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Puzzling 'cold quasar' forming new stars in spite of active galactic nucleus
Using NASA's SOFIA telescope, University of Kansas researchers have found CQ 4479, a galaxy which never had been closely studied before, to be generating new stars in spite of a luminous AGN at the galaxy's center. (2020-11-27)

New Hubble data explains missing dark matter
New data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides further evidence for tidal disruption in the galaxy NGC 1052-DF4. This result explains a previous finding that this galaxy is missing most of its dark matter. By studying the galaxy's light and globular cluster distribution, astronomers have concluded that the gravity forces of the neighbouring galaxy NGC 1035 stripped the dark matter from NGC 1052-DF4 and are now tearing the galaxy apart. (2020-11-26)

NASA's Hubble sees unexplained brightness from colossal explosion
Long ago and far across the universe, an enormous burst of gamma rays unleashed more energy in a half-second than the Sun will produce over its entire 10-billion-year lifetime. In May of 2020, light from the flash finally reached Earth and was first detected by NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. (2020-11-23)

Astronomers' success: seven new cosmic masers
The astronomers from Toru?, Poland have successfully completed the survey of the Milky Way plane. They searched for gas clouds, where there was a maser reinforcement of the OH molecule. They saw seven new sources - each of them brings scientists closer to the process by which massive stars are born. - It is like listening to the buzzing of a mosquito during a loud concert - backstage observations are recapitulated by Prof. Anna Bartkiewicz. (2020-11-18)

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)

Birth of magnetar from colossal collision potentially spotted for first time
Researchers spotted a short gamma ray burst 10 times brighter than predicted. The mysterious brightness might signal the birth of a rare magnetar, formed from two neutron stars merging, which has never before been observed. (2020-11-12)

Galaxies have gotten hotter as they've gotten older
Who says you can't get hotter with age? Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and other institutions have found that, on average, the temperature of galaxy clusters today is 4 million degrees Fahrenheit. That is 10 times hotter than 10 billion years ago, and four times hotter than the Sun's outermost atmosphere called the corona. The findings are published in the Astrophysical Journal. (2020-11-10)

Maunakea telescopes confirm first brown dwarf discovered by radio observations
A collaboration between the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope in Europe, the Gemini North telescope, and the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF), both on Maunakea in Hawai'i, has led to the first direct discovery of a cold brown dwarf from its radio wavelength emission. Along with paving the way for future brown dwarf discoveries, this result is an important step towards applying radio astronomy to the exciting field of exoplanets. (2020-11-09)

Seeing dark matter in a new light
A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (2020-11-06)

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)

FAST reveals mystery of fast radio bursts from the universe
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) has revealed some mystery of the fast radio bursts, according to a study published in Nature on Oct. 28. (2020-11-04)

NASA missions help pinpoint the source of a unique x-ray, radio burst
On April 28, a supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar blasted out a simultaneous mix of X-ray and radio signals never observed before. The flare-up included the first fast radio burst (FRB) ever seen from within our Milky Way galaxy and shows that magnetars can produce these mysterious and powerful radio blasts previously only seen in other galaxies. (2020-11-04)

Supersonic winds, rocky rains forecasted on lava planet
Among the most extreme planets discovered beyond the edges of our solar system are lava planets: fiery hot worlds that circle so close to their host star that some regions are likely oceans of molten lava. According to scientists, the atmosphere and weather cycle of at least one such exoplanet is even stranger, featuring the evaporation and precipitation of rocks, supersonic winds that rage over 5000 km/hr, and a magma ocean 100 km deep. (2020-11-03)

Stars and skulls: New ESO image reveals eerie nebula
This ethereal remnant of a long dead star, nestled in the belly of The Whale, bears an uneasy resemblance to a skull floating through space. Captured in astounding detail by ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), the eerie Skull Nebula is showcased in this new image in beautiful bloodshot colours. This planetary nebula is the first known to be associated with a pair of closely bound stars orbited by a third outer star. (2020-10-30)

Measuring the expansion of the universe: Researchers focus on velocity
There seems to be a discrepancy between measurement of the expansion of the Universe using radiation in the early Universe and using nearby objects. Researchers from the Cosmic Dawn Center, at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, have now contributed to this debate by focusing on velocity (2020-10-29)

Astronomers discover activity on distant planetary object
A team of astronomers, led by doctoral student Colin Chandler in Northern Arizona University's Astronomy and Planetary Science PhD program, earlier this year announced their discovery of activity emanating from Centaur 2014 OG392, a planetary object first found in 2014. They published their findings in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. As a result of the team's discovery, the Centaur has recently been reclassified as a comet, and will be known as 'C/2014 OG392 (PANSTARRS).' (2020-10-28)

Surprisingly mature galaxies in the early Universe
When the Universe was only a tenth of its current age its galaxies experienced a growth spurt. It was this period that the scientists in the ALPINE project focused on when they used ESO's ALMA telescope to carry out the first ever large survey of distant galaxies. To their surprise, these galaxies observed in the early stages of their life were far more mature than expected. (2020-10-27)

Astronomers are bulging with data
For the first time, over 250 million stars in our galaxy's bulge have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light, opening the door for astronomers to reexamine key questions about the Milky Way's formation and history. Using ultraviolet data, and with 450,000 individual images, the team was able to measure the chemical composition of tens of thousands of stars spanning a large area of the bulge. The vast dataset can be explored in spectacular detail in this image. (2020-10-27)

Data reveals evidence of molecular absorption in the atmosphere of a hot Neptune
An international team of scientists recently measured the spectrum of the atmosphere of a rare hot Neptune exoplanet, whose discovery by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was announced just last month. (2020-10-26)

AI and photonics join forces to make it easier to find 'new Earths'
By combining photonics with artificial intelligence, University of Sydney scientists have developed a sensor that will help decipher the 'twinkle' of stars and allow for Earth-based exploration of planets around distant stars. Their invention will be deployed in one of the world's largest telescopes at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. (2020-10-21)

Two planets around a red dwarf
The 'SAINT-EX' Observatory, led by scientists from the National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva, has detected two exoplanets orbiting the star TOI-1266. The Mexico-based telescope thus demonstrates its high precision and takes an important step in the quest of finding potentially habitable worlds. (2020-10-16)

Australian research shows NASA's James Webb telescopes will reveal hidden galaxies
Simulations show it's possible to distinguish host galaxy from quasars, although still challenging due to the galaxy's small size on the sky. (2020-10-15)

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)

Death by spaghettification: Scientists record last moments of star devoured by black hole
A rare blast of light, emitted by a star as it is sucked in by a supermassive black hole, has been spotted by scientists using telescopes from around the world. (2020-10-12)

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)

Spitzer space telescope legacy chronicled in Nature Astronomy
A national team of scientists Thursday published in the journal Nature Astronomy two papers that provide an inventory of the major discoveries made possible thanks to Spitzer and offer guidance on where the next generation of explorers should point the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) when it launches in October 2021. (2020-10-09)

Hubble sees swirls of forming stars
At around 60 million light-years from Earth, the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, NGC 1365, is captured beautifully in this image by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. (2020-10-09)

Signals from distant stars connect optical atomic clocks across Earth for the first time
Using radio telescopes observing distant stars, scientists have connected optical atomic clocks on different continents. The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Physics by an international collaboration between 33 astronomers and clock experts at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan), the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM, Italy), the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF, Italy), and the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM, France). (2020-10-08)

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)

Some planets may be better for life than Earth
Researchers have identified two dozen planets outside our solar system that may have conditions more suitable for life than our own. Some of these orbit stars that may be better than even our sun. (2020-10-05)

Gemini South's high-def version of 'A Star is Born'
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is still more than a year from launching, but the Gemini South telescope in Chile has provided astronomers from Rice University and Dublin City University a glimpse of what the orbiting observatory should deliver. (2020-10-05)

Revealing secret of lithium-rich stars by monitoring their heartbeats
A recent study from an international team led by Prof. ZHAO Gang, Prof. SHI Jianrong, and Dr. YAN Hongliang from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) found that most lithium-rich stars are the so-called ''red clumps'' rather than the ''red giants'' as previously thought. (2020-10-05)

Looking sharp: Most detailed image yet of famous stellar nursery
Astronomers using the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, have captured the western wall of the Carina Nebula in unprecedented detail in a compelling image released today. The image reveals a number of unusual structures in the nebula. The exquisite detail revealed in the image is in part due to a technology known as adaptive optics, which resulted in a ten-fold improvement in the sharpness of the research team's observations. (2020-10-05)

ESO telescope spots galaxies trapped in the web of a supermassive black hole
With the help of ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have found six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole when the Universe was less than a billion years old. This is the first time such a close grouping has been seen so soon after the Big Bang and the finding helps us better understand how supermassive black holes formed and grew so quickly. It supports the theory that black holes can grow rapidly within large structures which contain plenty of gas to fuel them. (2020-10-01)

Hubble observes spectacular supernova time-lapse
The NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has tracked the fading light of a supernova in the spiral galaxy NGC 2525, located 70 million light years away. Supernovae like this one can be used as cosmic tape measures, allowing astronomers to calculate the distance to their galaxies. Hubble captured these images as part of one of its major investigations, measuring the expansion rate of the Universe, which can help answer fundamental questions about our Universe's very nature. (2020-10-01)

Hubble watches exploding star fade into oblivion
When a star unleashes as much energy in a matter of days as our Sun does in several billion years, you know it's not going to remain visible for long. Like intergalactic paparazzi, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured the quick, fading celebrity status of a supernova, the self-detonation of a star. (2020-10-01)

Einstein's description of gravity just got much harder to beat
Astrophysicists put general relativity to a new test with black hole images. (2020-10-01)

Wobbling shadow of the M87 black hole
New analysis from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration reveals the behavior of the supermassive black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy across multiple years, indicating the crescent-like shadow feature appears to be wobbling. (2020-09-23)

Astronomers discover an Earth-sized "pi planet" with a 3.14-day orbit
Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a ''pi Earth'' -- an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant. (2020-09-21)

Climate change impacts astronomical observations
Already, climate change is having an impact on the conditions of space observation at the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert. In future, new telescopes will have to be adapted to the expected changes, a study in 'Nature Astronomy' finds. (2020-09-17)

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