Heavens

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Around 12 billion years ago, the universe emerged from a great cosmic dark age as the first stars and galaxies lit up. With a new analysis of data collected by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope, scientists are now closer than ever to detecting the ultra-faint signature of this turning point in cosmic history.

Theoreticians in two different fields defied the common knowledge that planets orbit stars like the Sun. They proposed the possibility of thousands of planets around a supermassive black hole.

"With the right conditions, planets could be formed even in harsh environments, such as around a black hole," says Keiichi Wada, a professor at Kagoshima University researching active galactic nuclei which are luminous objects energized by black holes.

An international group of scientists, in cooperation with a research scientist from Skoltech, has developed a model to describe changes in solar plasma. This will help comprehend solar dynamics and gives some clues to understanding how to predict space weather events. The results have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Researchers from Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, JAMSTEC, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center investigated meteorites and found ribose and other sugars. These sugars possessed distinct carbon-isotope compositions, differing from terrestrial biological sugars, indicating their extraterrestrial origin. The results suggest that the sugars formed in the early solar system and made their way to earth via meteorites.

An international research team led by scientists from Göttingen and Potsdam proved for the first time that the galaxy NGC 6240 contains three supermassive black holes. The unique observations, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, show the black holes close to each other in the core of the galaxy. The study points to simultaneous merging processes during the formation of the largest galaxies in the universe.

Wolfe Creek Crater, one of the world's largest meteorite craters, is much younger than previously thought.

Wolfe Creek Crater is situated on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert in northern Western Australia. It is the second largest crater on Earth from which meteorite fragments have been recovered (the largest is Meteor Crater in Arizona).

It was likely formed by a meteor about 15 metres in diameter, weighing around 14,000 tonnes.

The age of the impact is poorly understood and unpublished data suggests the impact could have occurred around 300,000 years ago.

After a decade-long search, an international team of researchers including the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) have for the first time detected a gamma-ray burst in very-high-energy gamma light. This discovery was made in July 2018 by the H.E.S.S. collaboration using the huge 28-m telescope of the H.E.S.S. array in Namibia. Surprisingly, this Gamma-ray burst, an extremely energetic flash following a cosmological cataclysm, was found to emit very-high-energy gamma-rays long after the initial explosion.

New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have investigated the nature of the gamma-ray burst GRB 190114C.

Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the Universe. They emit most of their energy in gamma rays, light which is much more energetic than the visible light we can see with our eyes.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers a peek at the location of the most energetic outburst ever seen in the universe -- a blast of gamma-rays a trillion times more powerful than visible light. That's because in a few seconds the gamma-ray burst (GRB) emitted more energy than the Sun will provide over its entire 10-billion year life.

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AMES, Iowa - NASA's planet-hunting TESS Mission keeps giving astronomers new realities to examine and explain.

Case in point: astronomers using the tools of asteroseismology - the observations and measurements of a star's oscillations, or starquakes, that appear as changes in brightness - have learned more about two stars bright enough to be visible in a dark sky to the naked eye. These red-giant stars - older, "retired" stars no longer burning hydrogen in their cores - are known as HD 212771 and HD 203949.

A radio telescope in the Western Australian outback has captured a spectacular new view of the centre of the galaxy in which we live, the Milky Way.

The image from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope shows what our galaxy would look like if human eyes could see radio waves.

Astrophysicist Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), created the images using the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth.

Scientists using the MeerKAT radio telescope have discovered a unique and previously-unseen flare of radio emission from a binary star in our galaxy.

The MeerKAT radio telescope in the Northern Cape of South Africa has discovered an object which rapidly brightened by more than a factor of three over a period of three weeks. This is the first new transient source discovered with MeerKAT and scientists hope it is the tip of an iceberg of transient events to be discovered with the telescope.

The leftovers from a spectacular supernova that revolutionised our understanding of how stars end their lives have finally been spotted by astronomers at Cardiff University.

The scientists claim to have found evidence of the location of a neutron star that was left behind when a massive star ended its life in a gigantic explosion, leading to a famous supernova dubbed Supernova 1987A.

For more than 30 years astronomers have been unable to locate the neutron star - the collapsed leftover core of the giant star - as it has been concealed by a thick cloud of cosmic dust.

Shrouded in mystery since their discovery, the phenomenon of black holes continues to be one of the most mind-boggling enigmas in our universe.

In recent years, many researchers have made strides in understanding black holes using observational astronomy and an emerging field known as gravitational wave astronomy, first hypothesized by Albert Einstein, which directly measures the gravitational waves emitted by black holes.