MIT scientists have uncovered a sprawling new galaxy cluster hiding in plain sight. The cluster, which sits a mere 2.4 billion light years from Earth, is made up of hundreds of individual galaxies and surrounds an extremely active supermassive black hole, or quasar.
The Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) in Spain, the Laboratory for Space Research (LSR) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and an International team comprising scientists from Argentina, Mexico and Germany have discovered the unusual evolution of the central star of a planetary nebula in our Milky Way. This extraordinary discovery sheds light on the future evolution, and more importantly, the ultimate fate of the sun.
Astronomers have identified some of the earliest galaxies in the universe. The team from the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has found evidence that the faintest satellite galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy are amongst the very first galaxies that formed in our universe.
Lab-based mimicry allowed an international team of physicists including Carnegie's Alexander Goncharov to probe hydrogen under the conditions found in the interiors of giant planets -- where experts believe it gets squeezed until it becomes a liquid metal, capable of conducting electricity.
Exoplanets can orbit close to their host star. When the host star is much hotter than our sun, then the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star. The hottest 'ultra-hot' planet was discovered last year. Today, a team led by UNIGE discovered the presence of iron and titanium vapors in the atmosphere of this planet. This detection was made possible by the surface temperature of this planet, which reaches more than 4,000 degrees.
International team of scientists from Russia (including a research associate of the Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University Sergei Parfenov), Germany, Italy, USA and France discovered relatively high concentration of formic acid in the protoplanetary disk. This is the first organic molecule found in protoplanetary disks, containing two oxygen atoms.
The detection of 'mini-moons' -- small asteroids temporarily captured in orbit around Earth -- will vastly improve our scientific understanding of asteroids and the Earth-moon system. Small and fast-moving, they have evaded detection by existing technology, with only one confirmed mini-moon discovery to date. The advent of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could verify their existence and track their paths around our planet, presenting exciting scientific and commercial opportunities.
An unusual kind of star-planet hybrid atmosphere is emerging from studies of ultrahot planets orbiting close to other stars.
A Japan-based research team led by Kanazawa University equipped the Arase satellite with sensors to study the convoluted interactions between high-energy particles in the inner magnetosphere and the Earth's electric and magnetic field. They have collected their first set of data from the satellite and from ground-based sensors, which they will soon analyze. Their approach promises to provide better predictions of harmful bursts of high-energy particles from the magnetosphere.
Volatiles -- such as water, carbon dioxide and the noble gases -- come out of the earth's interior through volcanism and may be injected into the mantle from the atmosphere, a pair of processes called mantle degassing and regassing. The exchange controls the habitability of the planet. This transport could not have begun much before 2.5 billion years ago, according to new research that also establishes a range of dates during which the Earth shifted to a net regassing regime.