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Astronomy picture of the day

Milky Way over Devils Tower

Star of the Week

  • FF AQL (FF Aquilae)

    Aquila is known for many things, among them a beautiful part of the Milky Way and the first-known Cepheid variable, Eta Aquilae, discovered by Edward Pigott in 1786. While fourth magnitude Eta Aql, eight degrees south of Altair, dominates Aquila's Cepheid scene, it's not the only one visible to the naked eye. In the far northwestern corner of the constellation lies the fifth magnitude (averaging 5.38) class F (nominally F8) supergiant FF Aquilae, known best by its two-letter variable-star name. ... Full Details

News

Looney and Stephens

  • Sculpting solar systems: Magnetic fields seen for first time

    Illinois astronomy professor Leslie Looney (left) and former graduate student Ian Stephens, now at Boston University, studied a newborn star to see, for the first time, the magnetic field that will shape the planets of that star’s solar system. ... Full Details

  • Matt Turk has been named a Moore Investigator in Data-Driven Discovery

    Matthew Turk has been named a recipient of a Moore Investigator Award in Data-Driven Discovery from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. These awards are part of the foundation’s Data-Driven Discovery Initiative, which is committed to enabling new types of scientific breakthroughs by supporting interdisciplinary, data-driven researchers.Turk plans to use the five-year award to further develop the “yt project,” which he founded to help his own study of early stars. ... Full Details

  • Missing dark matter spike around Milky Way black hole: a "PRL Editors' Suggestion"

    A new study of a black-hole enhancement of dark matter annihilation has been made by Brian Fields, Stuart Shapiro and Jessie Shelton from the Department of Physics and the Department of Astronomy at Illinois. These scientists show for the first time that the predicted strength of a dark matter gamma-ray signal from a canonical black hole spike of Sag A* actually far exceeds what has been observed through the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. ... Full Details

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