Weekly Space Hangout – Jan 17, 2018: Dr. Bram Venemans and Distant Quasars

Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier ) Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org) Special Guest: Dr. Venemans is a research staff scientist working at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. His research topics include the discovery […]

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Weekly Space Hangout – Mar. 18, 2016: Song of the Stars

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Guests: Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Paul, one of our WSH regular panelists, will be talking about Song of the Stars, a project he is leading that brings astronomy to life using modern dance. Guests: Dave Dickinson (www.astroguyz.com / @astroguyz) Kimberly Cartier (@AstroKimCartier ) Their stories this week: The Launch […]

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Peer Into the Distant Universe: How to See Quasars With Backyard Telescopes

“How far can you see with that thing?” It’s a common question overhead at many public star parties in reference to telescopes. In the coming weeks as the Moon passes Full and moves out of the evening sky, we’d like to challenge you to hunt down a bright example of one of the most distant […]

Winds of Supermassive Black Holes Can Shape Galaxy-Wide Star Formation

The combined observations from two generations of X-Ray space telescopes have now revealed a more complete picture of the nature of high-speed winds expelled from super-massive black holes. Scientist analyzing the observations discovered that the winds linked to these black holes can travel in all directions and not just a narrow beam as previously thought. The black holes […]

Astronomers Catch A Quasar Shutting Off

Last week, astronomers at Yale University reported seeing something unusual: a seemingly stedfast beacon from the far reaches of the Universe went quiet. This relic light source, a quasar located in the region of our sky known as the celestial equator, unexpectedly became 6-7 times dimmer over the first decade of the 21st century. Thanks to this dramatic change in luminosity, astronomers now […]

When Two Supermassive Black Holes Merge, It’s a Galactic Train Wreck

Most large galaxies harbor central supermassive black holes with masses equivalent to millions, or even billions, of Suns. Some, like the one in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, lie quiet. Others, known as quasars, chow down on so much gas they outshine their host galaxies and are even visible across the Universe. Although […]

Distant Galaxies Reveal 3D Cosmic Web for the First Time

On the largest scales, networks of gaseous filaments span hundreds of millions of light-years, connecting massive galaxy clusters. But this gas is so rarified, it’s impossible to see directly. For years, astronomers have used quasars — brilliant galactic centers fueled by supermassive black holes rapidly accreting material — to map the otherwise invisible matter. But […]