Heavens

COLUMBUS, Ohio--When NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite launched into space in April 2018, it did so with a specific goal: to search the universe for new planets.

But in recently published research, a team of astronomers at The Ohio State University showed that the survey, nicknamed TESS, could also be used to monitor a particular type of supernova, giving scientists more clues about what causes white dwarf stars to explode--and about the elements those explosions leave behind.

Astronomers have made a new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding, using an entirely different kind of star than previous endeavors. The revised measurement, which comes from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, falls in the center of a hotly debated question in astrophysics that may lead to a new interpretation of the universe's fundamental properties.

Pasadena, CA--A team of collaborators from Carnegie and the University of Chicago used red giant stars that were observed by the Hubble Space Telescope to make an entirely new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding, throwing their hats into the ring of a hotly contested debate. Their result--which falls squarely between the two previous, competing values--is published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)
have made the first-ever observations of a circumplanetary disk, the planet-girding belt of dust and gas that astronomers strongly theorize controls the formation of planets and gives rise to an entire system of moons, like those found around Jupiter.

As if black holes weren't mysterious enough, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found an unexpected thin disk of material furiously whirling around a supermassive black hole at the heart of the magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 3147, located 130 million light-years away.

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed an unexpected thin disc of material encircling a supermassive black hole at the heart of the spiral galaxy NGC 3147, located 130 million light-years away.

Using Earth's most powerful array of radio telescopes, astronomers have made the first observations of a circumplanetary disk of gas and dust like the one that is believed to have birthed the moons of Jupiter.

The find, reported online today in Astrophysical Journal Letters, adds to the intriguing story of planet PDS 70 c, a still-forming gas giant about 370 light years from Earth that was first revealed last month in visible light images.

Regions of the Universe containing very few or no galaxies - known as voids - can help measure cosmic expansion with much greater precision than before, according to new research.

The study looked at the shapes of voids found in data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) collaboration. Voids come in a variety shapes, but because they have no preferred direction of alignment, a large enough sample of them can on average be used as "standard spheres" - objects which should appear perfectly symmetric in the absence of any distortions.

Astrophysicists know that iron (chemical symbol: Fe) is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, after lightweight elements such as hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Iron is most commonly found in gaseous form in stars such as the Sun, and in more condensed form in planets such as Earth.

Iron in interstellar environments should also be common, but astrophysicists detect only low levels of the gaseous kind. This implies that the missing iron exists in some kind of solid form or molecular state, yet identifying its hiding place has remained elusive for decades.

Supercomputer simulations of galaxies have shown that Einstein's theory of General Relativity might not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form.

Physicists at Durham University, UK, simulated the cosmos using an alternative model for gravity - f(R)-gravity, a so called Chameleon Theory.

The resulting images produced by the simulation show that galaxies like our Milky Way could still form in the universe even with different laws of gravity.

Astronomers using National Science Foundation (NSF) radio telescopes have demonstrated how a combination of gravitational-wave and radio observations, along with theoretical modeling, can turn the mergers of pairs of neutron stars into a "cosmic ruler" capable of measuring the expansion of the Universe and resolving an outstanding question over its rate.

Astronomers obtained the first detailed face-on view of a gaseous disk feeding the growth of a massive baby star. They found that it shares many common features with lighter baby stars. This implies that the process of star formation is the same, regardless of the final mass of the resulting star. This finding paves the way for a more complete understanding of star formation.

The role of an excited black hole in the death of an exotic 'jellyfish' galaxy will be presented today (3 July) by Callum Bellhouse of the University of Birmingham at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Lancaster. The supermassive black hole at the centre of jellyfish galaxy JO201 is stripping away gas and throwing it out into space, accelerating suppression of star formation and effectively 'killing' the galaxy. 

Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical "fingerprint" of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, but they are common around other stars.

The planet, Gliese 3470 b (also known as GJ 3470 b), may be a cross between Earth and Neptune, with a large rocky core buried under a deep crushing hydrogen and helium atmosphere. Weighing in at 12.6 Earth masses, the planet is more massive than Earth, but less massive than Neptune (which is more than 17 Earth masses).

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are among the most enigmatic and powerful events in the cosmos. Around 80 of these events--intensely bright millisecond-long bursts of radio waves coming from beyond our galaxy--have been witnessed so far, but their causes remain unknown.