AstroTalk Episode November 23, 2017

Pulsars, Gravitational Waves, Hubble Unravels a Twisted Cosmic Knot

3:00pm - 3:29pm

Review from last show. How pulsars are being used to detect gravitational waves.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is viewing a galaxy merger. The galaxy NCG 2623, or Arp 243, is 250 million LYs away in the constellation Cancer. The merging galaxy is taking on an odd, irregular shape, and star formation is prominent, as marked by the bright blue glow of parts of the galaxy. When galaxies merge, dust and gas is stirred and becomes turbulent, resulting in increased star formation. Since the separate galaxies were harbouring super-massive black holes before the merger, these black holes will surely merge in the future. In other news, NASA is locating whistling electrons in orbit around Earth, in its Van Allen Belts. Scientists believe fluctuating magnetic and electric fields, are causing the electrons to be lost from Earth's atmosphere. These high energy electrons are known by the term, Whistler Mode Chorus. The electrons chirp in rising tones, much like birds do. The results are in Geophysical Review Letters. 15:00:30 15:29:10