Selections from 2020: A Twinkling Black Hole

29.12.2020
Recent observations show that the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, flickers on a regular timescale of 30 minutes, with slower variations on hour-long timescales. The observations of this twinkling are presented in a publication led by Yuhei Iwata (Keio University). The twinkles around this 4-million-solar-mass black hole, detected …

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Black hole X-ray binary GRS 1915+105 has a variable magnetic disc wind, study suggests

29.12.2020
Using NASA’s Chandra spacecraft, astronomers have performed high-resolution X-ray spectroscopic observations of a transient black hole X-ray binary known as GRS 1915+105. They report that the source exhibits a variable magnetic accretion disc wind. The team found a series of wind absorption lines in the soft state of GRS 1915+105. These lines appear to follow …

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Study sheds more light on the complex morphology of supernova remnant IC 443

29.12.2020
Recently, a team of astronomers led by Sabina Ustamujic of the INAF-Palermo Astronomical Observatory, Italy, has developed a three-dimensional hydrodynamic (HD) model for IC 443, which describes the expansion of the SNR and its interaction with the surrounding circumstellar/interstellar medium (CSM/ISM). The model allowed the scientists to investigate the origin of the complex morphology and …

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Stellar Jewel Box

29.12.2020
Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603, one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603, a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way about 20,000 light-years away, reveals stages in the life cycle of stars. Powerful ultraviolet …

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Radio emissions have been detected from an exoplanet

21.12.2020
Finding planets out in the Universe is pretty hard. Neptune wasn’t directly observed until 1846 despite being in our own solar system. We didn’t start discovering planets outside the solar system until 150 years after Neptune. Like Neptune, we find them (though indirectly), through visible light. However an international team of researchers may have just …

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Hubble sees a ‘Molten ring’

21.12.2020
The narrow galaxy elegantly curving around its spherical companion in this image is a fantastic example of a truly strange and very rare phenomenon. This image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, depicts GAL-CLUS-022058s, located in the southern hemisphere constellation of Fornax (the Furnace). GAL-CLUS-022058s is the largest and one of the most complete Einstein rings ever discovered in …

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All aboard the filament express

21.12.2020
Molecular clouds are the birthplaces of stars, but their structure is still shrouded in mystery. Dust often obscures our view, and we still aren’t totally sure how magnetic fields factor into the equation of star formation. Today’s authors peer into Serpens South, a molecular cloud with trails of dust leading into a dense core, to …

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Where giant jets from black holes discharge their energy

21.12.2020
Some of black holes blast out gigantic, super-heated jets of plasma at nearly the speed of light. The primary way that the jets discharge this powerful motion energy is by converting it into extremely high-energy gamma rays. However, UMBC physics Ph.D. candidate Adam Leah Harvey says, “How exactly this radiation is created is an open …

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A Radio Flare from Colliding Stars?

16.12.2020
In addition to gravitational waves, a slew of electromagnetic radiation is produced in the merger of two neutron stars, spanning the spectrum from gamma rays to radio waves. In 2017, the now-famous neutron star collision GW170817 gave us a first look at this expected emission: it revealed a short gamma-ray burst, infrared and optical light …

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eROSITA finds large-scale bubbles in the halo of the Milky Way

16.12.2020
Astronomers have detected a remarkable new feature in the first all-sky survey map produced by the eROSITA X-ray telescope on SRG: a huge circular structure of hot gas below the plane of the Milky Way occupying most of the southern sky. A similar structure in the Northern sky, the “North polar spur,” has been known …

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