SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS
Scientists Find 200 Sextillion More Stars in the Sky
Fox News reports: “The night sky may be a lot starrier than we thought.
A study suggests the universe could have triple the number of stars scientists previously calculated. For those of you counting at home, the new estimate is 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That’s 300 sextillion.
The study questions a key assumption that astronomers often use: that most galaxies have the same properties as our Milky Way. And that’s creating a bit of a stink among astronomers who want a more orderly cosmos.
It’s one of two studies being published online in the journal Nature that focus on red dwarf stars, the most common stars in the universe. The study that offers the new estimate on stars is led by a Yale University astronomer. He calculates that there are far more red dwarfs than previously thought, and that inflates the total star count.
A second study led by a Harvard University scientist focuses on a distant super Earth planet and sees clues to the content of its atmosphere — the first of this kind of data for this size planet. It orbits a red dwarf.
Red dwarf stars — about a fifth the size of our sun — burn slowly and last much longer than the bigger, brighter stars, such as the sun in the center of our solar system, said Yale astronomer Pieter van Dokkum. His study looks at how many red dwarfs are in elliptical-shaped galaxies.
When scientists had estimated previously how many stars there were in the universe, they assumed that all galaxies had the same ratio of dwarf stars as in our galaxy, which is spiral-shaped. Much of our understanding of the universe is based on observations inside our Milky Way and then extrapolated to other galaxies.
But about one-third of the galaxies in the universe are not spiral, but elliptical, and van Dokkum found they aren’t really made up the same way as ours.
Using the Keck telescope in Hawaii, van Dokkum and a colleague gazed into eight other distant, but elliptical, galaxies and looked at their hard-to-differentiate light signatures. The scientists calculated that elliptical galaxies have more of those dwarf stars. A lot more.
We’re seeing 10 or 20 times more stars than we expected, van Dokkum said. By his calculations, that triples the number of estimated stars from 100 sextillion to 300 sextillion ” (Psalm 19:1-3; Psalm 8:4; Psalm 14:1; 53:1.)
Giant space bubbles baffle astronomers
The London Daily Telegraph reports: “The two vast structures, stretching to the north and to the south of the centre of the Milky Way, are so big that a beam of light, travelling at 186,282 miles per second, would take 50,000 years to get from the edge of one to the edge of the other.
The previously unseen bubbles were discovered by astronomer Doug Finkbeiner, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope. He admitted: We don’t fully understand their nature or origin.
They span more than half the visible sky, from the constellation of Virgo to the constellation of Grus, and are thought to be millions of years old. They were not noticed before because they were lost in a fog of gamma radiation across the sky.
Astronomers’ best guess is that the bubbles were created by an eruption from a supersized black hole at the centre of our galaxy.
Mr Finkbeiner and his team discovered the bubbles by processing publicly available data from Fermi’s Large Area Telescope. The space telescope, launched in 2008, is the most powerful detector of gamma rays, which are the most energetic form of light.
Scientist David Spergel, of Princeton University, New Jersey, said: In other galaxies, we see that starbursts can drive enormous gas outflows.
Whatever the energy source behind these huge bubbles may be, it is connected to many deep questions in astrophysics. ” (“ there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:25 27.)