Heavens

The long relationships between stars and the planets around them - including the Sun and the Earth - may be even more complex than previously thought. This is one conclusion of a new study involving thousands of stars using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

By conducting the largest survey ever of star-forming regions in X-rays, a team of researchers has helped outline the link between very powerful flares, or outbursts, from youthful stars, and the impact they could have on planets in orbit.

An international team of scientists, led by astrophysicists from the University of Bath in the UK, has measured the magnetic field in a far-off Gamma-Ray Burst, confirming for the first time a decades-long theoretical prediction - that the magnetic field in these blast waves becomes scrambled after the ejected material crashes into, and shocks, the surrounding medium.

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) discovered a titanic galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole 13.1 billion years ago. This is the earliest-yet-observed example of such a wind to date and is a telltale sign that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the Universe.

Astronomers from University of Warwick and University of Exeter modelling the future of unusual planetary system found a solar system of planets that will 'pinball' off one another

Today, the system consists of four massive planets locked in a perfect rhythm

Study shows that this perfect rhythm is likely to hold for 3 billion years - but the death of its sun will cause a chain reaction and set the interplanetary pinball game in motion

Astronomers have spotted a giant 'blinking' star towards the centre of the Milky Way, more than 25,000 light years away.

An international team of astronomers observed the star, VVV-WIT-08, decreasing in brightness by a factor of 30, so that it nearly disappeared from the sky. While many stars change in brightness because they pulsate or are eclipsed by another star in a binary system, it's exceptionally rare for a star to become fainter over a period of several months and then brighten again.

At the heart of almost every sufficiently massive galaxy there is a black hole whose gravitational field, although very intense, affects only a small region around the centre of the galaxy. Even though these objects are thousands of millions of times smaller than their host galaxies our current view is that the Universe can be understood only if the evolution of galaxies is regulated by the activity of these black holes, because without them the observed properties of the galaxies cannot be explained.

A University of Oklahoma doctoral student, graduate and undergraduate research assistants, and an associate professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences are lead authors on a paper describing a "changing-look" blazar - a powerful active galactic nucleus powered by supermassive blackhole at the center of a galaxy. The paper is published in The Astrophysical Journal.

An international group of collaborators, including scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and The University of New Mexico, have discovered a new, temperate sub-Neptune sized exoplanet with a 24-day orbital period orbiting a nearby M dwarf star. The recent discovery offers exciting research opportunities thanks to the planet's substantial atmosphere, small star, and how fast the system is moving away from the Earth.

Supermassive black holes (SMBH) occupy the center of galaxies, with masses ranging from one million to 10 billion solar masses. Some SMBHs are in a bright phase called active galactic nuclei (AGN).

AGNs will eventually burn out since there is a maximum mass limit for SMBHs; scientists have long since pondered when that will be.

Tohoku University's Kohei Ichikawa and his research group may have discovered an AGN towards the end of its life span by accident after catching an AGN signal from the Arp 187 galaxy.

A team of astronomers from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR) in Pune, and the Raman Research Institute (RRI), in Bangalore, has used the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to measure the atomic hydrogen gas content of galaxies 9 billion years ago, in the young universe. This is the earliest epoch in the universe for which there is a measurement of the atomic hydrogen content of galaxies.

An international team of scientists led from the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA), with participation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) to study a representative sample of galaxies, both disc and spheroidal, in a deep sky zone in the constellation of the Great Bear to characterize the properties of the stellar populations of galactic bulges. The researchers have been able to determine the mode of formation and development of these galactic structures.

It's hard to see more than a handful of stars from Princeton University, because the lights from New York City, Princeton and Philadelphia prevent our sky from ever getting pitch black, but stargazers who get into more rural areas can see hundreds of naked-eye stars -- and a few smudgy objects, too.

The surface of the sun churns with energy and frequently ejects masses of highly-magnetized plasma towards Earth. Sometimes these ejections are strong enough to crash through the magnetosphere -- the natural magnetic shield that protects the Earth -- damaging satellites or electrical grids. Such space weather events can be catastrophic.

Astronomers have studied the sun's activity for centuries with greater and greater understanding. Today, computers are central to the quest to understand the sun's behavior and its role in space weather events.

An international team of astrophysicists led by the Stellar Astrophysics Group of the University of Alicante (UA), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and the University of Valparaíso (Chile) has discovered a massive cluster of stars of intermediate age in the direction of the Scutum constellation. This object, which has been named Valparaíso 1, lies some seven thousand light years away from the Sun, and contains at least fifteen thousand stars.

Magnetic fields are ubiquitous throughout our Milky Way Galaxy and play a crucial role in all dynamics of interstellar medium. However, questions like how Solar-type stars form out of magnetized molecular clouds, whether the role of magnetic fields changes at various scales and densities of molecular clouds, and what factors can change the morphology of magnetic fields in low-mass dense cores still remain unclear.