Heavens

A radio telescope in outback Western Australia has completed the deepest and broadest search at low frequencies for alien technologies, scanning a patch of sky known to include at least 10 million stars.

Astronomers used the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope to explore hundreds of times more broadly than any previous search for extraterrestrial life.

New studies of a rare type of meteorite show that material from close to the Sun reached the outer solar system even as the planet Jupiter cleared a gap in the disk of dust and gas from which the planets formed. The results, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to an emerging understanding of how our Solar System formed and how planets form around other stars.

Pioneering new research has revealed the first direct evidence that groups of stars can tear apart their planet-forming disc, leaving it warped and with tilted rings.

An international team of experts, led by astronomers at the University of Exeter, has identified a stellar system where planet formation might take place in inclined dust and gas rings within a warped circumstellar disc around multiple stars.

A view from a potential planet around this system will give the observer a stunning view of a tilted, multiple stellar constellation - similar to Star Wars' Tatooine.

An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found a peculiar dust ring system around the young triple star GW Orionis. The system has three large, misaligned rings with sufficient dust for planet formation. The misaligned rings might have been formed by a hidden planet between the rings, which would provide a clue to understand planet formation around a multiple star system.

Cosmologists have zoomed in on the smallest clumps of dark matter in a virtual universe - which could help us to find the real thing in space.

An international team of researchers, including Durham University, UK, used supercomputers in Europe and China to focus on a typical region of a computer-generated universe.

The zoom they were able to achieve is the equivalent of being able to see a flea on the surface of the Moon.

Astronomers have known for two decades that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, but the physics of this expansion remains a mystery. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa have made a novel prediction--the dark energy responsible for this accelerating growth comes from a vast sea of compact objects spread throughout the voids between galaxies. This conclusion is part of a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal.

The Sun is our star and has a profound influence on our planet, life, and civilization. By studying the magnetism on the Sun, we can understand its influence on Earth and minimize damage of satellites and technological infrastructure. The GREGOR telescope allows scientists to resolve details as small as 50 km on the Sun, which is a tiny fraction of the solar diameter of 1.4 million km. This is as if one saw a needle on a soccer field perfectly sharp from a distance of one kilometer.

An international research collaboration including Northwestern University astronomers has witnessed the birth of an "intermediate-mass" black hole. This is the first conclusive discovery of an intermediate-mass black hole, an object which has long eluded astronomers. The cosmic event, its energy detected on Earth in the form of gravitational waves, is the most massive black hole merger yet observed in gravitational waves.

Scientists observed what appears to be a bulked-up black hole tangling with a more ordinary one. The research team, which includes physicists from the University of Maryland, detected two black holes merging, but one of the black holes was 1 1/2 times more massive than any ever observed in a black hole collision. The researchers believe the heavier black hole in the pair may be the result of a previous merger between two black holes.

The enigmatic variations of light in a binary system, located in Sagittarius constellation, could be explained by the presence of a variable gas disk around a hot star that revolves around a cooler star. These are the conclusions published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics and which brought by researchers from Chile, Serbia and Poland.

The gravitational wave (1) detectors LIGO and Virgo have just chalked up their biggest catch yet, a black hole 142 times the mass of the Sun, resulting from the merger of two black holes of 85 and 65 solar masses. The remnant black hole is the most massive ever observed with gravitational waves, and it could give us some clues about the formation of the supermassive black holes that sit at the centres of some galaxies.

The most massive black hole collision ever detected has been directly observed by the LIGO and VIRGO Scientific Collaboration, which includes scientists from The Australian National University (ANU).

The short gravitational wave signal, GW190521, captured by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories in the United States and Europe on 21 May last year, came from two highly spinning, mammoth black holes weighing in at a massive 85 times and 66 times the mass of the Sun, respectively.

Radio astronomers have detected jets of hot gas blasted out by a black hole in the galaxy at the heart of the Phoenix Galaxy Cluster, located 5.9 billion light-years away in the constellation Phoenix. This is an important result for understanding the coevolution of galaxies, gas, and black holes in galaxy clusters.

A team including researchers from the Institute for Astrophysics of the University of Cologne has for the first time directly observed the columns of matter that build up newborn stars. This was observed in the young star TW Hydrae system located approximately 163 light years from Earth. This result was obtained with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and its GRAVITY instrument of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. The article 'A measure of the size of the magnetospheric accretion region in TW Hydrae' has been published in a recent issue of Nature.

A research group led by Prof. WANG Jian from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) proposed a continuous-scanning near-infrared sky brightness monitor (CNISBM). It can measure 2.5 to 5 μm infrared sky brightness based on an InSb detector and a linear variable filter.

This study was published on Jouranl of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems on August 13.