Orion Revisited: Astronomers Find New Star Cluster in Front of the Orion Nebula

by Jason Major November 25, 2012

The well-known star-forming region of the Orion Nebula. ¬†Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope / Coelum (J.-C. Cuillandre & G. Anselmi) Precise distances are difficult to gauge in space, especially within the relatively local regions of the Galaxy. Stars which appear close together in the night sky may actually be separated by many hundreds or thousands of light-years, […]

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Hot Gas Bridge Discovered Connecting Galaxy Clusters

by Jason Major November 20, 2012

An “bridge” of hot gas stretches between galaxy clusters Abell 401 and¬†Abell 399 It may not be good practice to burn bridges but this is one super-heated bridge that astronomers were happy to find: an enormous swath of hot gas connecting two galaxy clusters 10 million light-years apart, and nearly a billion light-years away. Jason […]

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Do Stars Really Form in Clusters?

by Jon Voisey September 9, 2010

The long standing view on the formation of stars is that they form in clusters. This theory is supported by understanding of the formation process that requires large clouds of gas and dust to be able to condense. Small clouds with enough mass to only form one star just can’t meet the required conditions to […]

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How to Crash Stars Together

by Jon Voisey September 3, 2010

The math is simple: Star + Other star = Bigger star. While conceptually this works well, it fails to take into account the extremely vast distances between stars. Even in clusters, where the density of stars is significantly higher than in the main disk, the number of stars per unit volume is so low that […]

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Dark Matter in Distant Galaxy Groups Mapped for the First Time

by Jean Tate February 21, 2010

Galaxy density in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field, with colors representing the redshift of the galaxies, ranging from redshift of 0.2 (blue) to 1 (red). Pink x-ray contours show the extended x-ray emission as observed by XMM-Newton. Dark matter (actually cold, dark – non-baryonic – matter) can be detected only by its gravitational influence. […]

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