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Galaxies Trapped in the Universe's Web.
Tue, 04 Apr 2006 - Although the galaxies we see in the night sky seem randomly strewn across the heavens, they're actually organized into large scale structures that look like cosmic filaments. These filaments and walls surround huge bubble-like voids that lack any large structures at all. European Astronomers measured the orientation of thousands of galaxies, and found that many are oriented in the direction of these linear filaments.
Tue, 04 Apr 2006 - Astronomers have located a gigantic cloud of methyl alcohol surrounding a stellar nursery. The cloud measures half a trillion km across (300 billion miles), and could help Astronomers understand how some of the most massive stars in the Universe are formed. It's methanol, not ethanol, so you wouldn't want to drink it if you could reach it.
Mon, 03 Apr 2006 - Researchers have harnessed the power one of the world's fastest supercomputers - the Earth Simulator - to model the growth of galaxies in the early Universe. The team simulated the process right from the beginning, shortly after the Big Bang, when clumps of gas came together to form stars which then merged into larger and larger collections, and finally became galaxies. They found that galaxies like the Milky Way probably have the same composition now as they did only a billion years after the Big Bang.
Mon, 03 Apr 2006 - The most powerful explosions in the Universe are the mysterious gamma ray bursts, which Astronomers now think are collisions between Neutron stars. A new simulation has calculated that in the moments after a collision, the explosion generates a magnetic field 1000 million million times more powerful than the Earth's magnetic field - the strongest magnetic fields in the Universe. The simulation took weeks on a supercomputer to calculate just a few milliseconds of a collision between Neutron stars.
Tue, 28 Mar 2006 - Astronomers from Boston University have carefully mapped the giant gas clouds in our region of the Milky Way, offering clues to the environment that helped create our Solar System. The team used a large Radio telescope that captures high frequency radio waves. When viewed at this wavelength, the clouds are far more transparent, and their inner structure is revealed. All of the clouds they've studied so far are lumpy, and will eventually be the birthplaces of stars.
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