Heavens

Scientists at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (skoltech), together with colleagues from the Karl-Franzens University of Graz and the Kanzelhoehe Observatory (Austria) developed an automatic method for detecting "coronal dimmings", or "traces" of coronal mass ejections at the Sun, and also proved that they are reliable indicators of the early diagnosis of powerful emissions of energy from the atmosphere of the Sun, traveling to Earth at great speed.

Space weather forecasters need to predict the speed of solar eruptions, as much as their size, to protect satellites and the health of astronauts, scientists have found.

The first confirmed heartbeat of a supermassive black hole is still going strong more than ten years after first being observed.

X-ray satellite observations spotted the repeated beat after its signal had been blocked by our Sun for a number of years.

Astronomers say this is the most long lived heartbeat ever seen in a black hole and tells us more about the size and structure close to its event horizon - the space around a black hole from which nothing, including light, can escape.

The formation of our solar system was a messy affair. Most of the material that existed before its formation -- material formed around other, long-dead stars -- was vaporized, then recondensed into new materials. But some grains of that material, formed before the sun's birth, still persist.

Scientists have expanded our understanding of potentially habitable planets orbiting distant stars by including a critical climate component - the presence of airborne dust.

The researchers suggest that planets with significant airborne dust - similar to the world portrayed in the classic sci-fi Dune - could be habitable over a greater range of distances from their parent star, therefore increasing the window for planets capable of sustaining life.

Astronomers acting on a hunch have likely resolved a mystery about young, still-forming stars and regions rich in organic molecules closely surrounding some of them. They used the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to reveal one such region that previously had eluded detection, and that revelation answered a longstanding question.

Researchers from Russia, Germany, Finland and the U.S. have studied more than 300 quasars -- spinning black holes that produce beams of plasma. The team has found that the shape of these so-called astrophysical jets changes from parabolic to conical at some distance from the black hole, reminiscent of the iconic flared jeans of the '70s. By effectively measuring these "cosmic pants," the researchers aim to interpret the workings of the central engine that accelerates matter to nearly the speed of light at the centers of remote active galaxies.

A new study reveals that asteroid impact sites in the ocean may possess a crucial link in explaining the formation of the essential molecules for life. The study discovered the emergence of amino acids that serve as the building blocks for proteins - demonstrating the role of meteorites in bringing life's molecules to earth, and potentially Mars.

There are two explanations for the origins of life's building molecules: extraterrestrial delivery, such as via meteorites; and endogenous formation. The presence of amino acids and other biomolecules in meteorites points to the former.

Researchers at the University of Hawai?i Institute for Astronomy (IfA) have been hard at work studying the solar corona, the outermost atmosphere of the sun that expands into interplanetary space. The properties of the solar corona are a consequence of the Sun's complex magnetic field, which is produced in the solar interior and extends outward into space.

Research from the University of Sheffield has found that the chance of finding Earth-like planets in their early stages of formation is much higher than previously thought.

The team studied groups of young stars in the Milky Way to see if these groups were typical compared to theories and previous observations in other star-forming regions in space, and to study if the populations of stars in these groups affected the likelihood of finding forming Earth-like planets.

New results from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope suggest the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the early Universe took place sooner than previously thought. A European team of astronomers have found no evidence of the first generation of stars, known as Population III stars, as far back as when the Universe was just 500 million years old.

The research, led by PhD candidate Adelle Goodwin from the Monash School of Physics and Astronomy will be featured at an upcoming American Astronomical Society meeting this week before it is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Adelle leads a team of international researchers, including her supervisor, Monash University Associate Professor Duncan Galloway, and Dr David Russell from New York University Abu Dhabi.

MADISON -Using the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper telescope, astronomers have for the first time measured the Fermi Bubbles in the visible light spectrum. The Fermi Bubbles are two enormous outflows of high-energy gas that emanate from the Milky Way and the finding refines our understanding of the properties of these mysterious blobs.

We can all picture that incredible image of a black hole that travelled around the world about a year ago. Yet, according to new research by SISSA, ICTP and INFN, black holes could be like a hologram, where all the information is amassed in a two-dimensional surface able to reproduce a three-dimensional image. In this way, these cosmic bodies, as affirmed by quantum theories, could be incredibly complex and concentrate an enormous amount of information inside themselves, as the largest hard disk that exists in nature, in two dimensions.

A new ultra-bright source of X-rays has awakened in between our galactic neighbours the Magellanic Clouds, after a 26-year slumber. This is the second-closest such object known to date, with a brightness greater than a million Suns. The discovery is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.