Astronomy 142: elementary astrophysics
University of Rochester, spring semester 2013



Animations by Robert Hurt, SSC.

Features of current interest

Herschel reaches the end of its mission, as its liquid-helium reservoir is exhausted. Here are some of its "greatest-hit" images, including the "Loch im Himmel" shot from HOPS. (29 April 2013)
A new short-period, double-degenerate pulsar is found -- this time it's a white dwarf-neutron star system -- and general relativity passes another strong-gravity test. (25 April 2013)
For your Homework #10 and Practice Midterm #2 enjoyment: Ned Wright's Cosmology Calculator. (25 April 2013)
Adam Frank blogs about the widening gap between the results of different methods to determine H0, and decides not to rename the blog 13.8. (17 April 2013)
Do the two new ultralong (~hours) gamma-ray bursts signal the demise of  some of the first stars ever formed, supermassive Population III stars? (17 April 2013)
PBRs again: the aging astronomers of HOPS and the aging Herschel Space Observatory find particularly young protostars. (9 April 2013)
The ESA Planck cosmic-background observatory releases its first complete compendium of results. (21 March 2013)
Proto-protostars? Meet Amy Stutz and the PBRs. (19 March 2013)
The spin of the black hole in the center of the nearby galaxy NGC 1365 turns out to be close to the maximum rate (frequency c/2πRSch), in contrast to the slower spin of the similar-mass black hole at the center of the Milky Way. (27 February 2013)
A sunspot group, detected in the act of formation yesterday, is growing very fast and may provide our first view of a solar storm from its very beginning. (20 February 2013).
Distinctive activity seen in a luminous blue variable star just before it exploded: maybe such activity will make it possible to predict Type II supernovae. (7 February 2013)
Robert Gendler is a physician, not an astrophysicist, but he has no rival besides the renowned David Malin in the processing of astronomical data and the production of images. His work is comparable to that by great landscape photographers and artists like Rowell, Adams and Turner. This image of M 106 = NGC 4258 is a masterpiece. (7 February 2013; see also yesterday's APOD.)
Saul Perlmutter (Nobel laureate, physics, 2011) answers FAQs about dark energy. (5 February 2013)
Much to everyone's surprise, radio and X-ray pulses from an ordinary pulsar, PSR B0943+10, are perfectly out of phase. (25 January 2013)
A measurement of the cosmic background temperature from 7 billion years ago: 5.1 K, compared to today's 2.7 K. (22 January 2013)
Solar weather and Earth's climate: still looking for a global connection. (16 January 2013)
New Type Ia supernova redshift record: z = 1.71 (lookback time 1010 years). (10 January 2013)
Evidence for small terrestrial exoplanets is beginning to show up in the form of pollution in the atmospheres of white dwarfs: a clever idea by Mike Jura comes to fruition. (9 January 2013)
Astronomy Picture of the Day: Mees sky: SPS: URAC:



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