NEWS

ALMA resolves gas impacted by young jets from supermassive black hole

30.03.2020
Astronomers obtained the first resolved image of disturbed gaseous clouds in a galaxy 11 billion light-years away by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The team found that the disruption is caused by young powerful jets ejected from a supermassive black hole residing at the center of the host galaxy. This result will cast …

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Signals from Neutron Star Binaries

30.03.2020
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief radio signals that last on the order of milliseconds. They appear to be extragalactic, coming from small, point-like areas on the sky. Some FRBs are one-off events, while others are periodic or “repeating”. The sources of FRBs are still unknown, but binary neutron star systems might be a piece …

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How Researchers Produce Sharp Images of a Black Hole

30.03.2020
In April of 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration made history when it released the first image of a black hole ever taken. This accomplishment was decades in the making and triggered an international media circus. The picture was the result of a technique known as interferometry, where observatories across the world combined light …

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Chinese astronomers detect gamma-ray emission from two star-forming galaxies

30.03.2020
Astronomers from Nanjing University in China have detected gamma ray emission from two star-forming galaxies designated M33 and Arp 299. The finding could be helpful in improving knowledge about the origin of very high-energy emission in galaxies. It is believed that gamma rays in galaxies are the result of interaction of cosmic rays with the …

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Blazar Found Blazing When the Universe was Only a Billion Years Old

23.03.2020
Using the telescopes at the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO) in Arizona, a research team recently observed a blazar located 13 billion light-years from Earth. This object, designated PSO J030947.49+271757.31 (or PSO J0309+27), is the most distant blazar ever observed and foretells the existence of many more! The object was selected by cross-matching data from …

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Merger between two stars led to blue supergiant, iconic supernova

23.03.2020
A supernova in a nearby galaxy may have originated from an explosion of a blue supergiant formed by the merger of two stars, simulations by RIKEN astrophysicists suggest. The asymmetric nature of this explosion may provide hints for where to look for the elusive neutron star birthed in this stellar cataclysm. A core-collapse supernova occurs …

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A Star-Bursting Galaxy Born from the Collision of Dwarfs

23.03.2020
When two galaxies merge, the collision can have dramatic consequences — particularly if the galaxies are rich in gas. The gravitational interaction of galaxies oscillating during a merger drives shock waves through their gas. This can trigger bursts of star formation, launch jets from active galactic nuclei, and result in the eventual formation of a …

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“Spectr-RG” Observatory scans a third of the entire sky

23.03.2020
The “Spektr-RG” orbital observatory marks an important stage – one third of the X-ray map of the entire sky is built. The number of registered X-ray sources in the Russian half of this map (16.7% of the entire sky) exceeds 95,000. Only one sixth of them were detected by the German satellite ROSAT on the …

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Researchers find gravitational wave candidates from binary black hole mergers in public LIGO/Virgo data

16.03.2020
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute; AEI) in Hannover together with international colleagues have published their second Open Gravitational-wave Catalog (2-OGC). They used improved search methods to dig deeper into publicly available data from LIGO’s and Virgo’s first and second observation runs. Apart from confirming the ten known binary …

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ESO Telescope Observes Exoplanet Where It Rains Iron

16.03.2020
Researchers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have observed an extreme planet where they suspect it rains iron. The ultra-hot giant exoplanet has a day side where temperatures climb above 2400 degrees Celsius, high enough to vaporise metals. Strong winds carry iron vapour to the cooler night side where it condenses into iron droplets. This …

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Neutron Star Measures Just 22 Kilometers Across

16.03.2020
How big is a neutron star? These extreme, ultra-dense collapsed stars are fairly small, as far as stellar objects are concerned. Even though they pack the mass of a full-sized star, their size is often compared to the width of a medium-to-large-sized city. For years, astronomers have pegged neutron stars at somewhere between 19-27 km …

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Solved: The mystery of the expansion of the universe

16.03.2020
The Earth, solar system, the entire Milky Way and the few thousand galaxies closest to us move in a vast “bubble” that is 250 million light years in diameter, where the average density of matter is half as high as for the rest of the universe. This is the hypothesis advanced by a theoretical physicist …

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Astronomers use slime mold model to reveal dark threads of the cosmic web

16.03.2020
A computational approach inspired by the growth patterns of a bright yellow slime mold has enabled a team of astronomers and computer scientists at UC Santa Cruz to trace the filaments of the cosmic web that connects galaxies throughout the universe. Their results, published March 10 in Astrophysical Journal Letters, provide the first conclusive association …

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Artwork Inspired by Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

09.03.2020
Artist Mik Petter has created a vibrant new piece of art based on JunoCam images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS). The piece makes use of fractals, which are recursive mathematical creations; increasingly complex patterns that are similar to each other, yet never exactly the same. “The important thing in science is not so much to obtain …

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The Chemicals That Make Up Exploding Stars Could Help Explain Away Dark Energy

09.03.2020
Astronomers have a dark energy problem. On the one hand, we’ve known for years that the universe is not just expanding, but accelerating. There seems to be a dark energy that drives cosmic expansion. On the other hand, when we measure cosmic expansion in different ways we get values that don’t quite agree. Some methods …

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Dimming Betelgeuse likely isn’t cold, just dusty, new study shows

09.03.2020
Late last year, news broke that the star Betelgeuse was fading significantly, ultimately dropping to around 40% of its usual brightness. The activity fueled popular speculation that the red supergiant would soon explode as a massive supernova. But astronomers have more benign theories to explain the star’s dimming behavior. And scientists at the University of …

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ALMA spots metamorphosing aged star

09.03.2020
An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) captured the very moment when an old star first starts to alter its environment. The star has ejected high-speed bipolar gas jets which are now colliding with the surrounding material; the age of the observed jet is estimated to be less than 60 …

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Catastrophic Collisions in Protoplanetary Disks

09.03.2020
Some of the most spectacular images to come out of observatories like the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) or the Very Large Telescope (VLT) are detailed views of protoplanetary disks. These disks of gas and dust around young stars aren’t just smooth and featureless; instead, they exhibit arcs, rings, gaps, and spirals. What causes this …

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Astronomy student discovers 17 new planets, including Earth-sized world

02.03.2020
University of British Columbia astronomy student Michelle Kunimoto has discovered 17 new planets, including a potentially habitable, Earth-sized world, by combing through data gathered by NASA’s Kepler mission. Over its original four-year mission, the Kepler satellite looked for planets, especially those that lie in the “Habitable Zones” of their stars, where liquid water could exist …

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Riding the Wave of a Supernova to Go Interstellar

02.03.2020
When it comes to the challenges posed by interstellar travel, there are no easy answers. The distances are immense, the amount of energy needed to make the journey is tremendous, and the time scales involved are (no pun!) astronomical. But what if there was a way to travel between stars using ships that take advantage …

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Astronomers detect biggest explosion in the history of the Universe

02.03.2020
Scientists studying a distant galaxy cluster have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the Universe since the Big Bang. The blast came from a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy hundreds of millions of light-years away. It released five times more energy than the previous record holder. The blast came from a …

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Gravitational Waves After Galaxy Collisions

02.03.2020
A new study explores whether the collision of very small galaxies could lead to the merging black holes detected in gravitational waves. Thanks to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), we now know that black holes in our distant universe sometimes find each other in a dramatic inspiral and collision, releasing a burst of gravitational-wave …

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ALMA Explores Possible Interacting Twin Disks

24.02.2020
FU Orionis (FU Ori, for short) objects are young, pre-main-sequence stars that grow suddenly brighter — by several magnitudes! — over the span of perhaps a year. These flaring states can last on the order of decades, and they’re thought to be related to a period of increased accretion onto the star during its early …

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LOFAR pioneers new way to study exoplanet environments

24.02.2020
Using the Dutch-led Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope, astronomers have discovered unusual radio waves coming from the nearby red dwarf star GJ1151. The radio waves bear the tell-tale signature of aurorae caused by an interaction between a star and its planet. The radio emission from a star-planet interaction has been predicted for over thirty-years …

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77-year-old amateur astronomer helps reveal rare galaxy double nucleus

24.02.2020
Allen Lawrence, wrapping up a long career as an electrical engineer, was serious about moving his astronomy hobby beyond the 20-inch telescope he’d hauled to star parties under the dark skies of Texas and Arizona. So in 2011 – in his late 60s, after 30 years of operating his own consulting firm around Green Bay, …

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Chandra Spots a Mega-Cluster of Galaxies

24.02.2020
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes have put together a detailed map of a rare collision between four galaxy clusters. Eventually all four clusters — each with a mass of at least several hundred trillion times that of the Sun — will merge to form one of the most massive objects in the universe. …

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ESO Telescope Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

17.02.2020
Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star’s surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing. Betelgeuse has been a beacon in the night sky …

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A Rare Fast Radio Burst has been Found that Actually Repeats Every 16 Days

17.02.2020
A team of scientists in Canada have found a Fast Radio Burst (FRB) that repeats every 16 days. This is in stark contrast to other FRBs, which are more sporadic. Some of those sporadic FRBs occur in clusters, and repeat irregularly, but FRBs with a regular, repeatable occurrence are rare. A Fast Radio Burst is …

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Astronomers witness the dragging of space-time in stellar cosmic dance

17.02.2020
An international team of astrophysicists led by Australian Professor Matthew Bailes, from the ARC Centre of Excellence of Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), has shown exciting new evidence for ‘frame-dragging’—how the spinning of a celestial body twists space and time—after tracking the orbit of an exotic stellar pair for almost two decades. The data, which is …

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Galaxy formation simulated without dark matter

10.02.2020
For the first time, researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have simulated the formation of galaxies in a universe without dark matter. To replicate this process on the computer, they have instead modified Newton’s laws of gravity. The galaxies that were created in the computer calculations are similar to those we actually see …

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Galactic gamma-ray sources reveal birthplaces of high-energy particles

10.02.2020
Nine sources of extremely high-energy gamma rays comprise a new catalog compiled by researchers with the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory. All produce gamma rays with energies over 56 trillion electron volts (TeV) and three emit gamma rays extending to 100 TeV and beyond, making these the highest-energy sources ever observed in our galaxy. …

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Hubble detects smallest known dark matter clumps

10.02.2020
Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and a new observing technique, astronomers have found that dark matter forms much smaller clumps than previously known. This result confirms one of the fundamental predictions of the widely accepted “cold dark matter” theory. All galaxies, according to this theory, form and are embedded within clouds of dark matter. Dark …

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Astronomers discover unusual monster galaxy in the very early universe

07.02.2020
An international team of astronomers led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found an unusual monster galaxy that existed about 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only 1.8 billion years old. Dubbed XMM-2599, the galaxy formed stars at a high rate and then died. Why it suddenly stopped forming stars …

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Nearby pulsar’s gamma-ray ‘halo’ linked to antimatter puzzle

30.12.2019
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a faint but sprawling glow of high-energy light around a nearby pulsar. If visible to the human eye, this gamma-ray “halo” would appear about 40 times bigger in the sky than a full Moon. This structure may provide the solution to a long-standing mystery about the amount of …

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ESO found out black holes’ breakfast at the Cosmic Dawn

29.12.2019
Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have observed reservoirs of cool gas around some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. These gas halos are the perfect food for supermassive black holes at the centre of these galaxies, which are now seen as they were over 12.5 billion years ago. This food storage might explain …

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ALMA spots most distant dusty galaxy hidden in plain sight

12.12.2019
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have spotted the light of a massive galaxy seen only 970 million years after the Big Bang. This galaxy, called MAMBO-9, is the most distant dusty star-forming galaxy that has ever been observed without the help of a gravitational lens. “Observations with new and more capable technology …

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Scientists inch closer than ever to signal from cosmic dawn

05.12.2019
In a paper on the preprint site ArXiv and soon to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, researchers present the first analysis of data from a new configuration of the MWA designed specifically to look for the signal of neutral hydrogen, the gas that dominated the universe during the cosmic dark age. The analysis sets a …

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Cracking 60-year-old mystery of Sun’s magnetic waves

05.12.2019
A Queen’s University Belfast scientist has led an international team to the ground-breaking discovery of why the Sun’s magnetic waves strengthen and grow as they emerge from its surface, which could help to solve the mystery of how the corona of the Sun maintains its multi-million degree temperatures. Dr David Jess from the School of …

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Highest-energy light from a gamma-ray burst ever

21.11.2019
It has been decades since the discovery of the first gamma-ray burst, yet some of their fundamental traits remain unclear. An international team of researchers, including two astrophysicists from the George Washington University, Chryssa Kouveliotou and Alexander van der Horst, now has taken the next step in understanding the physical processes at work during these …

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Massive, Spinning Black Holes Could Be the Result of ‘Pac-Man-Like’ Mergers

14.11.2019
Scientists have reported detecting gravitational waves from 10 black hole mergers to date, but they are still trying to explain the origins of those mergers. The largest merger detected so far seems to have defied previous models because it has a higher spin and mass than the range thought possible. In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters published on November 1, …

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2019 Nobel Prize in Physics

31.10.2019
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos” with one half to James Peebles, Princeton University, USA “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology” and the other half jointly to Michel …

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Strontium in the Kilonova Wreckage

31.10.2019
Strontium was spotted in the aftermath of a collision between two neutron stars. This is the first time a heavy element has ever been identified in a kilonova, the explosive aftermath of these types of collision. The kilonova, AT2017gfo, emerging from the gravitational-wave–discovered neutron star merger, GW170817 was the first kilonova where detailed spectra were …

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The new grant for TAIGA

24.10.2019
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation allocated a grant in the amount of 87.5 million rubles (for two years 2019-2020) for the construction of the largest TAIGA gamma observatory (Tunka Advanced Instrument for cosmic ray physics and Gamma-ray Astronomy). TAIGA is designed for the study of gamma rays and charged …

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