In findings that help astrophysicists understand our corner of the galaxy, an international research team has shown that the soft X-ray glow blanketing the sky comes from both inside and outside the solar system.
The source of this “diffuse X-ray background” has been debated for the past 50 years. Does it originate from the solar wind colliding with interplanetary gases within our solar system? Or is it born further away, in the “local hot bubble” of gas that a supernova is believed to have left in our galactic neighborhood about ten million years ago?
The scientists found evidence that both mechanisms contribute, but the bulk of the X-rays come from the bubble. The solar wind, a stream of charged particles continuously emitted by the Sun, appears to be responsible for at most 40 percent of the radiation, according to new findings published in the journal Nature.
“The overarching science goal of our work is to try to answer questions like: What does the local astrophysical environment look like? And what is the environment in which the Sun was born?” said Susan Lepri, an associate professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences in the University of Michigan College of Engineering.
“It’s part of trying to understand our place in the universe.” Continue reading
Spitzer-IRAC imaging of Circinus ULX5. Left image shows wide-field IRAC 8 μm (channel 4) image of Circinus with the red circle showing the NuSTAR position of ULX5 (Credit: D. J. WALTON et al.)
Scientists have serendipitously found an ultraluminated X-ray source (ULX) in the immediate surroundings of the Circinus galaxy. Continue reading
Astronomers have found that the bright X-ray flares from neighboring galaxies, which were considered to be due to the black holes, are actually the product of white dwarfs.
This research has been published online in The Astrophysical Journal.
The Southampton astronomers studied the short-lived X-ray burst with the help X-ray telescope on the International Space Station. This X-ray flare called XRF111111 occurred on 11 November, 2011, and was produced in Small Magellanic Cloud, which are about 160,000 and 200,000 light years away from us. It can be seen from the Southern Hemisphere.
Large and small Magelanic clouds (right) and the Milky Way (Left) above Patagonian Andes (Credit: Miloslav Druckmüller/National Geographic)
Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at SLAC
Researchers have heated a solid matter to two million degrees with the help of world’s most powerful X-ray laser.
This research has been done by researchers working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California and published online in January 25 issue of the journal Nature.
Researchers used the rapid-fire laser, i.e. ultra-short wavelengths of X-ray laser light also known as Linac Coherent Light Source or LCLS, to make a piece of aluminium foil to flash-hot. In this research, they developed a form of plasma, of a cube of about one thousandth of a centimeter per side, known as “hot dense matter” at the temperature of more than two million degrees Celsius (3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit). This is hotter than the Sun’s corona. This process took less than a trillionth of a second. Continue reading
The p38alpha:HePTP enzyme complex, shown in two views rotated 90 degrees
Researchers have finally found the structure of the enzyme that is involved in many of the diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. This finding could help Medical and Pharmaceutical community in the development of new targets for such drugs.
This research is done by the Wolfgang Peti, Rebecca Page and their colleagues from the Brown University and is published in the November 6th issue of Nature Chemical Biology.
Researchers have found the detailed description of the kinase complex and some rare locations on its structure. More specifically, they have characterized the p38alpha:HePTP – A member of MAP kinase family i.e. enzymes involved in the regulation of cell functions relating to inflammation and growth. Continue reading