“It’s the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee, a sort of wager on my part. And though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible.”- Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook


A Nearby Hypervelocity Star
Title: The First Hypervelocity Star from the LAMOST Survey
Authors: Zheng Zheng et. al.
In 1988, Jack Hills predicted the existence of a star whose velocity was greater than the escape velocity of the galaxy. Such a star, a hypervelocity star (HVS), was first discovered in 2005. Since then, about 20 hypervelocity stars have been found. Recently, another HVS was found using the LAMOST survey. This is the closest HVS that we currently know.
This HVS, known as J091206.52+091621.8, or LAMOST-HVS1, is the first hypervelocity star to be discovered with the LAMOST survey. The star has an apparent magnitude of 13, which is brighter than Pluto. LAMOST-HVS1 is an early B-type star with a strong helium presence. Comparing to our Sun, LAMOST-HVS1 is larger, brighter, and hotter.
LAMOST-HVS1 is found in the same area as the other known HVSs. The data gathered on the star suggests that it originated near the galactic center. With further measurements, the exact origin of LAMOST-HVS1 can be identified.
Image: An artist’s impression of a hypervelocity star (Credit: Ben Bromley, University of Utah)


Coming to YouTube on August 19th! 
Frankenstein M.D. is a modern re-telling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (did you know it was the first sci-fi book?), from Pemberley Digital, the same people who brought you The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Emma Approved, and PBS Digital Studios. The story centers around Victoria Frankenstein (rather than “Victor” from the book), an eccentric and driven MD/PhD student who wants to prove herself in the traditionally male-dominated field of medical research. Basically, this is what we would get if Mary Shelley created a YouTube science show :)
I’m also happy to announce that I’m lending my PhD chops and serving as science consultant for the series, which is SO FUN!!! I’m working hard to make sure the science you’ll see in the series is the real thing. At least in theory. I mean, we can’t really bring frightening creatures back from the dead. Yet.
Check out the full details on the series, the cast, and the premiere here. And, just like the worlds of Lizzie Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, the Frankenstein universe will be bigger than just the videos. Here’s a few links so you can start following the characters:
Victoria on Twitter, Victoria on Tumblr
Iggy DeLacey on Twitter, Iggy on Tumblr

We’ll be watching!

Day 79
The temp’s going up, and so is your hair! Whether it’s a twist, bun, braid or pony, show us how you’re fighting the heat and still looking cool.

Sextans Constellation Pulsar Puts On A ShowPulsars are a very interesting breed of star. After a supernova explosion, the compact, super dense core that’s left behind is called a neutron star or pulsar that’s usually no bigger in diameter than a large city here on Earth. Beyond that, there are a couple different types of pulsars based on the rotational characteristics they display. Some pulsars rotate at a mild pace, anywhere from ten to a couple hundred times a minute. Another type of pulsar has the ability to rotate many thousands of times faster than that, which means one rotation can happen in milliseconds, thus giving them the name ‘millisecond pulsars’. The first millisecond pulsar was discovered in the late 1970s but wasn’t verified until the early 80s because at the time it wasn’t known that pulsars could spin at as fast as 1 millisecond. Now, after having discovered many other millisecond pulsars, astronomers using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have seen something very interesting indeed.About 4,400 light years away in the Sextans constellation is a binary pair known as AY Sextantis. A star about one fifth the mass of our sun is binary companion to a 1.7-millisecond pulsar named PSR J1023+0038, J1023 for short. Since the first discovery of a millisecond pulsar, astronomers had no clue as to how they got to spinning so fast until they started discovering more and more. It turned out that well over 50% of millisecond pulsars were, in fact, part of a binary system. Since pulsars do lose their momentum and energy over time, astronomers theorized that millisecond pulsars were ‘spun-up’ by their binary companions when they were close enough to each other. The idea is that the companion star would feed its pulsar to the point when the newly absorbed star material would start speeding it up. But since astronomers had never seen this in action, they couldn’t be certain, until April 2013.A pulsar is called as such because, in reference to Earth, the intense radio and gamma-ray beams being expelled from the poles would sweep past Earth in such a fashion that a radio telescope would detect radio pulses. What makes J1023 special is that astronomers caught its radio beams disappearing and intense X-ray beams taking their place."It’s almost as if someone flipped a switch, morphing the system from a lower-energy state to a higher-energy one," said Benjamin Stappers, an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester, England and lead researcher to this project. "The change appears to reflect an erratic interaction between the pulsar and its companion, one that allows us an opportunity to explore a rare transitional phase in the life of this binary."Like a black hole, a pulsar’s gravitational force can pull off so much star material from its companion that most of it will form into an accretion disk and steadily feed the pulsar. Every now and again, some of the material on the inside of the disk will lose orbital energy and start falling towards the surface of the pulsar, at which point the processes that create the radio beams become obscured and intense jets of X-rays take their place. Once the newly fallen material is either absorbed or burned up, the X-rays subside and the radio beams return to their normal state.With this discovery, astronomers believe that they will be able to shed some light in the future on the subject of how millisecond pulsars form and if the ‘spin-up’ theory carries any weight.-TAZIMAGE CREDIT: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (Artist Rendition)"These artist’s renderings show one model of pulsar J1023 before (top) and after (bottom) its radio beacon (green) vanished. Normally, the pulsar’s wind staves off the companion’s gas stream. When the stream surges, an accretion disk forms and gamma-ray particle jets (magenta) obscure the radio beam."SOURCE: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140722120452.htm

A Blue Bridge Of Stars Between Cluster Galaxies. Explanation: Why is there a blue bridge of stars across the center of this galaxy cluster? First and foremost the cluster, designated SDSS J1531+3414, contains many large yellow elliptical galaxies. The cluster’s center, as pictured above by the Hubble Space Telescope, is surrounded by many unusual, thin, and curving blue filaments that are actually galaxies far in the distance whose images have become magnified and elongated by the gravitational lens effect of the massive cluster. More unusual, however, is a squiggly blue filament near the two large elliptical galaxies at the cluster center. Close inspection of the filament indicates that it is most likely a bridge created by tidal effects between the two merging central elliptical galaxies rather than a background galaxy with an image distorted by gravitational lensing. The knots in the bridge are condensation regions that glow blue from the light of massive young stars. The central cluster region will likely undergo continued study as its uniqueness makes it an interesting laboratory of star formation. #apod #astronomy

#why is nobody explaining these pictures #everyday a new one surfaces with no caption #I need answers x