Heavens

EVANSTON, Ill. -- The final chapter of the historic detection of the powerful merger of two neutron stars in 2017 officially has been written. After the extremely bright burst finally faded to black, an international team led by Northwestern University painstakingly constructed its afterglow -- the last bit of the famed event's life cycle.

Not only is the resulting image the deepest picture of the neutron star collision's afterglow to date, it also reveals secrets about the origins of the merger, the jet it created and the nature of shorter gamma ray bursts.

Astronomers are closing in on a signal that has been travelling across the Universe for 12 billion years, bringing them nearer to understanding the life and death of the very earliest stars.

Quasars are the Universe's brightest beacons; shining with magnitudes more luminosity than entire galaxies and the stars they contain. In the center of this light, at the heart of a quasar, researchers think, is an all-consuming black hole.

Researchers, for the first time, have observed the accelerated rate at which eight quasars consume interstellar fuel to feed their black holes.

They published their results on Sept 4th, Nature.

A new study using mass spectrometry is helping piece together what happens when DNA that has been sensitized by the oncology drug 5-fluorouracil is subjected to the ionising radiation used in radiotherapy.

Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. Today, there are indications that an active moon outside our solar system, an exo-Io, could be hidden at the exoplanet system WASP-49b.

The oldest stars in our Galaxy are also the busiest, moving more rapidly than their younger counterparts in and out of the disk of the Milky Way, according to new analysis carried out at the University of Birmingham.

The findings provide fresh insights into the history of our Galaxy and increase our understanding of how stars form and evolve.

Researchers calculate that the old stars are moving more quickly in and out of the disc - the pancake-shaped mass at the heart of the Galaxy where most stars are located.

Two McGill University astronomers have assembled a "fingerprint" for Earth, which could be used to identify a planet beyond our Solar System capable of supporting life.

Maunakea, Hawaii - Astronomers have discovered a planet three times the mass of Jupiter that travels on a long, egg-shaped path around its star. If this planet were somehow placed into our own solar system, it would swing from within our asteroid belt to out beyond Neptune. Other giant planets with highly elliptical orbits have been found around other stars, but none of those worlds were located at the very outer reaches of their star systems like this one.

Researchers have successfully created a model of the Universe using artificial intelligence, reports a new study.

A new study by McGill University astronomers has found that the temperature on the nightsides of different hot Jupiters-- planets that are similar size in to Jupiter, but orbit other stars--- is surprisingly uniform, suggesting the dark sides of these massive gaseous planets have clouds made of minerals and rocks.

Using data from the Spitzer Space and the Hubble Space telescopes, the researchers from the McGill Space Institute found that the nightside temperature of 12 hot Jupiters they studied was about 800°C.

On August 17, 2017, scientists made history with the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars. It was the first cosmic event detected in both gravitational waves and the entire spectrum of light, from gamma rays to radio emissions.

A special kind of streaked aurora has been found to track disturbances in near-Earth space from the ground. Known as structured diffuse aurora, it was recently discovered, with the help of NASA spacecraft and instruments, that these faint lights in the night sky can map the edges of the Van Allen radiation belts -- hazardous concentric bands of charged particles encircling Earth.

Astrophysicists have discovered that the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) surrounding the famous pulsar B0540-69 brightened gradually after the pulsar experienced a sudden spin-down rate transition (SRT). This discovery, made by a group of astrophysicists led by GE Mingyu and LU Fangjun at the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, provides important clues to the spin-down mechanism and the magnetic field structure of the pulsar, as well as the physical properties of the PWN. The results were published in Nature Astronomy.

Quantum mechanics boasts all sorts of strange features, one being quantum superposition - the peculiar circumstance in which particles seem to be in two or more places or states at once. Now, an international group of physicists led by Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Vienna and University of Queensland flip that description on its head, showing that particles are not the only objects that can exist in a state of superposition - so can time itself.

Microbial life on Mars may potentially be transported across the planet on dust particles carried by wind, according to a study conducted in the Atacama Desert in North Chile, a well-known Mars analogue. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

Armando Azua-Bustos and colleagues investigated whether microbial life could move across the Atacama Desert using on wind-driven dust particles They sought to determine where these microorganisms originate, which may have implications for microbial life in extreme environments.