbon nanotubes -- atom-thick rolls of carbon -- onto a plastic polycarbonate membrane to create a material that moves quickly in response to light. Within fractions of a second, the nanotubes absorb light, convert it into heat and transfer the heat to the polycarbonate membrane's surface.
The plastic expands in response to the heat, while the nanotube layer does not, causing the two-layered material to bend.
Video: Smart Curtains
This picture is a close up of the Orion nebula as you've never seen it before – the sharpest image of Orion ever taken. This image wasn't taken by Hubble, or Chandra, or any of our other space-based observatories. Instead, this image was taken by the Earth-based Schulman Telescope, located at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter. The image itself is a technological demonstration of a fantastic new feature available for Earth-based telescopes – the Adaptive Secondary Mirror (ASM).
To learn more about this awesome technology, see: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/the-orion-nebula-and-magao/
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