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Astronomers recently announced the discovery of Sedna.
Astronomers recently announced the discovery of Sedna, a nearly Pluto-sized object on a 12,500 year-long orbit around the Sun. New computer simulations from the Southwest Research Institute demonstrate that Sedna could formed out past the orbit of Pluto, instead of being created closer to the Sun, and then ejected by the gravity of the gas giants. If this happened, it would mean that the zone of planetary formation in our solar system could extend much further than previously believed, and there could be other objects like Sedna lurking in outer reaches.
Black holes destroy, but they can also help create new stars according to research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope and various Earth-based observatories to see how intense jets of radiation ejected by a black hole interact with their surroundings. When the jets collide with regions of dense gas, they force them to collapse, creating regions of intense star formation. This process could be a key stage in the evolution of early galaxies, which have plenty of dense gas, but need a kick to get star formation going.
An international team of Astronomers think they've found the missing link between modern Galaxies like our own Milky Way to the Big Bang. The team spent 10 years mapping out the distribution of 220,000 Galaxies measured as part of an extensive survey of Galaxy position and motion. Shortly after the Big Bang, the universe contained slight irregularities, created by subatomic processes and sound waves moving through the superhot afterglow. These irregularities were amplified by gravity, eventually pulling material into the first stars and galaxies.
Last month's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami were powerful enough that they actually changed the Earth's rotation, decreased the length of day, and moved the North Pole. Not much, of course, but enough that scientists can actually measure the effect. scientists from NASA found that the length of the day shortened by 2.68 microseconds, and the North Pole shifted by 2.5 centimetres (1 inch). The Sumatran earthquake registered as a 9 on the Richter scale, making it the 4th largest earthquake measured in 100 years.
Astronomers have found three red supergiant stars which are huge; bigger than anything previously discovered. The three stars are called KW Sagitarii (9,800 light-years away), V354 Cephei (9,000 light-years away), and KY Cygni (5,200 light-years away). All three are 1,500 times bigger than our own Sun, and would reach out midway between Jupiter and Saturn if they were in our Solar System. These stars aren't extremely massive, though, they're only 25 times the mass of the Sun (stars have been discovered which have 150 times the mass of the Sun).
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