Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Black holes, galaxies young and old visible in massive mapping of the night sky

October 04, 2007
Pitt researcher part of core group behind survey of 10 billion years

PITTSBURGH-Color images documenting the past 10 billion years of galactic evolution were distributed online this week as part of the first public release of data from a massive project to map a distant region of the universe that combines the efforts of nearly 100 researchers from around the world, including the University of Pittsburgh.

Researchers in the All-wavelength Extended Groth Strip International Survey, or AEGIS, observed the same small region of sky using all available wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum--from X-rays to ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and radio waves. The survey focused on the Extended Groth Strip, an area the width of four full moons near the "handle" of the Big Dipper constellation. Four color images from four different satellite telescopes, as well as numerous data catalogs tabulating the properties of and distances to tens of thousands of galaxies, are now available on both the AEGIS Web site and Google Sky, a downloadable program that allows home computer users to explore these distant galaxies up close and in sharp detail.

Pitt physics and astronomy professor Jeffrey Newman is a key member of the AEGIS project's core team, the Deep Extragalactic Evolutionary Probe, or DEEP2 team. That team measured optical spectra-detailed breakdowns of the amount of light of a given color we see--for 50,000 galaxies, including 14,000 galaxies in the Extended Groth Strip. These spectra tie together all of the AEGIS datasets by allowing the team to determine each galaxy's distance from Earth. Once the distance is known, astronomers know how far back in time light left a galaxy and, thus, its age. The most distant galaxies in the survey-up to 9 billion light years away-appear as they were only a few billion years after the Big Bang.

Newman then worked directly with Google's Pittsburgh office to convert data from AEGIS into color images for Google Sky and share the information with the general public. Google Sky users can view and explore the Groth Strip in ultraviolet, visible, infrared, or X-ray light--or combine perspectives. "Each wavelength provides unique information about the characteristics of distant galaxies," Newman said.

Newman also worked on the team that created the most detailed of the four color images being released: A visible-light mosaic of 63 separate snapshots from the Hubble Space Telescope. It is the largest unbroken color mosaic ever made with Hubble images and provides images of approximately 50,000 faraway galaxies, including infant and adolescent galaxies just taking on their mature forms.

AEGIS' second image shows the same galaxies through the ultraviolet eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). Young stars produce ultraviolet light in abundance; GALEX brightness therefore provides a measure of the rate at which each galaxy is forming stars. Galaxies that contain relatively few young stars or are obscured by dust or intergalactic gas will appear redder in the GALEX image.

The brightness of galaxies in the third image, taken with the Infrared Array Camera on NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, is closely related to the total amount of stars they have formed. The colors of a galaxy as seen through infrared eyes reveal information on both its contents (stars and dust) and its distance from us.

The fourth image, produced with data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, reveals the highly energetic X-ray radiation produced when gas spirals into a supermassive black hole, like those believed to lie at the center of almost every galaxy. Many of the X-ray-emitting objects lie buried within otherwise normal-looking galaxies. In the X-ray images, the bluest objects are the ones most obscured by gas within their host galaxies.

University of Pittsburgh


Related Galaxy Current Events and Galaxy News Articles


OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Earth's extremes point the way to extraterrestrial life
Bizarre creatures that go years without water. Others that can survive the vacuum of open space. Some of the most unusual organisms found on Earth provide insights for Washington State University planetary scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch to predict what life could be like elsewhere in the universe.

Discovering dust-obscured active galaxies as they grow
A group of researchers from Ehime University, Princeton University, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) among others has performed an extensive search for Dust Obscured Galaxies (DOGs) using data obtained from the Subaru Strategic Program with Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC).

Astronomers unravel the history of galaxies for the first time
A team of international scientists, led by astronomers from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy, has shown for the first time that galaxies can change their structure over the course of their lifetime.

New data from Antarctic detector firms up cosmic neutrino sighting
Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful new evidence in support of 2013 observations confirming the existence of cosmic neutrinos.

A detector shines in search for dark matter
Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter.

New theory: If we want to detect dark matter we might need a different approach
Physicists suggest a new way to look for dark matter: They beleive that dark matter particles annihilate into so-called dark radiation when they collide. If true, then we should be able to detect the signals from this radiation.

Detection of gamma rays from a newly discovered dwarf galaxy may point to dark matter
A newly discovered dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way has offered up a surprise -- it appears to be radiating gamma rays, according to an analysis by physicists at Carnegie Mellon, Brown, and Cambridge universities.

Sibling stars
The loose speckling of stars in this new ESO image is the open star cluster IC 4651, located within the Milky Way, in the constellation of Ara (The Altar), about 3000 light-years away.

Dark Energy Survey finds more celestial neighbors
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near our Milky Way galaxy.
More Galaxy Current Events and Galaxy News Articles

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams (Author)


"IRRESISTIBLE!"
--The Boston Globe
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time...

Galaxy: Mapping the Cosmos

Galaxy: Mapping the Cosmos
by James Geach (Author)


Each night, we are able to gaze up at the night sky and look at the thousands of stars that stretch to the end of our individual horizons. But the stars we see are only those that make up our own Milky Way galaxy—but one of hundreds of billions in the whole of the universe, each separated  by inconceivably huge tracts of empty space. In this book, astronomer James Geach tells the rich stories of both the evolution of galaxies and our ability to observe them, offering a fascinating history of how we’ve come to realize humanity’s tiny place in the vast universe.
           
Taking us on a compelling tour of the state-of-the-art science involved in mapping the infinite, Geach offers a first-hand account of both the science itself and how it is done, describing what...

I Owe You One Galaxy Book One: In Dreams

I Owe You One Galaxy Book One: In Dreams


Earth is a myth but the stars never lie. Mara and Jemma Noble have no other choice but to leave their home planet behind and find a new life somewhere amidst the constellations. But when their utopia turns out to be a land of nightmares they must work together to survive and outsmart an enemy that can’t be seen.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams (Author), Neil Gaiman (Introduction)


At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchiker series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.

Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of...

Operation Twin Trouble (Galaxy Zack)

Operation Twin Trouble (Galaxy Zack)
by Ray O'Ryan (Author), Jason Kraft (Illustrator)


Zack has to help his sisters make up after an out-of-this world argument in this twelfth Galaxy Zack chapter book adventure.

Zack’s twin sisters are the best of friends. They’re never apart, share everything, and even finish each other’s sentences! But when the two get into an argument while visiting another planet, an astronomical fight ensues. Suddenly, Zack finds himself stuck in the middle of a tricky twin situation. Can he save Cathy and Charlotte’s sisterly bond from intergalactic destruction?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!

Galaxies

Galaxies
by Timothy Ferris (Author)


Beyond the Milky Way and toward infinity, Timothy Ferris navigates an exploration of the universe, guided by stars and galaxies that have been photographed through telescopes at the greatest observatories in the world. The book celebrates the wonder and the power of the cosmos in these photographs, which take you through silvery star clusters and vast red, exploding nebulae toward blue quasars 15 billion light years away. Revealing not only the ingredients of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, Ferris' vivid text also visits local galaxies, such as the Magellanic Clouds, the Andromeda, and the Sculptor and Fornax dwarves. The author then proceeds to discuss the elliptical, spiral and even violent aspects of galaxies, concluding with an examination of cosmology, which adresses such subjects as...

Universe: Stars and Galaxies

Universe: Stars and Galaxies
by Roger Freedman (Author), Robert Geller (Author), William J. Kaufmann (Author)


This is an abbreviated volume of Universe, focusing on stars and galaxies. The various Universe books place the basics of astronomy and the process of science within the grasp of introductory students. The 5th edition has been updated with new material and new discoveries.

FCBD: Guardians Of The Galaxy

FCBD: Guardians Of The Galaxy
by Marvel


The Guardians are about to welcome two new members — including Captain Marvel and one Mystery Marvel Superstar you'd never expect to see with the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Galaxies

Galaxies
by Seymour Simon (Author)


This close-up look at our own Milky Way and other enormous clusters of stars describes the many different types of galaxies, how they were formed, and how they got their different shapes. "A dazzling photo-essay."--School Library Journal.

Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Force Awakens)

Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Force Awakens)
by Benjamin Harper (Author)


Discover the essential details of the best-loved ships from the Star Wars universe in this ultra-cool book that features a giant foldout with new ships from Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
 

From the Jedi starfighters to the one and only Millennium Falcon and more, learn all about the best and fastest ships in the Star Wars galaxy. Each page of this clever book uncovers amazing info and little-known facts about your favorite Star Wars ships. Open up the pages of the foldout to reveal even more Star Wars spacecraft!

 

© 2015 BrightSurf.com