Heavens

A new analysis of white dwarf stars supports their role as a key source of carbon, an element crucial to all life, in the Milky Way and other galaxies.

Figuring out how much energy permeates the center of the Milky Way--a discovery reported in the July 3 edition of the journal Science Advances--could yield new clues to the fundamental source of our galaxy's power, said L. Matthew Haffner of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Astronomers created a stunning new image showing celestial fireworks in star cluster G286.21+0.17.

Most stars in the universe, including our Sun, were born in massive star clusters. These clusters are the building blocks of galaxies, but their formation from dense molecular clouds is still largely a mystery.

The newly discovered exoplanet TOI 849 b offers the unique opportunity to peer inside the interior of a planet and learn about its composition. It orbits around a star about 730 light years away, which is very similar to our sun. The exposed core is the same size as Neptune in our solar system. The researchers assume that it is a gas giant that was either stripped of its gaseous atmosphere or that failed to fully form one in its early life due to special circumstances.

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is the largest telescope with the highest sensitivity in the world. Extragalactic neutral hydrogen detection is one of important scientific goals of FAST.  

Life on Earth would not be possible without the Moon; it keeps our planet's axis of rotation stable, which controls seasons and regulates our climate. However, there has been considerable debate over how the Moon was formed. The popular hypothesis contends that the Moon was formed by a Mars-sized body colliding with Earth's upper crust which is poor in metals. But new research suggests the Moon's subsurface is more metal-rich than previously thought, providing new insights that could challenge our understanding of that process.

New Curtin University-led research has uncovered how rocks sourced from the Earth's mantle are linked to the formation and breakup of supercontinents and super oceans over the past 700 million years, suggesting that the Earth is made up of two distinct 'faces'.

The research, published in the leading Journal Nature Geoscience, examined the chemical and isotopic 'make-up' of rocks sourced from thousands of kilometres below the surface to better understand how the Earth's mantle responds to plate movements that occur near its surface.

With a specialised telescope in Namibia a DESY-led team of researchers has proven a certain type of binary star as a new kind of source for very high-energy cosmic gamma-radiation. Eta Carinae is located 7500 lightyears away in the constellation Carina (the ship's keel) in the Southern Sky and, based on the data collected, emits gamma rays with energies all the way up to 400 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), some 100 billion times more than the energy of visible light.

Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have discovered the absence of an unstable massive star in a dwarf galaxy. Scientists think this could indicate that the star became less bright and partially obscured by dust. An alternative explanation is that the star collapsed into a black hole without producing a supernova. "If true," says team leader and PhD student Andrew Allan of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, "this would be the first direct detection of such a monster star ending its life in this manner."

Fast facts

- Published in Science, the paper explains how NYUAD researchers used the method of helioseismology to measure the meridional flow (the flow of plasma in the latitudinal and radial directions) in the Sun's interior, which controls the solar cycle.

- Over the course of the 11-year solar cycle, the number of sunspots - dark patches on the surface of the Sun - reaches a maximum, and the latitudes at which sunspots emerge drift toward the equator.

Sometimes nicknames turn out to be closer to reality than you might imagine.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a striking image of a fledgling star's unseen, planet-forming disk casting a huge shadow across a more distant cloud in a star-forming region--like a fly wandering into the beam of a flashlight shining on a wall.

The young star is called HBC 672, and the shadow feature was nicknamed the "Bat Shadow" because it resembles a pair of wings. The nickname turned out to be surprisingly appropriate: Now, the team reports that they see the Bat Shadow flapping!

Astronomers have discovered the second most distant quasar ever found, using the international Gemini Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), Programs of NSF's NOIRLab. It is also the first quasar to receive an indigenous Hawaiian name, Pōniuāʻena. The quasar contains a monster black hole, twice the mass of the black hole in the only other quasar found at the same epoch, challenging the current theories of supermassive black hole formation and growth in the early Universe.

Maunakea, Hawai'i - Astronomers have discovered the second-most distant quasar ever found using three Maunakea Observatories in Hawai'i: W. M. Keck Observatory, the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, and the University of Hawai'i-owned United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). It is the first quasar to receive an indigenous Hawaiian name, Pōniuā`ena, which means "unseen spinning source of creation, surrounded with brilliance" in the Hawaiian language.

The young star HBC 672 is known by its nickname of Bat Shadow because of its wing-like shadow feature. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has now observed a curious "flapping" motion in the shadow of the star's disc for the first time. The star resides in a stellar nursery called the Serpens Nebula, about 1300 light-years away.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) instrument identified the 4000th comet discovered by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA on June 15.

LASCO, which is aboard SOHO, was developed in 1995 to see the extremely faint emission from the region around the Sun called the corona. Operating in space for nearly 25 years, the telescope has seen much more space action than researchers originally anticipated -- discovering well over half of all known comets.