Heavens

A group of Brazilian astronomers observed a pair of celestial objects rarely seen in the Milky Way: a very low-mass white dwarf and a brown dwarf.

What makes this binary system so unique is its origin: the white dwarf's existence was prematurely cut off by its companion, a brown dwarf, which caused its early death through "malnutrition" or loss of matter.

Supernovae, the explosions of stars, have been observed by the thousands. And in all cases, the transient astronomical events signaled the death of those stars.

Now, astrophysicists at UC Santa Barbara and astronomers at Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) have reported a remarkable exception: a star that exploded multiple times over a period of more than 50 years. Their observations, published in the journal Nature, are challenging existing theories on these cosmic catastrophes.

A Chalmers-led team of astronomers has for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the Sun. Alma:s images show that the star is a giant, its diameter twice the size of Earth's orbit around the Sun, but also that the star's atmosphere is affected by powerful, unexpected shock waves. The research is published in Nature Astronomy on 30 October 2017.

AMHERST, Mass. - Astronomers using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), which is operated jointly by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, report today in Nature Astronomy that they have detected the second most distant dusty, star-forming galaxy ever found in the universe - born in the first one billion years after the Big Bang.

The ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA mission SOHO -- short for Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- got a visit from an old friend this week when comet 96P entered its field of view on Oct. 25, 2017. The comet entered the lower right corner of SOHO's view, and skirted up and around the right edge before leaving on Oct. 30. SOHO also spotted comet 96P in 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2012, making it the spacecraft's most frequent cometary visitor.

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun. It is a faint red dwarf lying just four light-years away in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). It is orbited by the Earth-sized temperate world Proxima b, discovered in 2016 and the closest planet to the Solar System. But there is more to this system than just a single planet. The new ALMA observations reveal emission from clouds of cold cosmic dust surrounding the star.

The unveiling this summer of the most accurate cosmic picture ever taken of the distribution of dark matter has left astrophysicists feeling both delighted and frustrated.

On the one hand, the new picture--taken of the "grown-up" universe, over the latter half of its 13.8-billion-year history--closely agrees with the "baby" pictures separately taken in recent years. On the other hand, this agreement leaves little room for the discovery of new physics that could reveal the identity of dark matter and an even more mysterious phenomenon, dark energy.

A giant planet - the existence of which previously thought extremely unlikely - discovered around a small star by an international collaboration of astronomers, with University of Warwick taking a leading role

NGTS-1b is the largest planet compared to the size of its companion star ever discovered in universe - contradicts theories that a planet of this size could not be formed by such a small star

Discovered using the state-of-the-art Next-Generation Transit Survey observing facility, designed to search for transiting planets on bright stars

Jupiter's intense northern and southern lights pulse independently of each other according to new UCL-led research using ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra X-ray observatories.

The study, published today in Nature Astronomy, found that very high-energy X-ray emissions at Jupiter's south pole consistently pulse every 11 minutes. Meanwhile those at the north pole are erratic: increasing and decreasing in brightness, independent of the south pole.

Researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on 30 October 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could have consequences for the chronology of the ancient world.

Using a combination of the biblical text and an ancient Egyptian text, the researchers were then able to refine the dates of the Egyptian pharaohs, in particular the dates of the reign of Ramesses the Great. The results are published in the Royal Astronomical Society journal Astronomy & Geophysics.