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Allen Versfeld's picture

Carnival of Space #383

Carnival of Space #383Another week, another Carnival of Space. We've been quiet here at Urban Astronomer while I work on a new project and (on a personal note) prepare for the birth of another child. But there's always time to curate a Carnival of Space so let's get started.

Allen Versfeld's picture

Carnival of Space #376

Carnival of SpaceWhat a weekend... I've had family visiting, a fire on the farm, and a once-in-a-lifetime encounter between a planet and Mars to photograph. Oh, and a Carnival of Space to publish. Something had to give, and unfortunately it was the Carnival. Sorry about that! But you didn't come here to read my excuses, you came for the latest and best writing on space science and astronomy, so if you just keep reading, I'll make sure that that's what you get.

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.

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