astronomy

University of Utah

A University of Utah astronomer has discovered that there might be a lot more supermassive black holes in the universe than previously thought.

A supermassive black hole is a black hole that is at least a million times larger than the mass of the sun. They’re found at the center of most large galaxies, including our own Milky Way galaxy.

Anil Seth is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Utah. In a new study, he and his colleagues discovered one of these supermassive black holes somewhere they’ve never found one before, in an ultracompact dwarf galaxy.

NASA

A massive solar flare has erupted from the sun and is sending geomagnetic disturbance and solar radiation straight at the earth. But you shouldn't be worried, and you might even want to grab your camera.

Bill Murtagh is the program coordinator at the National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center. He says the geomagnetic disturbances and increased solar radiation the Earth will see Friday and Saturday aren’t really a health concern, but they’ll still have impacts.

Brian Grimmett

Last night many Utahns stayed up until the early morning hours to witness a total lunar eclipse, also known as a "blood moon" because of the distinct orange-redish color that the moon becomes during totality. This is the first of four lunar eclipses that will take place about every six months for the next year and a half.

Check out some of the pictures and a timelapse made by KUER Reporter Brian Grimmett.

KUER News Pod: Wednesday December 5, 2012

Dec 5, 2012

Astronomers at the University of Utah are looking for people to help identify distant stars, Utah’s Attorney General leads a delegation to Washington D.C. to discuss immigration reform, and Governor Herbert meets President Obama to discuss the fiscal cliff.

Sky Survey Tells Story of Expanding Universe

Nov 13, 2012
Sky Survey Telescope
Sloan Sky Survey

Early in the history of the universe -- about three billion years after the Big Bang -- the expansion of the universe was slowing down.  Today, it's speeding up at a faster and faster pace. University of Utah astronomer Kyle Dawson is part of a group that's been studying the early universe by looking at how light from quasars affected hydrogen atoms in interstellar space.  The project is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which Dawson says gives them the very sophisticated tools to look at lots of objects in the far reaches of space.

David Cortner

‎If you bought a pair of those special glasses to view the solar eclipse last month, you might want to pull them out again. On Tuesday, June 5th, the planet Venus will transit in front of the sun, an event that won’t happen again for 105 years. On Monday, June 4th, University of Utah Professor of Physics and Astronomy Ben Bromley will discuss the historical importance of the Transit of Venus. He’s also going to talk about how astronomers will use this event to learn about planets outside of our solar system.

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Utah was treated to an annular solar eclipse Sunday night.  KUER's Andrea Smardon went to Bryce Canyon National Park, and sent an audio postcard from Inspiration Point.

Science museum shops in Utah are running out of those special glasses that allow you to look directly at an eclipse. Utahns can expect to see a full or partial eclipse on Sunday evening depending on their location.

Utah's NASA ambassador Patrick Wiggins says he'll be heading to the tiny town of Kanarraville, just south of Cedar City to view the eclipse.

"People like me that really like symmetry, we're going to go to what's called the Center Line, which is right smack dab in the middle of what the locals in southern Utah are calling the sweet spot," said Wiggins.