Heavens

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The universe is getting hotter, a new study has found.

The study, published Oct. 13 in the Astrophysical Journal, probed the thermal history of the universe over the last 10 billion years. It found that the mean temperature of gas across the universe has increased more than 10 times over that time period and reached about 2 million degrees Kelvin today -- approximately 4 million degrees Fahrenheit.

On Jupiter's icy moon Europa, powerful eruptions may spew into space, raising questions among hopeful astrobiologists on Earth: What would blast out from miles-high plumes? Could they contain signs of extraterrestrial life? And where in Europa would they originate? A new explanation now points to a source closer to the frozen surface than might be expected.

A collaboration between the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope in Europe, the Gemini North telescope, and the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF), both on Maunakea in Hawai'i, has led to the first direct discovery of a cold brown dwarf from its radio wavelength emission. Along with paving the way for future brown dwarf discoveries, this result is an important step towards applying radio astronomy to the exciting field of exoplanets.

Fast facts:

Planetary habitability, defined by a planet's ability to sustain liquid water on its surface, is one of the most important concepts in exoplanet science.

Exoplanets (planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system) are subject to space weather in the form of stellar flares, emissions of radiation from stars.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs - powerful, millisecond-duration radio waves coming from deep space outside the Milky Way Galaxy - have been among the most mysterious astronomical phenomena ever observed. Since FRBs were first discovered in 2007, astronomers from around the world have used radio telescopes to trace the bursts and look for clues on where they come from and how they're produced. 

A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Scientists currently estimate that up to 85% of the mass in the universe is effectively invisible. This 'dark matter' cannot be observed directly, because it does not interact with light in the same way as the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets, and life on Earth.

Quick flashes of light in the night sky have been linked to the growing mass of satellites and debris zipping around Earth's orbit.

The orbital flashes, often mistaken for stars, are extremely common, occurring 1,000 times an hour, according to new research led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that may improve the accuracy of astronomical data.

Stargazers have long been tantalized by the inexplicable glimmers and the study published Nov. 5 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters provides a potential explanation for those mysterious flashes.

New data from a Canadian-led team of astronomers, including researchers from the McGill Space Institute and McGill University Department of Physics, strongly suggest that magnetars - a type of neutron star believed to have an extremely powerful magnetic field - could be the source of some fast radio bursts (FRBs). Though much research has been done to explain the mysterious phenomenon, their source has thus far remained elusive and the subject of some debate.

First detection of an intense radio burst from a Galactic magnetar

Researchers from Beijing Normal University, Peking University and National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) found that there is weak correlation between fast radio bursts(FRBs) and soft gamma-ray repeater J1935+2154(SGRs). The study was published in Nature on Nov. 4.

The detection of FRB 200428 associated with the galactic magnetar SGR J1935+2154 provides crucial clues to the generation of FRBs.

In the vast universe, some extremely strong radio waves occasionally blink, with duration of only milliseconds. Such fast radio bursts were discovered by astronomers in 2007. Puzzling questions arise: Who sent them? What information is conveyed by these radio bursts?

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) has revealed some mystery of the fast radio bursts, according to a study published in Nature on Oct. 28.

Pasadena, CA-- The Sloan Digital Sky Survey's fifth generation collected its very first observations of the cosmos at 1:47 a.m. on October 24, 2020. This groundbreaking all-sky survey will bolster our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies--including our own Milky Way--and the supermassive black holes that lurk at their centers.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Planetary scientists from Brown University have developed a new remote sensing method for studying olivine, a mineral that could help scientists understand the early evolution of the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies.

Massive galaxies were already much more mature in the early universe than previously expected. This is the conclusion of an international team of astronomers who studied distant galaxies with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The result is now published by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

This ethereal remnant of a long dead star, nestled in the belly of The Whale, bears an uneasy resemblance to a skull floating through space. Captured in astounding detail by ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), the eerie Skull Nebula is showcased in this new image in beautiful bloodshot colours. This planetary nebula is the first known to be associated with a pair of closely bound stars orbited by a third outer star.

A pair of University of Michigan studies reveals how some massive stars--stars eight or more times the mass of our sun--become isolated in the universe: most often, their star clusters kick them out.

Massive stars typically reside in clusters. Isolated massive stars are called field massive stars. The papers published by U-M students examined most of these stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way.