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All Was Quiet in the Galactic Centre

For a brief time in April 2006, the active region surrounding the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way settled down. Ten different sources of high energy rays all faded away temporarily, and ESA’s Integral probe was able to capture images of less bright regions, which weren’t completely obscured by the bright objects in their vicinity.
Integral sees the Galactic centre playing hide and seek

Planet-seeking satellite takes first images

A planet-hunting satellite that launched in December 2006 has opened its eye to the stars. Its first images suggest the satellite’s instruments are in good working order, paving the way for planet searching to begin in February 2007. The mission, called “Convection, Rotation & Planetary Transits” (COROT) and led by France’s Centre Nationale d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), launched on December 27, 2006, from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will use a 27-centimetre telescope to look for the tiny brightness dips of stars caused by planets passing in front of them, potentially spotting planets just two or three times the size of Earth.
http://smsc.cnes.fr/COROT/GP_actualite.htm#janv2007

Astronomers find the most distant star clusters

Astronomers have discovered the most distant population of star clusters ever seen, hidden behind one of the nearest such clusters to Earth. At a distance of more than a billion light-years, the newly discovered star clusters provide a unique probe of what similar systems in our own galaxy once looked like.
http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/media/releases/2007/mr-07-001.html

New Evidence Of Extrasolar Asteroid Belt

Providing the best evidence yet for an asteroid belt beyond the solar system, new measurements pinpoint the location of such a disk of warm dust surrounding the star Zeta Leporis. As the January 6, 2007 issue of “Science News” reports, this dust lies about the same distance from Zeta Leporis as the solar system’s asteroid belt lies from the sun.
Article @ Science News

Abstract: Mid-infrared resolution of a 3 AU-radius debris disk around Zeta Leporis

Chandra Discovers Light Echo from the Milky Way's Black Hole

Like cold case investigators, astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way’s center.
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2007/gcle/

Radio Telescopes Provide Key Clue on Black Hole Growth

Astronomers have discovered the strongest evidence yet found indicating that matter is being ejected by a medium-sized black hole, providing valuable insight on a process that may have been key to the development of larger black holes in the early Universe. The scientists combined the power of all the operational telescopes of the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) to peer deep into the heart of the galaxy NGC 4395, 14 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Canes Venatici.
http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2007/imbh/

Rethinking last century's closest, brightest supernova

Twenty years ago next month, the closest and brightest supernova in four centuries lit up the southern sky, wowing astronomers and the public alike. Ongoing observations of the exploded star, called supernova 1987A, provided important tests for theories of how stars die, but it also raised some new questions.
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/01/09_LBV.shtml

Kepler's Supernova Remnant: A Star's Death Comes to Life

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have created a stunning new image of one of the youngest supernova remnants in the galaxy. This new view of the debris of an exploded star helps astronomers solve a long-standing mystery, with implications for understanding how a star’s life can end catastrophically and for gauging the expansion of the universe.
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2007/kepler/index.html

Astronomers Map a Hypergiant Star's Massive Outbursts

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, astronomers have learned that the gaseous outflow from one of the brightest super-sized stars in the sky is more complex than originally thought. The outbursts are from VY Canis Majoris, a red supergiant star that is also classified as a hypergiant because of its very high luminosity.
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/03/image/

Seven or Eight Dwarf Galaxies Discovered Orbiting the Milky Way

Researchers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II) announced the discovery of eight new dwarf galaxies, seven of them satellites orbiting the Milky Way. The objects resemble systems cannibalized by the Milky Way billions of years ago to build up its stellar halo and thick disk, characterized as “crumbs from the galactic feast”. The systems discovered by the SDSS-II in the last three years are comparable in number to all the Milky Way satellites detected in the preceding 70 years. They help close the gap between the observed number of dwarf satellites and theoretical predictions.
http://www.sdss.org/news/releases/20070109.dwarfs.html