Astronomer maps massive hydrogen clouds zipping through space

December 6, 2017 by  
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In the halo of the Milky Way , there are mysterious gigantic clouds that zoom around at high speeds through space, and we may have finally unlocked a key that will help us understand them. Using telescopes, a scientist has created a detailed map of the clouds, revealing clumps, branches and filaments that have never been seen before. Astronomer Dr. Tobais Westmeier at the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research created a map that helps us understand these space phenomena. It revealed massive clouds of hydrogen: some are 80,000 light-years in diameter and have millions of times the mass of the sun. They move incredibly fast, between 43 and 56 miles per second. And they cover up to 13 percent of the sky. Related: Scientists find a massive black hole swirling in the Milky Way Scientists don’t know where these clouds originated, but some suggest that they could be leftover material from the formation of the galaxy, material falling into or out of our galaxy, or from interaction with nearby Large and Small Magellanic clouds. Dr. Westmeier has made the map available to anyone so that we can continue to learn more about these incredible formations. Via Science Alert

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Astronomer maps massive hydrogen clouds zipping through space

Don’t panic, but a massive hydrogen cloud is going to crash into the Milky Way

October 25, 2016 by  
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There’s a big cloud heading toward us, but it’s not the kind that looks like an elephant or your Uncle Todd. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has been tracking the so-called Smith Cloud , which is charging toward the Milky Way at some 700,000 miles per hour . Made up largely of hydrogen gas, Smith Cloud can’t be seen by the naked eye, but it can be detected with radio waves. Of all the gaseous clouds floating around in space (and there are a lot of them), this is perhaps the most famous and possibly even the most beloved, as its path toward our galaxy has been well-documented since its initial discovery in the 1960s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmmjpcl5mBk Earlier this year, NASA reported that the Smith Cloud began its journey toward the Milky Way around 70 million years ago, a conclusion scientists based on new data obtained by the Hubble telescope . The Smith Cloud, like others on the outskirts of our galaxy, contains the amount and types of gas plus heavy metals that suggest it could wind up producing millions of new stars. NASA data estimates the cloud, which has a comet-like shape, is “11,000 light-years long and 2,500 light-years across,” according to an earlier report . “If the cloud could be seen in visible light, it would span the sky with an apparent diameter 30 times greater than the size of the full moon.” Related: Newly discovered “ghost galaxy” full of dark matter is as big as the Milky Way Essentially, the Smith Cloud is getting whipped back into the outer edge of the Milky Way. It could be 30 millions years before the giant cloud of hydrogen gas  meets the edge of our galaxy, but in the meantime, NASA scientists are working to learn more about its composition, which would offer new clues about its origin. So far, they’ve learned the cloud is as rich in sulfur as the Milky Way’s outer disk, a region about 40,000 light-years from the galaxy’s center. That discovery indicates Smith Cloud was enriched by star material, leading scientists to believe it may have been hurled out of our galaxy at some point, rather than having its origins in a separate failed galaxy. What caused the hydrogen cloud to be ejected from the Milky Way is anyone’s guess, and NASA researchers are continuing to study the data and perform other tests to unlock more secrets hidden within this mysterious, invisible cloud. Via ABC7  and NASA Images via NASA

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Don’t panic, but a massive hydrogen cloud is going to crash into the Milky Way

Newly discovered ‘ghost galaxy’ full of dark matter is as big as the Milky Way

August 26, 2016 by  
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Astronomers have discovered, with the aid of some powerful telescopes, a galaxy made up mostly of dark matter . Dragonfly 44, as it has been named, is roughly the same size as our Milky Way but with far fewer stars. Rather, the galaxy appears to be composed largely of dark matter, which does not emit light or interact with electromagnetic radiation. Although there is much more to learn about the mysterious dark galaxy, scientists’ initial findings have surprised astronomy experts more than once. Studies of Dragonfly 44 began with curiosity, as many deep space explorations do, after it was identified last year as little more than a smudge-like spot on an image of the Coma Cluster of galaxies captured by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (above left). Right away, astronomers knew they had to investigate, and time-lapse images captured by the Gemini North telescope (above right) show the galaxy’s diffuse nature. “Very soon after its discovery, we realized this galaxy had to be more than meets the eye. It has so few stars that it would quickly be ripped apart unless something was holding it together,” Yale University astronomer Pieter van Dokkum, lead author of the study, told Phys.org. Related: Newly discovered dwarf galaxy may be falling into the Milky Way More powerful equipment was needed to get a better look, so the team turned to the W.M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini North telescope , in Hawaii, for help. Van Dokkum’s team was able to measure the velocity of stars in Dragonfly 44 by comparing images taken over six nights. Star velocity is a key element in gaining an understanding of the composition of a far-away galaxy, because it can help convey the galaxy’s mass. A higher velocity suggests a galaxy of higher mass. Knowing that the galaxy had very few stars (and thus not much light) but a mass closer to that of the Milky Way, researchers concluded that the newly discovered galaxy must be comprised mostly of dark matter . “Amazingly, the stars move at velocities that are far greater than expected for such a dim galaxy. It means that Dragonfly 44 has a huge amount of unseen mass,” said co-author Roberto Abraham of the University of Toronto. Further studies of Dragonfly 44 may help scientists finally come to an understanding of what dark matter actually is, which has eluded researchers since its existence was first suggested nearly a century ago. A paper on the initial study of Dragonfly 44 was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Via Phys.org Lead image via Dean Rowe ; additional image via Pieter van Dokkum, Roberto Abraham, Gemini, Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

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Newly discovered ‘ghost galaxy’ full of dark matter is as big as the Milky Way

Dyson is releasing a combination air purifier, bladeless fan, and space heater for $599

August 26, 2016 by  
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Thanks to Dyson ’s newest innovation, you will only need one outlet to run an air purifier , cooling fan, and space heater. The Pure Hot + Cool Link combines all three devices into one , saving space and money. Dyson integrated its Cool bladeless fan, Hot heater, and Pure Cool Link air purifier into one multipurpose, climate-controlling product. The Pure Hot + Cool Link uses the same revered HEPA filter used in other products, which is said to remove 99.97 percent of bothersome air particles. Nasty smells, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other forms of pollution are safely filtered away. Related: Dyson has developed an LED lamp that lasts for 37 years Hot or cool air can be dispersed throughout an entire room or in a targeted blast toward your reading corner. Auto mode can be enabled to take the guess work out of creating a comfortable environment and the whole system can be controlled with a smartphone app. The app also monitors air quality and can turn on its sleep function for quiet filtering. The $599 device will be available online starting September 8 and will hit stores on September 18, 2016. + Dyson Via  Gizmodo Images via  Dyson

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Dyson is releasing a combination air purifier, bladeless fan, and space heater for $599

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