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Post Info TOPIC: Cosmic Neon


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Cosmic Neon

On Earth, neon is known for being flashy. Any Las Vegas tourist knows that signs sporting this noble gas are hard to miss, but in space this is not always true. Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the cosmos, but until recently, astronomers couldn't seem to get a precise measurement of it in the Universe.
Now, new research shows that NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has a "sweet spot" for detecting neon in star-forming regions.
Dr. Robert Rubin, of the NASA Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California and his collaborators used Spitzer's spectrometer to measure neon and sulphur abundances in 25 star-forming regions across the nearby spiral galaxy M33. For the first time, they found that the ratio of neon to sulphur in all of these areas is relatively constant at about 16. They note that this observational result is not surprising because it is consistent with current models for how these chemical elements are created in the cosmos.

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