Current Astronomy News and Events

Current Astronomy News and Events, Astronomy News Articles.
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Scientists link star-shredding event to origins of universe's highest-energy particles
A team of scientists has detected the presence of a high-energy neutrino in the wake of a star's destruction as it is consumed by a black hole. This discovery sheds new light on the origins of Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays--the highest energy particles in the Universe. (2021-02-22)

NASA's Swift helps tie neutrino to star-shredding black hole
For only the second time, astronomers have linked an elusive particle called a high-energy neutrino to an object outside our galaxy. Using ground- and space-based facilities, including NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, they traced the neutrino to a black hole tearing apart a star, a rare cataclysmic occurrence called a tidal disruption event. (2021-02-22)

Big galaxies steal star-forming gas from their smaller neighbours
In research published today, astronomers have discovered that large galaxies are stealing the material that their smaller counterparts need to form new stars. (2021-02-22)

Supercomputer turns back cosmic clock
Astronomers have tested a method for reconstructing the state of the early Universe by applying it to 4000 simulated universes using the ATERUI II supercomputer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). They found that together with new observations the method can set better constraints on inflation, one of the most enigmatic events in the history of the Universe. The method can shorten the observation time required to distinguish between various inflation theories. (2021-02-16)

Embry-Riddle alumna helps unravel key mysteries of rare stars
Researchers including recent Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate Laura M. Lee have mapped an elderly star's orbit around its oversized and equally ancient partner. In a scientific first, they have also determined the dynamical mass of both stars that make up a binary system called Wolf-Rayet 133. The team's findings, published Feb. 9, 2021 by Astrophysical Journal Letters, mark the first-ever visually observed orbit of a rare type of star called a Nitrogen-rich Wolf-Rayet (WN) star. (2021-02-09)

Study of supergiant star Betelgeuse unveils the cause of its pulsations
Betelgeuse is normally one of the brightest, most recognizable stars of the winter sky, marking the left shoulder of the constellation Orion. But lately, it has been behaving strangely: an unprecedentedly large drop in its brightness has been observed in early 2020 (Figure 1), which has prompted speculation that Betelgeuse may be about to explode. (2021-02-08)

Astronomers document the rise and fall of a rarely observed stellar dance
Astronomers have catalogued 126 years of changes to HS Hydra, a rare evolving eclipsing binary star system. Analyzing observations from astro-photographic plates in the late 1800s to TESS observations in 2019, they show that the two stars in HS Hydra began to eclipse each other around a century ago, peaking in the 1960s. The degree of eclipsing then plummeted over the course of just a half century, and will cease around February 2021. (2021-01-14)

Quasar discovery sets new distance record
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), along with other telescopes, have discovered the most distant quasar yet found. The bright quasar, powered by a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy, is seen as it was only 670 million years after the Big Bang, and is providing valuable clues about how such huge black holes and their host galaxies formed in the early Universe. (2021-01-12)

Researchers turn coal powder into graphite in microwave oven
The University of Wyoming team created an environment in a microwave oven to successfully convert raw coal powder into nano-graphite, which is used as a lubricant and in items ranging from fire extinguishers to lithium ion batteries. (2021-01-06)

A blazar in the early universe
Observations with the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) reveal previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected from the core of a galaxy seen as it was when the universe was only about 7% of its current age. (2020-12-22)

The Milky Way primordial history and its fossil findings
Recently discovered and named, the ''Bulge Fossil Fragments'' represent a new class of stellar systems composed of the relics of primordial massive clumps of gas and stars that originated the core of our galaxy approximately 12 billion years ago (2020-12-18)

Longest intergalactic gas filament discovered
Astrophysicists led by the University of Bonn (Germany) have for the first time observed a gas filament with a length of 50 million light years. Its structure is strikingly similar to the predictions of computer simulations. The observation therefore also confirms our ideas about the origin and evolution of our universe. The results are published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. (2020-12-17)

Combined observations of neutron stars constrain their equation of state and the Hubble constant
Combining signals from multiple observations of neutron stars has allowed researchers to better understand the properties of ultra-dense matter and constrain the Hubble constant, which describes how fast the Universe is expanding, according to a new study. (2020-12-17)

Most-distant galaxy helps elucidate the early universe
New work from an international team of astronomers improves our understanding of the most-distant known astrophysical object-- GN-z11, a galaxy 13.4 billion light-years from Earth. (2020-12-16)

Astronomers detect possible radio emission from exoplanet
By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, a Cornell University-led international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating from the constellation Boötes. The signal could be the first radio emission collected from a planet beyond our solar system. (2020-12-16)

The farthest galaxy in the universe
A team of astronomers used the Keck I telescope to measure the distance to an ancient galaxy. They deduced the target galaxy GN-z11 is not only the oldest galaxy but also the most distant. It's so distant it defines the very boundary of the observable universe itself. The team hopes this study can shed light on a period of cosmological history when the universe was only a few hundred million years old. (2020-12-14)

Study confirms dark coating can reduce satellite reflectivity
Observations conducted by the Murikabushi Telescope of Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory confirmed that dark coating can reduce satellite reflectivity by half. There are concerns that numerous artificial satellites in orbit could impair astronomical observations, but these findings may help alleviate such conditions. (2020-12-08)

Scientists peer into the 3D structure of the Milky Way
Scientists from Cardiff University have helped produce a brand-new, three-dimensional survey of our galaxy, allowing them to peer into the inner structure and observe its star-forming processes in unprecedented detail. (2020-12-03)

Astronomical instrument hunts for ancient metal
Researchers created a new astronomical instrument that has successfully aided in estimating the abundance of metals in the early universe. The WINERED instrument allows for better observations of astronomical bodies like quasars in the early universe, billions of years ago. Researchers hope this deeper level of exploration could help answer questions about the origins not only of metals in the universe but also of the stars themselves. (2020-11-30)

Researchers discovered solid phosphorus from a comet
An international study led from the University of Turku, Finland, discovered phosphorus and fluorine in solid dust particles collected from a comet. The finding indicates that all the most important elements necessary for life may have been delivered to the Earth by comets. (2020-11-26)

Tracking COVID-19 trends in hard-hit states
Currently, there are over 10 million confirmed cases and more than 240,000 casualties attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. Researchers at Louisiana State University have applied computational models to investigate infection rates in relation to social distancing measures. Their paper, Effect of mitigation measures on the spreading of COVID-19 in hard-hit states in the US, was recently published in PLOS ONE. (2020-11-24)

Galaxy encounter violently disturbed Milky Way, study finds
The long-held belief that the Milky Way, the galaxy containing Earth and the solar system, is relatively static has been ruptured by fresh cosmic insight. The spiral-shaped disc of stars and planets is being pulled, twisted and deformed with extreme violence by the gravitational force of a smaller galaxy - the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). (2020-11-23)

VLA sky survey reveals newborn jets in distant galaxies
Comparing data from VLA sky surveys made some two decades apart revealed that the black hole-powered 'engines' at the cores of some distant galaxies have launched new, superfast jets of material during the interval between the surveys. (2020-11-19)

Cosmic flashes come in all different sizes
By studying the site of a spectacular stellar explosion seen in April 2020, a Chalmers-led team of scientists have used four European radio telescopes to confirm that astronomy's most exciting puzzle is about to be solved. Fast radio bursts, unpredictable millisecond-long radio signals seen at huge distances across the universe, are generated by extreme stars called magnetars - and are astonishingly diverse in brightness. (2020-11-16)

Dark matter from the depths of the universe
Cataclysmic astrophysical events such as black hole mergers could release energy in unexpected forms. Exotic low-mass fields (ELFs), for example, could propagate through space and cause feeble signals detectable with quantum sensor networks such as the atomic clocks of the GPS network or the magnetometers of the GNOME network. These results are particularly interesting in the context of the search for dark matter, as low-mass fields are regarded as promising candidates for this exotic form of matter. (2020-11-11)

Mining rocks in orbit could aid deep space exploration
The first mining experiments conducted in space could pave the way for new technologies to help humans explore and establish settlements on distant worlds, a study suggests. (2020-11-10)

Radioactive elements may be crucial to the habitability of rocky planets
The amount of long-lived radioactive elements incorporated into a rocky planet as it forms may be a crucial factor in determining its future habitability. That's because internal heating from the radioactive decay of the heavy elements thorium and uranium drives plate tectonics and may be necessary for the planet to generate a magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from solar winds and cosmic rays. (2020-11-10)

Has the hidden matter of the universe been discovered?
Astrophysicists consider that around 40% of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and galaxies remains undetected, concealed in the form of a hot gas in the complexe cosmic web. Today, scientists at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay) may have detected, for the first time, this hidden matter through an innovative statistical analysis of 20-year-old data. Their findings are published on November 6, 2020 in Astronomy & Astrophysics. (2020-11-06)

Stars and planets grow up together as siblings
ALMA shows rings around the still-growing proto-star IRS 63 (2020-10-23)

ALMA shows volcanic impact on Io's atmosphere
New radio images from ALMA show for the first time the direct effect of volcanic activity on the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io. (2020-10-21)

The Milky Way galaxy has a clumpy halo
Astronomers at the University of Iowa have determined our galaxy is surrounded by a clumpy halo of hot gases that is continually being supplied with material ejected by birthing or dying stars. The halo also may be where matter unaccounted for since the birth of the universe may reside. Results published in the journal Nature Astronomy. (2020-10-19)

Anemic star cluster breaks metal-poor record
In a surprising discovery, astronomers using two Maunakea Observatories - W. M. Keck Observatory and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) - have found a star cluster in the Andromeda Galaxy that contains a record-breaking low amount of metals, calling into question the so-called 'metallicity-floor' for massive globular star clusters. (2020-10-15)

Scientists author papers in Nature Astronomy chronicling legacy of Spitzer space telescope
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, decommissioned earlier this year, made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies, leaving a lasting legacy of solar system science. A team of more than a dozen scientists from the US and Europe collaborated on two review papers published in the journal Nature Astronomy inventorying the major discoveries made possible by Spitzer. (2020-10-12)

New research explores how super flares affect planets' habitability
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will help astrobiologists understand how much radiation planets experience during super flares and whether life could exist on worlds beyond our solar system. (2020-10-07)

Ultrasensitive microwave detector developed
A joint international research team from POSTECH of South Korea, Raytheon BBN Technologies, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S., Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology in Spain, and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan have together developed ultrasensitive sensors that can detect microwaves with the highest theoretically possible sensitivity. (2020-10-01)

Scientists precisely measure total amount of matter in the universe
A top goal in cosmology is to precisely measure the total amount of matter in the universe, a daunting exercise for even the most mathematically proficient. A team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has now done just that. (2020-09-28)

Astronomers model, determine how disk galaxies evolve so smoothly
By developing better computer simulations, researchers have determined that the scattering of stars from their orbits by the gravity of massive clumps within galaxies leads to a common look in galaxy disks -- bright centers fading away to dark edges. (2020-09-25)

Water trapped in star dust
Dust particles in space are mixed with ice, as a research team from Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has now proven in lab experiments. Furthermore, they observed ''trapped water'', which should thus also exist in space. (2020-09-22)

Cosmic X-rays reveal an indubitable signature of black holes
A black hole is an exotic cosmic object, from within which nothing, not even light, can escape. Definitive proof of the existence of such objects is a holy grail of physics and astronomy. An international team of astrophysicists, consisting of Mr. Srimanta Banerjee, Professor Marat Gilfanov, Professor Sudip Bhattacharyya and Professor Rashid Sunyaev, has found by far the strongest steady signature of stellar-mass black holes to date, from the cosmic X-rays observed with a satellite. (2020-09-21)

New technology is a 'science multiplier' for astronomy
A new study has tracked the long-term impact of early seed funding obtained from the National Science Foundation on many key advances in astronomy over the past three decades. (2020-09-21)

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