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A ripple of bright blue threads through this galaxy like a misshapen lake system. The foreground of this image is littered with nearby stars with their gleaming diffraction spikes. A keen eye can also spot a few other galaxies that, while masquerading as stars at first glance, reveal their true nature on closer inspection. The central galaxy streaked with colour, IC 4870, was discovered by DeLisle Stewart in 1900 and is located approximately 28 million light-years away. It contains an active galactic nucleus, or AGN: an extremely luminous central region so alight with radiation that it can outshine the rest of the galaxy put together. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Hubble Images a Galaxy with Threads of Blue

Hubble Images a Galaxy with Threads of Blue A ripple of bright blue gas threads through this galaxy like a misshapen lake system. The foreground of this image is littered with nearby stars with their gleaming diffraction spikes. A keen eye can also spot a few other galaxies that, while…

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Top-down artist depiction of a tiny black hole and a pileup of gas and matter swirling toward the center. NASA

Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer ends mission after ‘listening’ to the universe

Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer ends mission after ‘listening’ to the universe Top-down artist depiction of a tiny black hole and a pileup of gas and matter swirling toward the center. NASA Silas Laycock, University of Massachusetts Lowell On May 1, NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer spacecraft reentered and burned up…

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Maxime Raynal/wikipedia

Thunderstorms create radioactivity, scientists discover

Thunderstorms create radioactivity, scientists discover Maxime Raynal/wikipedia Jim Wild, Lancaster University Thunder and lightning have sparked awe and fear in humans since time immemorial. In both modern and ancient cultures, these natural phenomena are often thought to be governed by some of the most important and powerful gods – Indra…

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Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

NASA Missions Catch First Light from a Gravitational-Wave Event

NASA Missions Catch First Light from a Gravitational-Wave Event For the first time, NASA scientists have detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event, thanks to two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. Shortly after 8:41 a.m. EDT…

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The Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), a network of thousands of linked radio antennas, primarily located in the Netherlands, has discovered two new millisecond pulsars by investigating previously unknown gamma-ray sources uncovered by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Pulsar J0952-0607, highlighted near center right, rotates 707 times a second and now ranks as second-fastest pulsar known. The location of LOFAR's first millisecond pulsar discovery, J1552+5437, which spins 412 times a second, is shown at upper left. Radio emission from both pulsars dims quickly at higher radio frequencies, making them ideally suited for LOFAR. The top of this composite image shows a portion of the gamma-ray sky as seen by Fermi. At the bottom is the LOFAR "superterp" near Exloo, the Netherlands, which houses the facility's core antenna stations. Credits: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration and ASTRON

‘Extreme’ Telescopes Find the Second-fastest-spinning Pulsar

‘Extreme’ Telescopes Find the Second-fastest-spinning Pulsar By following up on mysterious high-energy sources mapped out by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the Netherlands-based Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescopehas identified a pulsar spinning at more than 42,000 revolutions per minute, making it the second-fastest known. A pulsar is the core of a massive…

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