Popular Astrophysics News and Current Events

Popular Astrophysics News and Current Events, Astrophysics News Articles.
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VLBA observations key to 'complete description' of black hole
A precise distance measurement by the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) allowed astronomers to accurately calculate the mass and spin of a famous black hole, thus providing a complete description of the object. (2011-11-17)

Researchers have created a virtual reality simulation of a supermassive black hole
The black hole at the centre of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, has been visualised in virtual reality for the first time. The details are described in an article published in the open access journal Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology. (2018-11-18)

Big stars are more abundant than thought
Observations of a nearby star-forming region reveal that large stars are more prevalent than models have predicted. (2018-01-04)

Supernova may have 'burped' before exploding
Only by increasing the rate at which telescopes monitor the sky has it been possible to catch more Fast-Evolving Luminous Transients (FELTs) and begin to understand them. (2018-03-28)

Astronomers explain why a star is so hot right now
Astronomers have solved a mystery over small, unusually hot blue stars, 10 times hotter than our Sun, that are found in the middle of dense star clusters. (2015-06-23)

Newly discovered Goliath galaxies from early universe hint at massive dark matter trove
A newfound pair of galaxies from the early universe is so massive that it nearly breaks the current understanding of how the cosmos evolved. The larger of the pair is the heftiest galaxy ever seen from the first billion years of the universe. Two galactic giants in such proximity suggest the presence of an enveloping dark matter halo equivalent to 1 trillion times the sun's mass, nearly as large as physically possible at the time. (2017-12-06)

Explosive stars with good table manners
In two comprehensive studies of SN 2011fe -- the closest Type Ia supernova in the past two decades -- there is new evidence that indicates that the white dwarf progenitor was a particularly picky eater, leading scientists to conclude that the companion star was not likely to be a sun-like star or an evolved giant. (2012-03-20)

First look at Jupiter's poles show strange geometric arrays of storms
With NASA's Juno spacecraft, scientists have gotten a good look at the top and bottom of the planet for the first time. What they found astounded them: bizarre geometric arrangements of storms, each arrayed around one cyclone over the north and south poles -- unlike any storm formation seen in the universe. (2018-03-07)

Unresolved puzzles in exotic nuclei
In a new review published in EPJ A, Terry Fortune from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, USA, discusses the structure of unstable and unbound forms of Helium, Lithium, and Beryllium nuclei that have unusually large neutron to proton ratios -- dubbed 'exotic' light nuclei. Many unstable atomic nuclei live long enough to be able serve as targets for further nuclear reactions -- especially in hot environments like the interior of stars. (2018-03-27)

How do you make a galaxy without dark matter
A team of astronomers has discovered a unique galaxy -- the first of its kind -- that appears to contain virtually no dark matter. It is an exceptional find since galaxies are commonly thought to contain more dark matter than the ordinary matter that makes up a galaxy's stars, gas and dust. Also, it is generally accepted that galaxies first formed from concentrations of dark matter that act like 'galaxy starters.' (2018-03-28)

Powerful flare from star Proxima Centauri detected with ALMA
Using data from ALMA, a team of astronomers discovered that a powerful stellar flare erupted from Proxima Centauri last March. (2018-02-26)

A scientific first: A supernova explosion is observed in real time
As members of a team analyzing data from the first real-time observation of a supernova explosion, Weizmann Institute scientists are finding confirmation for their model of the process and helping to solve unanswered questions. (2008-05-21)

New study suggests tens of thousands of black holes exist in Milky Way's center
A Columbia University-led team of astrophysicists has discovered a dozen black holes gathered around Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The finding is the first to support a decades-old prediction, opening up myriad opportunities to better understand the universe. (2018-04-04)

Newly-discovered planet is hot, metallic and dense as Mercury
A hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet with a density similar to Mercury -- situated 260 million light years away -- has been detected and characterized by a global team of astronomers, including the University of Warwick. (2018-03-27)

'This solar system isn't big enough for the both of us.' -- Jupiter
It's like something out of an interplanetary chess game. Astrophysicists at the University of Toronto have found that a close encounter with Jupiter about four billion years ago may have resulted in another planet's ejection from the Solar System altogether. (2015-10-29)

OU astrophysicists discover planets in extragalactic galaxies using microlensing
A University of Oklahoma astrophysics team has discovered for the first time a population of planets beyond the Milky Way galaxy. Using microlensing--an astronomical phenomenon and the only known method capable of discovering planets at truly great distances from the Earth among other detection techniques--OU researchers were able to detect objects in extragalactic galaxies that range from the mass of the Moon to the mass of Jupiter. (2018-02-02)

UTA astrophysicists predict Earth-like planet in star system only 16 light years away
Astrophysicists at the University of Texas at Arlington have predicted that an Earth-like planet may be lurking in a star system just 16 light years away. The team investigated the star system Gliese 832 for additional exoplanets residing between the two currently known alien worlds in this system. Their computations revealed that an additional Earth-like planet with a dynamically stable configuration may be residing at a distance ranging from 0.25 to 2.0 astronomical unit (AU) from the star. (2017-08-17)

Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA
A next-generation observatory, called LISA, is expected to be in space in 2034, and it will be sensitive to gravitational waves of a lower frequency than those detected by the Earth-bound Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). (2018-05-11)

UChicago astrophysicists settle cosmic debate on magnetism of planets and stars
Using one of the world's most powerful laser facilities, a team led by University of Chicago scientists experimentally confirmed a long-held theory for cosmic magnetic field generation: the turbulent dynamo. By creating a hot turbulent plasma the size of a penny, that lasts a few billionths of a second, the researchers recorded how the turbulent motions can amplify a weak magnetic field to the strengths of those observed in our sun, distant stars, and galaxies. (2018-02-09)

New universe simulation prompts breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics
Novel computational methods have helped create the most information-packed, universe-scale simulation ever produced. The new tool provides fresh insights into how black holes influence the distribution of dark matter, how heavy elements are produced and distributed throughout the cosmos, and where magnetic fields originate. (2018-01-31)

Scientists developed a new sensor for future missions to the Moon and Mars
A team of scientists from the Faculty of Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University and their colleagues developed a compact spectral polarimeter for carrying outmineralogical investigations on the surface of astronomical bodies. The description of the device and the results of prototype testing were published in Optics Express. (2017-11-29)

Supermassive black holes control star formation in large galaxies
Young galaxies blaze with bright new stars forming at a rapid rate, but star formation eventually shuts down as a galaxy evolves. A new study, published Jan. 1, 2018, in Nature, shows that the mass of the black hole in the center of the galaxy determines how soon this 'quenching' of star formation occurs. (2018-01-01)

NRL brightens perspective of mysterious mini-halos
The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), working in conjunction with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), employs the upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) to 'peer' into the cluster of galaxies in the constellation Perseus, 250 million light-years from Earth. (2017-08-03)

Astronomers spun up by galaxy-shape finding
For the first time astronomers have measured how a galaxy's spin affects its shape -- something scientists have tried to do for 90 years -- using a sample of 845 galaxies. Because a galaxy's shape is the result of past events such as merging with other galaxies, knowing its shape also tells us about the galaxy's history. The team made its findings with SAMI (the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral field unit), a game-changing instrument. (2017-09-11)

An application of astronomy to save endangered species
The world's first project that combines drone technology with astrophysics to monitor the distribution and density of animal populations to help the conservation of endangered species. (2017-02-06)

Colder and colder
An original method of cooling ions could have new and interesting uses. (2017-09-18)

Three NASA missions return 1st-light data
NASA's continued quest to explore our solar system and beyond received a boost of new information this week with three key missions proving not only that they are up and running, but that their science potential is exceptional. (2018-09-21)

Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision
A new simulation of supermassive black holes--the behemoths at the centers of galaxies--uses a realistic scenario to predict the light signals emitted in the surrounding gas before the masses collide, said Rochester Institute of Technology researchers. (2018-02-14)

NASA's TESS spacecraft starts science operations
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has started its search for planets around nearby stars, officially beginning science operations on July 25, 2018. (2018-07-27)

Radio astronomers peer deep into the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula
Astronomers have released an image of a 50-light-year-long filament of star-forming gas, 1200 light-years away, in the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula. The image combines ammonia molecule observations made with the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope and an infrared image of the Orion Nebula. (2017-06-15)

Neural networks promise sharpest ever images
Telescopes, the workhorse instruments of astronomy, are limited by the size of the mirror or lens they use. Using 'neural nets', a form of artificial intelligence, a group of Swiss researchers now have a way to push past that limit, offering scientists the prospect of the sharpest ever images in optical astronomy. The new work appears in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (2017-02-22)

Swarm-based simulation strategy proves significantly shorter
How long do computer simulations need to run to be accurate? Speeding up processing time to elucidate highly complex study systems like the dynamics of biological molecules has been a common challenge. Now, Shahrazad Malek from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and colleagues have developed a practical solution to the problem of saving time when using computer simulations that require bringing a complex system into a steady state of equilibrium and measuring its equilibrium properties. (2017-12-04)

Cosmologists create largest simulation of galaxy formation, break their own record
An international consortium of cosmology researchers are releasing initial findings from IllustrisTNG, their follow-up to the 2015 record-breaking Illustris simulation -- the largest-ever hydrological simulation of galaxy formation. (2018-03-19)

Astronomers observe the magnetic field of the remains of supernova 1987A
For the first time, astronomers have directly observed the magnetism in one of astronomy's most studied objects: the remains of Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), a dying star that appeared in our skies over thirty years ago. In addition to being an impressive observational achievement, the detection provides insight into the early stages of the evolution of supernova remnants and the cosmic magnetism within them. (2018-06-29)

A nearby river of stars
Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes the work of researchers from the University of Vienna, who have found a river of stars, a stellar stream in astronomical parlance, covering most of the southern sky. The stream is relatively nearby and contains at least 4000 stars that have been moving together in space since they formed, about 1 billion years ago. (2019-02-15)

Queen's University scientist warns of asteroid danger
A leading astrophysicist from Queen's University Belfast has warned that an asteroid strike is just a matter of time. (2017-06-20)

Chemical & Engineering News column receives virtual recognition
Chemical & Engineering News column, (2002-06-20)

Proving what can't be seen
New research published in The Astrophysical Journal examines an interesting light source that was captured by four different telescopes each pointing in a different direction in the sky. (2018-04-16)

Galaxies grow bigger and puffier as they age: New study
A new international study involving the Australian National University and the University of Sydney has found that galaxies grow bigger and puffier as they age. (2018-04-23)

NASA's new planet hunter snaps initial test image, swings by Moon toward final orbit
After launching April 18, TESS has completed its lunar flyby to put it on track for its final science orbit, and has released a first test image. (2018-05-18)

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