Space


- A "massive" black hole (MBH) is one whose mass is more than about one hundred thousand solar-masses. MBHs reside at the centers of most galaxies, and when they actively accrete gas and dust onto their surrounding hot disk environments they radiate across the electromagnetic spectrum and are classified as active galactic nuclei. Most galaxies have been involved in a merger with another galaxy during their lifetimes (indeed, these interactions are an important phase in galaxy evolution), and when ... [Read More]

Source: phys.org

- Space Observations of Exploding Star in ‘Real Time’ Deemed a Major Step Towards Predicting Supernovas Astronomers are calling it the “Rosetta Stone of supernovas,” as it could lead to an early warning system for doomed stars. A star located 60 million light years away went supernova last year, and astronomers managed to capture all stages of the stellar explosion using telescopes both on the ground and in space. The doomed star has been known to astronomers for quite some time, but in ... [Read More]

Source: gizmodo.com

- Astronomers have watched a supermassive black hole blowing out bubbles and filaments of hot gas that stretch for hundreds or thousands of light-years, affecting anything that stands in their way. The discovery came as the team studied a grouping of galaxies with a supermassive black hole at their center, located 200 million light-years from Earth. The researchers saw that as Nest20004's central supermassive black hole greedily feeds on matter surrounding it, the black hole launches powerful ... [Read More]

Source: newsweek.com

- NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft, intended to deliberately crash into an asteroid, is preparing to launch next month - the world’s first mission to test planetary defense techniques, demonstrating one mitigation method of asteroid deflection, called kinetic impact. The spacecraft will go through a series of final tests and checks, as well as fueling, in the next few weeks as the team prepares for DART’s scheduled launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November ... [Read More]


- Science A Triple-Star System Is Either Hiding a Planet, or Defying the Laws of Physics Impossible GW Orionis might be a revelation for how planets are formed—if it’s actually home to one. Space is full of weird stuff, but more than 1,300 light-years from Earth, there’s a star system called GW Orionis that makes a lot of other bizarre phenomena seem outright dull. For starters, GW Orionis has three stars rather than the usual one. Two orbit each other, and the third orbits the pair. ... [Read More]


- The Sky This Week: Spot the moment Venus reaches dichotomy Friday, October 22 In the late 1700s, Charles Messier created his famous catalog to identify objects that he didn’t want to mistake for comets. Thus, most of the entries in his list are small and appear fuzzy at low power. One such object is the globular cluster M72 in Aquarius the Water-bearer. Look south after dark tonight to find it about 3.4° south-southeast of magnitude 3.8 Epsilon (ϵ) Aquarii. It’s currently sitting between ... [Read More]


- A team of astronomers used data collected by Hubble and the ground-based Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC), to observe and investigate some of the smallest and faintest nearby galaxies. They focused on those that resemble galaxies that existed in the early universe. Until now, astronomers have had difficulty in determining how some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe formed. Theories suggest that star formation in early galaxies could have either happened smoothly or that it could have taken ... [Read More]

Source: newsweek.com

- Roughly a century ago, scientists began to realize that some of the radiation we detect in Earth’s atmosphere is not local in origin. This eventually gave rise to the discovery of cosmic rays, high-energy protons and atomic nuclei that have been stripped of their electrons and accelerated to relativistic speeds (close to the speed of light). However, there are still several mysteries surrounding this strange (and potentially lethal) phenomenon. This includes questions about their origins and ... [Read More]


- These exotic stars may hold the key to solving some of physics’ greatest mysteries. It isn’t a secret that humanity and everything around us is made of star stuff. But not all stars create elements equally. Sure, regular stars can create the basic elements: helium, carbon, neon, oxygen, silicon, and iron. But it takes the collision of two neutron stars — incredibly dense stellar corpses — to create the heavier elements like silver, gold, and platinum. Neutron stars aren’t just notable ... [Read More]


- Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, has been walloped by a space rock, and the flash of light was bright enough to be spotted by astronomers here on Earth. The impact occurred last week on October 15 at about 9:24 a.m. EDT, and was spotted by researchers at Kyoto University in Japan. The researchers were using the PONCOTS observation system, part of the Organized Autotelescopes for Serendipitous Event Survey (OASES). The team have released still images of the impact as well as ... [Read More]

Source: newsweek.com

- New methods of detecting ultra-low frequency gravitational waves can be combined with other, less sensitive measurements to deliver fresh insights into the early development of our universe, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham . Gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of Einstein’s spacetime — that cross the universe at the speed of light have all sorts of wavelengths, or frequencies. Scientists have not yet managed to detect gravitational waves at extremely low ... [Read More]


- By combining Hubble Space Telescope observations with theoretical models, a team of astronomers has gained insights into the chemical and physical makeup of a variety of exoplanets known as hot Jupiters. The findings provide a new and improved 'field guide' for this group of planets and inform ideas about planet formation in general. Hot Jupiters -- giant gas planets that race around their host stars in extremely tight orbits -- have become a little bit less mysterious thanks to a new study ... [Read More]


- Such planetary smashups are likely common in young solar systems, but they haven’t been directly observed. Young planetary systems generally experience extreme growing pains, as infant bodies collide and fuse to form progressively larger planets. In our own solar system, the Earth and moon are thought to be products of this type of giant impact. Astronomers surmise that such smashups should be commonplace in early systems, but they have been difficult to observe around other stars. Now ... [Read More]


- NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way. The gamma-ray telescope, called the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), is expected to launch in 2025 as NASA’s latest small astrophysics mission, the US space agency said in a statement. NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Programme received 18 telescope proposals in 2019 and selected four for mission concept studies. After a ... [Read More]


- In early 2020, we detected an unusual radio signal coming from somewhere near the center of our galaxy . The signal blinked on and off, growing 100 times brighter and dimmer over time. What’s more, the radio waves in the signal had an uncommon "circular polarisation," which means the electric field in the radio waves spirals around as the waves travel through space. We first spotted the signal using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Telescope (ASKAP) , then followed up with ... [Read More]


- The distant solar system reveals "what our solar system will look like after the disappearance of the Earth" ARTIST’S RENDITION OF A NEWLY-DISCOVERED JUPITER-LIKE EXOPLANET ORBITING A WHITE DWARF, OR DEAD STAR. THIS SYSTEM IS EVIDENCE THAT PLANETS CAN SURVIVE THEIR HOST STAR’S EXPLOSIVE RED GIANT PHASE AND IS THE VERY FIRST CONFIRMED PLANETARY SYSTEM THAT SERVES AS AN ANALOG TO THE FATE OF THE SUN AND JUPITER IN OUR OWN SOLAR SYSTEM. Stars, much like humans, go through different stages of ... [Read More]

Source: salon.com