National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) 10 Jun 2020, 19:41 UTC A new set of precision distance measurements made with an international collection of radio telescopes have greatly increased the likelihood that theorists need to revise the “standard model” that describes the fundamental nature of the Universe.The new distance measurements allowed astronomers to refine their calculation of the Hubble Constant, the expansion rate of the Universe, a value important for testing the theoretical model describing the composition and evolution of the Universe. The problem is that the new measurements exacerbate a discrepancy between previously measured values of the Hubble Constant and the value predicted by the model when applied to measurements of the cosmic microwave background made by the Planck satellite.“We find that galaxies are nearer than predicted by the standard model of cosmology, corroborating a problem identified in other types of distance measurements. There has been debate over whether this problem lies in the model itself or in the measurements used to test it. Our work uses a distance measurement technique completely independent of all others, and we reinforce the disparity between measured and predicted values. It is likely that the basic cosmological model involved in the predictions is the problem,” said James Braatz, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory ...
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 9 Jun 2020, 09:00 UTC Asteroids don’t just sit there doing nothing as they orbit the Sun. They get bombarded by meteoroids, blasted by space radiation, and now, for the first time, scientists are seeing evidence that even a little sunshine can wear them down.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) 7 Jun 2020, 22:49 UTC 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.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 5 Jun 2020, 11:30 UTC Almost like snowflakes, the stars of the globular cluster NGC 6441 sparkle peacefully in the night sky, about 13,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s galactic center. Like snowflakes, the exact number of stars in such a cluster is difficult to discern. It is estimated that together the stars have 1.6 million times the mass of the Sun, making NGC 6441 one of the most massive and luminous globular clusters in the Milky Way.
Hubble Space Telescope News 3 Jun 2020, 19:00 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 3 Jun 2020, 18:00 UTC This view of sample site Osprey on asteroid Bennu is a mosaic of images collected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on May 26. A total of 347 PolyCam images were stitched together and corrected to produce the mosaic, which shows the site at 0.2 inches (5 mm) per pixel at full size. The spacecraft took these images during an 820-foot (250-meter) reconnaissance pass over the site, which is the closest Osprey has been imaged. The pass was designed to provide high-resolution imagery to identify the best areas within the site to collect a sample.
MIT 2 Jun 2020, 18:59 UTC Brown dwarfs are the middle child of astronomy, too big to be a planet yet not big enough to be a star. Like their stellar siblings, these objects form from the gravitational collapse of gas and dust. But rather than condensing into a star’s fiery hot nuclear core, brown dwarfs find a more zen-like equilibrium, somehow reaching a stable, milder state compared to fusion-powered stars.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 2 Jun 2020, 15:15 UTC About 3.5 million years ago, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy unleashed an enormous burst of energy. Our primitive ancestors, already afoot on the African plains, likely would have witnessed this flare as a ghostly glow high overhead in the constellation Sagittarius. It might have persisted for 1 million years.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 1 Jun 2020, 19:14 UTC Scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and the Black Hole Initiative (BHI), have shed light on how black holes grow over time by developing a new model to predict if growth by accretion or by mergers is dominant, according to the results of a study presented today at the virtual 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society and published simultaneously in The Astrophysical Journal.