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UH astronomer helps solve massive galaxy mystery

The evolutionary sequence in the growth of massive elliptical galaxies over 13 billion years

University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer David Sanders is one of a group of scientists who have combined observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer and Herschel infrared space telescopes, and ground-based telescopes in Hawaii to assemble a coherent picture of the formation history of the most massive galaxies in the universe, from their initial burst of violent ... Read More »

Astronomer obtains the first image of a normal galaxy in the early universe

Image of movement of gas in the galaxy

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa astronomer Regina Jorgenson has obtained the first image that shows the structure of a normal galaxy in the early universe. The results were presented at the winter American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC. The galaxy, called DLA2222-0946, is so faint that it is virtually invisible at all but a few specific wavelengths. It is ... Read More »

Monsters in the dark: Supermassive black holes and their destructive habits

Blue Einstein ring

Nicholas McConnell, the IfA’s Beatrice Watson Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow, delivered an informative and entertaining talk about the largest (“supermassive”) black holes in the Universe at a Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event held on the UH Mānoa campus. The first thing McConnell explained is that supermassive black holes live in galaxies. In keeping with the Halloween theme, he began by explaining ... Read More »

The weak solar maximum of 2013

Sun storm

Like every human inquisitive endeavor into the whims of Nature, one looks for patterns in the hope of achieving some predictability. One such pattern is the appearance and disappearance of sunspots on the surface of the Sun. This pattern was first discovered in the mid-nineteenth century by Samuel Heinrich Schwab, who established that an almost eleven-year cycle existed between two ... Read More »

Subaru Telescope reveals growth of galaxies in the early universe

Subaru telescope

Using the Fiber-Multi-Object Spectrograph (FMOS) mounted on the Subaru Telescope, a team of astronomers participating in the Cosmological Evolution Survey (COSMOS) has found that galaxies, over nine billion years ago, provided a nurturing environment for the birth of new stars at remarkable rates while doing so in an orderly manner. “FMOS has clearly revolutionized our ability to study how galaxies ... Read More »

Astronomer Donald Hall named AAAS Fellow

Dr. Donald N. B. Hall

  Dr. Donald N. B. Hall of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. As part of the astronomy section, Hall was elected as an AAAS Fellow “for distinguished contributions to ... Read More »

Astronomers conclude habitable planets are common

Habitable zone around a star

Astronomers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the University of California, Berkeley now estimate that one in five stars like the sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature conducive to life. This conclusion is based on a statistical analysis of all observations from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Though Kepler is now crippled, it ... Read More »

Scientists find Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

Kepler-78b

A team of astronomers has found the first Earth-sized planet outside the solar system that has a rocky composition like that of Earth. This exoplanet, known as Kepler-78b, orbits its star very closely every 8.5 hours, making it much too hot to support life. The results are being published in the journal Nature. This Earth-sized planet was discovered using data ... Read More »

Remembering astronomer George Herbig (1920–2013)

George_Herbig_crop_2

Dr. George H. Herbig, astronomer emeritus at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, has died at the age of 93. He joined the faculty of the UH Institute for Astronomy in 1987 after a long and distinguished career at the Lick Observatory, now part of the University of California, Santa Cruz, ... Read More »

A strange lonely planet found without a star

Artist's conception of PSO J318.5-22

An international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago—a newborn in planet lifetimes. It was identified from its faint and ... Read More »

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