22 Jul 2021, 12:00 UTC Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a partner, astronomers have unambiguously detected the presence of a disc around a planet outside our Solar System for the first time. The observations will shed new light on how moons and planets form in young stellar systems. Next Previous
16 Jul 2021, 12:00 UTC Next Previous
29 Jun 2021, 12:00 UTC Today, an international team of scientists, including researchers at MIT, have announced the detection of a new kind of astrophysical system: a collision between a black hole and a neutron star — two of the densest, most exotic objects in the universe. Scientists have detected signals of colliding black holes, and colliding neutron stars, but had not confirmed a merging of a black hole with a neutron star until now. In a study appearing today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the scientists report observing not just one, but two such rare events, each of which gave off gravitational waves that reverberated across a large swath of the universe before reaching Earth in January 2020, just 10 days apart. The gravitational waves from both collisions were detected by the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the United States, and by Virgo in Italy. The events are named GW200105 and GW200115, for the date when each gravitational wave was observed. Both signals represent the final moments as a black hole and a neutron star spiraled in and merged together. For GW200105, the black hole is estimated to be about 9 times the mass of the sun, with a companion ... Next Previous
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26 May 2021, 14:21 UTC Astronomers continue to develop computer simulations to help future observatories better home in on black holes, the most elusive inhabitants of the universe. The simulations, created by computers working through sets of equations too complicated to solve by hand, illustrate how matter interacts in merger environments. Scientists can use what they learn about black hole mergers to identify some telltale characteristics that let them distinguish black hole mergers from stellar events. Next Previous
17 May 2021, 13:45 UTC Next Previous
American Astronomical Society 29 Jul 2021, 16:06 UTC W. M. Keck Observatory Planet Imager and Characterizer Instrument Delivers First Science, Capturing Spin Measurements of HR 8799 Exoplanets
American Astronomical Society 29 Jul 2021, 14:30 UTC ALMA data proves that ram pressure stripping doesn’t spell an immediate end for galaxies.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 29 Jul 2021, 14:00 UTC Three studies published in the past month have cast doubt on the premise of subsurface lakes below the Martian south pole.
American Astronomical Society 28 Jul 2021, 01:10 UTC An international team of astrophysicists has discovered the presence of transverse rotation in three dwarf spheroidal galaxies, a very faint type of galaxies and difficult to observe, which are orbiting round the Milky Way; this helps to trace their evolutionary history.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 26 Jul 2021, 15:00 UTC For the first time, astronomers have uncovered evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This water vapor forms when ice from the moon's surface sublimates -- that is, turns from solid to gas.
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The Planetary Society Blog 30 Jul 2021, 14:30 UTC This week marked the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 15 mission to the Moon, which launched on July 26, 1971 and landed on July 30. This photo shows mission commander David Scott driving the Lunar Roving Vehicle, the first of three “Moon buggies” deployed on Apollo missions. These vehicles allowed Apollo astronauts to extend the range of their exploration and sample collection. It’s probably fair to say that driving them was a whole lot of fun, too.
Universe Today 29 Jul 2021, 21:07 UTC Thanks to research performed by the EHT Collaboration team during a six-hour observation period in 2017, astronomers are now being treated to images of the core region of Centaurus A and the radio jet emanating from it.
Centauri Dreams 29 Jul 2021, 15:58 UTC Hubble observations from the past two decades have been recently re-examined as a way of investigating what is happening in the tenuous atmosphere of Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System. It was in 1998 that the telescope’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph took the first images of Ganymede at ultraviolet wavelengths, showing auroral bands — ribbons of electrified gas — that reinforced earlier evidence that the moon had a weak magnetic field. Now we have news of sublimated water vapor within the atmosphere, an earlier prediction now verified.
Scientific American 29 Jul 2021, 13:30 UTC A clip from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1978 made the social media rounds in mid-July. The guest that episode—astronomer and science educator Carl Sagan—offered astute criticisms of the then recently released Star Wars film for its myopic (and whitewashed) imagining of how organisms from other galaxies might look. In this collection, reporter Leonard David examines the government report published in June that surveys our evidence for extraterrestrial life so far (see “Experts Weigh in on Pentagon UFO Report”), and two of our opinion writers contemplate some specific circumstances for alien contact.
Universe Today 29 Jul 2021, 12:52 UTC Dark matter remains one of the greatest mysteries in science. Despite decades of astronomical evidence for its existence, no one has yet been able to find any sign of it closer to home. There have been dozens of efforts to do so, and one of the most prominent just hit a milestone – the release and analysis of 8 years of data. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory will soon be releasing results from those 8 years, but for now let’s dive in to what exactly they are looking for.