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16 Oct 2019, 17:00 UTC ** Synopsis: For the first time, astronomers using ALMA have witnessed 3D motions of gas in a planet-forming disk. At three locations in the disk around a young star called HD 163296, gas is flowing like a waterfall into gaps that are most likely caused by planets in formation. These gas flows have long been predicted and would directly influence the chemical composition of planet atmospheres. This research is published in the latest issue of the journal Nature. **The birthplaces of planets are disks made out of gas and dust. Astronomers study these so-called protoplanetary disksProtoplanetary DiskThe swirling disk of dust and gas that collapsed from a much larger cloud of material that will eventually evolve into a fully fledged planetary system. Features in the disk may already herald the presence of young planets. to understand the processes of planet formation. Beautiful images of disks made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and its international partners (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), ALMA is among the most complex and powerful astronomical observatories on Earth or in space. The telescope is an array of 66 high-precision dish antennas in northern Chile. See more here show ... Next Previous
15 Oct 2019, 17:00 UTC At the center of a galaxy called NGC 1068, a supermassive black hole hides within a thick doughnut-shaped cloud of dust and gas. When astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and its international partners (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), ALMA is among the most complex and powerful astronomical observatories on Earth or in space. The telescope is an array of 66 high-precision dish antennas in northern Chile. See more here to study this cloud in more detail, they made an unexpected discovery that could explain why supermassive black holes grew so rapidly in the early Universe. “Thanks to the spectacular resolution of ALMA, we measured the movement of gas in the inner orbits around the black hole,” explains Violette Impellizzeri of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), working at ALMA in Chile and lead author on a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal. “Surprisingly, we found two disks of gas rotating in opposite directions.”Supermassive black holes already existed when the Universe was young – just a billion years after the Big Bang. But how these extreme objects, whose masses are up to billions of times the mass of the Sun, had time ... Next Previous
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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 8 Nov 2019, 20:11 UTC NASA will contribute an instrument to a European space mission that will explore the atmospheres of hundreds of planets orbiting stars beyond our Sun, or exoplanets, for the first time.
Carnegie Science 8 Nov 2019, 19:06 UTC The discovery of a 13 billion-year-old cosmic cloud of gas enabled a team of Carnegie astronomers to perform the earliest-ever measurement of how the universe was enriched with a diversity of chemical elements. Their findings reveal that the first generation of stars formed more quickly than previously thought. The research, led by recent Carnegie-Princeton fellow Eduardo Bañados and including Carnegie’s Michael Rauch and Tom Cooper, is published by The Astrophysical Journal.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 8 Nov 2019, 12:30 UTC Within a galaxy hosting around 300 billion stars, here the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a mere handful or two — just about enough to form a single football team. These stellar “teammates” play under the banner of NGC 1333, the cloud of gas and dust that formed them and that they continue to call home.
ESA Top News 8 Nov 2019, 07:50 UTC The size of the ozone hole fluctuates – usually forming each year in August, with its peak in October, before finally closing in late November or December. Not only will the hole close earlier than usual in 2019, but it is also the smallest it has been in 30 years owing to unusual atmospheric conditions.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 5 Nov 2019, 18:00 UTC The glow of the Milky Way — our galaxy seen edgewise — arcs across a sea of stars in a new mosaic of the southern sky produced from a year of observations by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Constructed from 208 TESS images taken during the mission’s first year of science operations, completed on July 18, the southern panorama reveals both the beauty of the cosmic landscape and the reach of TESS’s cameras.
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Sky and Telescope 12 Nov 2019, 00:57 UTC I like seeing how the Crescent nebula seems to hang almost like a 3D object in front of the background of hydrogen gas.
Scientific American 11 Nov 2019, 15:45 UTC Grab your solar eclipse glasses or protected astronomical equipment, because Mercury is marching across the sun as we speak.
EarthSky Blog 11 Nov 2019, 10:39 UTC You’ve heard of panspermia, the idea that life exists throughout space and was carried to Earth by comets? What if the reverse occurred, with microbes on Earth ejected into space by asteroid impacts, escaping into the solar system billions of years ago?