NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.
Saturn's frigid moon Titan has a curious atmosphere. In addition to a hazy mixture of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, like methane and ethane, Titan's atmosphere also contains an array of more complex organic molecules, including vinyl cyanide, which astronomers recently uncovered in archival ALMA data. Under the right conditions, like those found on the surface of Titan, vinyl cyanide may naturally coalesce into microscopic spheres resembling cell membranes.
For the first time, a team of scientists have calculated the distribution of all light energy contained within the Milky Way, which will provide new insight into the make-up of our galaxy and how stars in spiral galaxies such as ours form. The study is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Using new observations from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope, astronomers have discovered three different populations of baby stars within the Orion Nebula Cluster. This unexpected discovery adds very valuable new insights for the understanding of how such clusters form. It suggests that star formation might proceeds in bursts, where each burst occurs on a much faster time-scale than previously thought.
Arizona State University astronomers Sangeeta Malhotra and James Rhoads, working with international teams in Chile and China, have discovered 23 young galaxies, seen as they were 800 million years after the Big Bang. The results from this sample have been recently published in the Astrophysical Journal.
A blast of gamma rays from space detected in June 2016 is helping astronomers resolve long-standing questions about the universe's most powerful explosions.
In a first-of-its-kind analysis, Northwestern University astrophysicists have discovered that up to half of the matter in our Milky Way galaxy may come from distant galaxies. As a result, each one of us may be made in part from extragalactic matter. Using supercomputer simulations, the researchers found an unexpected mode for how galaxies acquired matter: intergalactic transfer. Supernova explosions eject copious amounts of gas from galaxies, causing atoms to be transported from one galaxy to another via powerful galactic winds.
Using a wide array of ground- and space-based telescope observations, an international team led by University of Maryland astronomers constructed one of the most detailed descriptions of a gamma-ray burst to date. The event, named GRB160625B, revealed key details about the initial "prompt" phase of gamma-ray bursts and the evolution of the large jets of matter and energy that form as a result of the burst.
New maps of dark matter dynamics in the Universe have been produced by a team of international cosmologists.
A research paper published today by Nature Astronomy sheds light on the so far un-explored nightside circulation at the upper cloud level of Venus. Researchers from the Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Cologne are part of an international research project which has now presented these first comprehensive findings. They discovered unexpected patterns of slow motion and abundant station-ary waves in Venus's nighttime sky.