This week in space

Cosmic crashes forging gold: Nuclear reactions in space do produce the heaviest elements

Collisions of neutron stars produce the heaviest elements such as gold or lead. The cosmic site where the heaviest chemical elements such as lead or gold are formed has most likely been identified: Ejected matter from neutron stars merging in a violent collision provides ideal conditions. In detailed numerical simulations, scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and affiliated to the Excellence Cluster Universe and of the Free University of Brussels have verified that the relevant reactions of atomic nuclei do take place in this environment, producing the heaviest elements in the correct abundances.

Now, to figure out how to exploit this to produce large amounts of gold and other heavy elements for the manufacturing industry.

 Read about it HERE


Fermi's latest gamma-ray census highlights cosmic mysteries

Every three hours, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope scans the entire sky and deepens its portrait of the high-energy universe. Every year, the satellite's scientists reanalyze all of the data it has collected, exploiting updated analysis methods to tease out new sources. These relatively steady sources are in addition to the numerous transient events Fermi detects, such as gamma-ray bursts in the distant universe and flares from the sun.

Read about it HERE


Research team pinpoints location of elusive black hole using radio jets

A team of Japanese astrophysicists and space scientists have found a way to more precisely describe where in space a very large, but distant black hole lies. In their paper published in Nature, the team describes how they’ve used data from a large array of radio telescopes spread across the Pacific ocean to measure high energy emissions that are ejected from areas inside the galaxy M87 due to the actions of the massive black hole that lies somewhere near its center.

This should actually give us a way to detect ones we just don't see in the data at the moment.

 Read about it HERE


Supernova 'brightens up' September 7-8

The nearest supernova of its type to be discovered for 40 years is predicted to be at its brightest 7-8 September and will be visible through a good pair of binoculars.

Sorry I reported this to you all a few days late, I missed the best viewing of it myself though if it makes you any less upset.

 Read about it HERE



A blazar is a galaxy which, like a quasar, has an intensely bright central nucleus containing a supermassive black hole. In a blazar, however, the emitted light sometimes includes extremely high energy gamma rays, sometimes over a hundred million times more energetic than the highest energy X-rays that the Chandra X-ray Observatory can study. The overall emission has several other unique properties as well, including that its intensity can vary dramatically with time.

Sounds like we need to make an instrument better than Chandra to study these things, and then I imagine it'll show us something it can't study that's even more impressiveve.

 Read about it HERE


Our galaxy might hold thousands of ticking 'time bombs'

In the Hollywood blockbuster "Speed," a bomb on a bus is rigged to blow up if the bus slows down below 50 miles per hour. The premise - slow down and you explode - makes for a great action movie plot, and also happens to have a cosmic equivalent.

It's stuff like this that keeps me up at night... well this and millions of other things out there in space that could cease our existence in the blink of an eye. Basically with this one a new theory suggest that white dwarfs might be held up by their rapid spins and when they slow down enough... big bada boom

Read about it HERE