Scientists detected a flash of light from across the Galaxy so powerful; it bounced off the moon and lit up the Earth's upper atmosphere. The flash was brighter than anything ever detected from beyond our Solar System, and it lasted over a tenth of a second. <b>NOTE: French, German, and Italian translations follow...</b>
The Swift satellite's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) has seen first light, capturing an image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, long loved by amateur astronomers as the "perfect" face-on spiral galaxy. The UVOT now remains poised to observe its first gamma-ray burst and the Swift observatory, launched into Earth orbit in November 2004, is now fully operational.<b> NOTE: French, German, and Italian translations follow...</b>
Scientists at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics describe a further step in understanding the flow of matter towards objects of very high concentration of mass. These compact objects are known as "black holes", with gravitation so dominant that all matter and radiation fall into them if close enough.
In the early universe, many galaxies exhibit extremely bright sources at their nuclei, so-called quasars. It is thought that the luminosity of the quasars is produced by super massive black holes in the centers of galaxies. The masses of these black holes are tightly correlated with the velocity dispersion of the stars in the central bulge of their host galaxies, which suggests a common formation mechanism...
Australian astronomers from the Anglo-Australian Observatory, The Australian National University, CSIRO and the University of New South Wales, together with their UK colleagues, today announced that they have found the 'missing link' that directly relates modern galaxies like our own Milky Way to the Hot Big Bang that created our Universe 14 thousand million years ago.
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