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Posts Tagged ‘Spitzer’

NASA Chandra, Spitzer Study Suggests Black Holes Abundant Among The Earliest Stars

June 10, 2013 2 comments

By comparing infrared and X-ray background signals across the same stretch of sky, an international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a significant number of black holes that accompanied the first stars in the universe.

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which observes in the infrared, researchers have concluded one of every five sources contributing to the infrared signal is a black hole.

“Our results indicate black holes are responsible for at least 20 percent of the cosmic infrared background, which indicates intense activity from black holes feeding on gas during the epoch of the first stars,” said Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The cosmic infrared background (CIB) is the collective light from an epoch when structure first emerged in the universe. Astronomers think it arose from clusters of massive suns in the universe’s first stellar generations, as well as black holes, which produce vast amounts of energy as they accumulate gas.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/abundant-black-holes.html

NASA’s Spitzer Sees Light Of Lonesome Stars

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

A new study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope suggests a cause for the mysterious glow of infrared light seen across the entire sky. It comes from isolated stars beyond the edges of galaxies. These stars are thought to have once belonged to the galaxies before violent galaxy mergers stripped them away into the relatively empty space outside of their former homes.

“The infrared background glow in our sky has been a huge mystery,” said Asantha Cooray of the University of California at Irvine, lead author of the new research published in the journal Nature. “We have new evidence this light is from the stars that linger between galaxies. Individually, the stars are too faint to be seen, but we think we are seeing their collective glow.”

The findings disagree with another theory explaining the same background infrared light observed by Spitzer. A group led by Alexander “Sasha” Kashlinsky of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., proposed in June this light, which appears in Spitzer images as a blotchy pattern, is coming from the very first stars and galaxies.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-334

Ultra-Distant Galaxy Spied Amidst Cosmic “Dark Ages”

September 21, 2012 Leave a comment

With the combined power of NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes, as well as a cosmic magnification effect, a team of astronomers, including Carnegie’s Daniel Kelson, have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light from the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories was emitted when our 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old. Their work is published September 20 by Nature.

The far-off galaxy existed within an important era when the universe just emerged from the so-called cosmic Dark Ages. During this period, the universe went from a dark, starless expanse to a recognizable cosmos full of galaxies. The discovery of the faint, small galaxy therefore opens up a window into the deepest, remotest epochs of cosmic history.

Light from the primordial galaxy traveled approximately 13.2 billion light-years before reaching NASA’s telescopes. In other words, the starlight snagged by Hubble and Spitzer left the galaxy when the universe was just 3.6 percent of its present age.

Full Story: http://carnegiescience.edu/news/ultradistant_galaxy_spied_amidst_cosmic_“dark_ages

NASA Telescopes Spy Ultra-Distant Galaxy

September 21, 2012 1 comment

With the combined power of NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, as well as a cosmic magnification effect, astronomers have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light from the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories first shone when our 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old.

The far-off galaxy existed within an important era when the universe began to transit from the so-called cosmic dark ages. During this period, the universe went from a dark, starless expanse to a recognizable cosmos full of galaxies. The discovery of the faint, small galaxy opens a window onto the deepest, most remote epochs of cosmic history.

Unlike previous detections of galaxy candidates in this age range, which were only glimpsed in a single color, or waveband, this newfound galaxy has been seen in five different wavebands. As part of the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble Program, the Hubble Space Telescope registered the newly described, far-flung galaxy in four visible and infrared wavelength bands. Spitzer measured it in a fifth, longer-wavelength infrared band, placing the discovery on firmer ground.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-294

NASA’s Hubble Spots Rare Gravitational Arc from Distant, Hefty Galaxy Cluster

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Seeing is believing, except when you don’t believe what you see. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found a puzzling  arc of light behind an extremely massive cluster of galaxies residing  10 billion light-years away. The galactic grouping, discovered by NASA’s  Spitzer Space Telescope, was observed when the universe was roughly a  quarter of its current age of 13.7 billion years.

The giant arc is the stretched shape of a more distant galaxy whose  light is distorted by the monster cluster’s powerful gravity, an effect  called gravitational lensing. The trouble is, the arc shouldn’t exist.

Full Story: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2012/19/