Universe Today 13 Sep 2019, 07:22 UTC Astronomers have found a supermassive black hole (SMBH) with an unusually regular feeding schedule. The behemoth is an active galactic nucleus (AGN) at the heart of the Seyfert 2 galaxy GSN 069. The AGN is about 250 million light years from Earth, and contains about 400,000 times the mass of the Sun.
astrobites 12 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC The fundamental constituents of galaxies are stars, gas, dust, black holes, and dark matter. The extent to which we understand each of them and their interplay varies greatly. Yet current understanding drives us to acknowledge that the growth of the mass of galaxies must be driven by either active star-formation, galaxy-galaxy mergers, or both. But which of these two effects dominates is an ongoing mystery nearly as old as the discovery of galaxies themselves.
Scientific American 12 Sep 2019, 10:45 UTC As the fourth anniversary of the first detection approaches, the field continues to mature—with a bright future ahead
Universe Today 11 Sep 2019, 23:32 UTC In 2017, LIGO (Laser-Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) and Virgo detected gravitational waves coming from the merger of two neutron stars. They named that signal GW170817. Two seconds after detecting it, NASA’s Fermi satellite detected a gamma ray burst (GRB) that was named GRB170817A. Within minutes, telescopes and observatories around the world honed in on the event.
New Scientist 11 Sep 2019, 18:42 UTC Astronomers have spotted a comet that appears to have come from outside our solar system, which would make it the second interstellar object we’ve detected. Plus, it’s headed toward Earth, which will make it easier to study than the previous interstellar rock. It will approach Earth in December, but will get nowhere near close enough to hit us.
EarthSky Blog 11 Sep 2019, 17:01 UTC Our Milky Way is considered to be a relatively quiescent galaxy, and yet it’s known to have a 4-million-solar-mass black hole at its heart, which is the source of all sorts of fascinating and dynamic processes. Today – September 11, 2019 – an international team of astronomers announced the discovery of yet another of those processes, which generates what they’re calling “one of the largest features ever observed” in the center of the Milky Way. This feature is a pair of enormous radio-emitting bubbles that tower hundreds of light-years above and below the central region of our galaxy. Some of you might recall the discovery of Fermi Bubbles nine years ago – seen at higher-energy wavelengths of light and extending vastly farther into space – and might wonder how this newly found structure relates.
Bad Astronomy 11 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC In December of 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft entered the gravitational influence of the teeny asteroid Bennu. Since then it's been taking amazing images of the wee world, showing us the face of this bizarre alien place. But taking images is only one aspect of the mission. It will (very soon!) collect samples of the asteroid to return to Earth for study, for example. It's also mapping the minerals in the surface rocks.