Radio Astronomy

“Vampire” Galaxy Sucks Star-Forming Gas from its Neighbors

by Jason Major January 27, 2014

What happens when a galaxy doesn’t have enough hydrogen to support its stellar production process? Why, it sucks it from its hapless neighbors like some sort of cosmic vampire, that’s what. And evidence of this predatory process is what’s recently been observed with the National Science Foundation’s Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, […]

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Fast Radio Bursts May Originate Closer to Home Than Previously Thought

by Shannon Hall December 13, 2013

Fast radio bursts — eruptions of extreme energy that occur only once and last a thousandth of a second — are continuing to defy astronomers.  At first observations suggested they came from billions of light years away. A new study, however, points to sources much closer to home: nearby flaring stars. “We have argued that […]

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Supermassive Black Holes Keep Galaxies From Getting Bigger

by Jason Major September 5, 2013

It’s long been a mystery for astronomers: why aren’t galaxies bigger? What regulates their rates of star formation and keeps them from just becoming even more chock-full-of-stars than they already are? Now, using a worldwide network of radio telescopes, researchers have observed one of the processes that was on the short list of suspects: one […]

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Newly Discovered Fast Radio Bursts May be Colliding Neutron Stars

by Shannon Hall August 16, 2013

The Universe is sizzling with undiscovered phenomena. Only last month astronomers heard four unexpected bumps in the night. These Fast Radio Bursts released torrents of energy, each occurred only once, and lasted a few thousandths of a second. Their origin has since mystified astronomers. Dismissing my first guess, which includes a feverish Jodie Foster verifying […]

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Podcast: The Arecibo Observatory

by Astronomy Cast May 11, 2013

The mighty Arecibo Radio Observatory is one of the most powerful radio telescopes ever built – it’s certainly the larger single aperture radio telescope on Earth, nestled into a natural sinkhole in Puerto Rico. We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the construction of the observatory with a special episode of Astronomy Cast. Click here to […]

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