Heavens

About 550 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia lies IC 63, a stunning and slightly eerie nebula. Also known as the ghost of Cassiopeia, IC 63 is being shaped by radiation from a nearby unpredictably variable star, Gamma Cassiopeiae, which is slowly eroding away the ghostly cloud of dust and gas. This celestial ghost makes the perfect backdrop for the upcoming feast of All Hallow's Eve -- better known as Halloween.

New research, published today (Wednesday 24 October) in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, has found evidence for a large number of double supermassive black holes, likely precursors of gigantic black hole merging events. This confirms the current understanding of cosmological evolution - that galaxies and their associated black holes merge over time, forming bigger and bigger galaxies and black holes.

Twenty years ago, scientists were shocked to realize that our universe is not only expanding, but that it's expanding fasterover time.

Pinning down the exact rate of expansion, called the Hubble constant after famed astronomer and UChicago alumnus Edwin Hubble, has been surprisingly difficult. Since then scientists have used two methods to calculate the value, and they spit out distressingly different results. But last year's surprising capture of gravitational waves radiating from a neutron star collision offered a third way to calculate the Hubble constant.

On October 16, 2017, an international group of astronomers and physicists excitedly reported the first simultaneous detection of light and gravitational waves from the same source--a merger of two neutron stars. Now, a team that includes several University of Maryland astronomers has identified a direct relative of that historic event.

For three and a half centuries, astronomers have pondered a mystery: What did the French monk and astronomer Père Dom Anthelme see when he described a star that burst into view in June 1670, just below the head of the constellation Cygnus, the swan?

Researchers from Keele University have worked with an international team of astronomers to find for the first time that a white dwarf and a brown dwarf collided in a 'blaze of glory' that was witnessed on Earth in 1670.

Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile observed the debris from the explosion

This is the first time such an event has been conclusively identified

The dual rings of dust and gas - the debris from the explosion - resemble an hourglass

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Central Atlantic Ocean and obtained infrared data on Leslie, now weakened to a large tropical storm.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said that Leslie remains a large tropical storm, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 290 miles (465 km) from the center. Because of the size and strength of Tropical Storm Leslie, waves from Leslie are expected to increase along the coasts of Atlantic Canada and New England today, Oct. 5.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kong-Rey and analyzed the rates in which rain was falling throughout the storm.

At the time GPM passed overhead, GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) instruments collected data that revealed moderate convective rainfall northwest of Kong-Rey's center. GPM indicated that rain was falling at over 1.8 inches (45.7 mm) per hour within two areas of storms northwest of Kong-Rey's center.

Taking advantage of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers provide evidence of what could be the first exomoon - a moon orbiting a planet outside our solar system. While the authors were rigorous in their evaluations, they caution that their results must be confirmed by subsequent work. Recently, NASA's Kepler space telescope surveyed for moons in a sample of 284 transiting planets - planets that pass between a star and an observer, resulting in a momentary dimming of the star's light.

One of the weirdest objects in the Milky Way just got weirder. Scientists have discovered a new source of the highest-energy photons in the cosmos: a strange system known as a microquasar, located in our neck of the galaxy a neighborly 15,000 light years from Earth. The discovery could shed light on some of the biggest, baddest phenomena in the known universe.