Allen Versfeld's picture

Milky Way flares skirts, reveals stars

Cepheids in Milky Way galaxy flareFor some years, astronomers have known that the gaseous outer edges of the Milky Way galaxy flare out away from the neat, flat disc that contains the spiral arms. However, this gas is hard to see and harder to study, and nobody knew for sure where it came from. But a few months ago, a team of astronomers based at the South African Astronomical Observatory announced their discovery of a small number of stars within these flares. These stars are of a very special type that could not only answer the question of the origin of the gas, but could also help us to better understand the nature of the halo of dark matter surrounding the galaxy.

Allen Versfeld's picture

Carnival of Space #369

Carnival of Space #369It feels like a lifetime since we had the Carnival of Space here at Urban Astronomer, but finally it's my turn again to play ringmaster!  The Carnival of Space is a travelling internet phenomenon, floating from space blog to astronomy website, showing off the best astronomy and space science writing from around the world.  It's been going for over seven years, and it just keeps getting better.  This week's carnival is a little lighter than usual, but it's all going to be good.  Dynamite comes in small packages, after all!

Allen Versfeld's picture

ScopeX 2014

ScopeXOn 13 September, South Africa's amateur astronomers and telescope makers will converge on the Military History Museum in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, for the annual ScopeX Telescope and Astronomy Exhibition.  ScopeX has run continuously for thirteen years, and has attracted the support of the National Research Foundation, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and numerous commercial sponsors.


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