Heavens

Rocky exoplanets that are around Earth-size are comparatively small, which makes them incredibly difficult to detect and characterise using telescopes. What are the optimal conditions to find such small planets that linger in the darkness? "A rocky planet that is hot, molten, and possibly harboring a large outgassed atmosphere ticks all the boxes," says Dan Bower, astrophysicist at the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) of the University of Bern. Such a planet could be more easily seen by telescopes due to strong outgoing radiation than its solid counterpart.

Out at the boundary of our solar system, pressure runs high. This pressure, the force plasma, magnetic fields and particles like ions, cosmic rays and electrons exert on one another when they flow and collide, was recently measured by scientists in totality for the first time -- and it was found to be greater than expected.

Washington, DC--Move over Jupiter; Saturn is the new moon king.

A team led by Carnegie's Scott S. Sheppard has found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. This brings the ringed planet's total number of moons to 82, surpassing Jupiter, which has 79. The discovery was announced Monday by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

That's the finding arising from research conducted by a team of scientists led by Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn from Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) and soon to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

The two baby stars were found in the [BHB2007] 11 system - the youngest member of a small stellar cluster in the Barnard 59 dark nebula, which is part of the clouds of interstellar dust called the Pipe nebula. Previous observations of this binary system showed the outer structure.

Faintly glowing wisps of gas, excited by the intense light of surrounding star-forming galaxies, have given astronomers a rare glimpse of one of the Universe's largest but most elusive features - the intergalactic filaments of the cosmic web. In a new study, researchers report the detection of individual filaments of intergalactic gas spanning among young galaxies in a newly forming cluster - and fueling their growth.

About 466 Mya, a major impact event took place between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Space dust spread all across the Solar System, and some of it was found near Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and in the south of Sweden.

Astronomers have uncovered two historic events in which the Andromeda Galaxy underwent major changes to its structure. The findings shed light not only on the evolution and formation of the Andromeda Galaxy, but to our own Milky Way Galaxy as well.

Astronomers have pieced together the cannibalistic past of our neighbouring large galaxy Andromeda, which has now set its sights on the Milky Way as its next main course.   

The galactic detective work found that Andromeda has eaten several smaller galaxies, likely within the last few billion years, with left-overs found in large streams of stars.

An international team of astronomers with participation by researchers from DAWN, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen has discovered a protocluster of galaxies 13.0 billion light years away using the Subaru, Keck, and Gemini Telescopes in Hawaii. A protocluster is a structure of galaxies still in the process of forming a cluster. This protocluster is the most distant protocluster ever found. The discovery suggests that a large structure such as a protocluster already existed at a time when the universe was only about 800 million years old or 6 percent of its present age.

New Haven, Conn. - Some relationships are written in the stars. That's definitely the case for supermassive black holes and their host galaxies, according to a new study from Yale University.
The "special relationship" between supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their hosts -- something astronomers and physicists have observed for quite a while -- can now be understood as a bond that begins early in a galaxy's formation and has a say in how both the galaxy and the SMBH at its center grow over time, the researchers note.

Washington, DC--There is an as-yet-unseen population of Jupiter-like planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, awaiting discovery by future missions like NASA's WFIRST space telescope, according to new models of gas giant planet formation by Carnegie's Alan Boss, described in an upcoming publication in The Astrophysical Journal. His models are supported by a new Science paper on the surprising discovery of a gas giant planet orbiting a low-mass star.

Using the Subaru, Keck, and Gemini Telescopes, an international team of astronomers has discovered a collection of 12 galaxies which existed about 13.0 billion years ago. This is the earliest protocluster ever found. One of the 12 galaxies is a giant object, known as Himiko, which was discovered a decade ago by the Subaru Telescope and named for a mythological queen in ancient Japan. This discovery suggests that large structures such as protoclusters already existed when the Universe was only about 800 million years old, 6 percent of its present age.

Using one cosmic mystery to probe another, astronomers have analyzed the signal from a fast radio burst, an enigmatic blast of cosmic radio waves lasting less than a millisecond, to characterize the diffuse gas in the halo of a massive galaxy.

Astronomers have discovered a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet in an unlikely location - orbiting a small red dwarf star. The newly identified gas giant, designated GJ 5312b, is nearly half as massive as Jupiter, very large given the small host star, which is little more than a tenth of the mass of the Sun. Such a large planet around such a small star is difficult to explain in standard planet formation theories. "A freshly discovered exoplanet is, by itself, no longer particularly note­worthy.