10 February 2015

Moon Sized Crystal Core Discovered Inside Earth's Inner Core

Scientists have discovered an additional core inside the Earth's inner core. The team published their discovery in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Using seismic waves, researchers from the University of Illinois and Nanjing University in China have discovered that the inner core of the Earth has an inner core of its own. It is previously known that the inner core of the Earth contains iron crystals that are aligned in a north to south direction. The newly discovered core has crystals aligned in a east to west direction.

The core was discovered using seismic waves are energy waves generated from an earthquake or loud explosions that passes through the Earth . Using principles similar to ultrasound, the team used seismic sensors to collect data from a seismic wave produced during an earthquake's aftermath.

The discovered core is smaller than the moon and may give information on how the Earth was formed, its history and an understanding what is happening deep inside the planet.

04 February 2015

Hidden Objects Along Center of Milky Way Detected Through Infrared

The VVV survey (VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea) of the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has allowed astronomers to see the central parts of the Milky Way as never before.

Using infrared light, the VVV imaged the Trifid Nebula and revealed that the gas cloud has been hiding two Cepheid variable stars directly behind it but at a far distance.

The pair of cepheid stars hidden by the Trifid Nebula is estimated to be around 37,000 light years away from Earth while the Trifid Nebula is at 5,200 light years away. Cepheid variables are unstable bright stars that brightens and fades over time, in this case, a period of 11 days.

These two stars are the only two known Cepheid variables that are close to the central plane of the Milky Way which is 27,000 light years away from Earth.

The Vista Variables in the Via Lactea is an astronomical survey to map the Milky Way, it's bulge and the disk area close to the center of the galaxy. The VVV survey previously assisted astronomers in constructing a three dimensional map of the Milky Way