MIT Kavli Institute 23 Nov 2021, 10:00 UTC The hunt for planets beyond our solar system has turned up more than 4,000 far-flung worlds, orbiting stars thousands of light years from Earth. These extrasolar planets are a veritable menagerie, from rocky super-Earths and miniature Neptunes to colossal gas giants.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 22 Nov 2021, 19:05 UTC Scientists have added a whopping 301 newly confirmed exoplanets to the total exoplanet tally.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 16 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC Stars are born from turbulent clouds of gas and dust that collapse under their own gravitational attraction. As the cloud collapses, a dense, hot core forms and begins gathering dust and gas, creating a protostar. This star-forming nebula in the constellation Aquila, G035.20-0.74, is known for producing a particular kind of massive star known as a B-Type star. These stars are hot, young, blue stars up to five times hotter than our Sun.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 15 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC This Hubble image captures a portion of a dark nebula in the constellation Cepheus. LDN 1165 is part of a collection called Lynds’ Catalog of Dark Nebulae, originally published in 1962. Dark nebulae – also called absorption nebulae – are clouds of gas and dust that neither emit nor reflect light, instead blocking light coming from behind them. These nebulae tend to contain large amounts of dust, which allows them to absorb visible light from stars or nebulae beyond them. Dark nebulae are so dark that they’ve been referred to as “holes in the sky,” but in reality they may be full of activity, with stars sometimes forming inside their dense clouds.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 12 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a portion of the reflection nebula IC 2631 that contains a protostar, the hot, dense core of a forming star that is accumulating gas and dust. Eventually the protostar may gravitationally gather enough matter to begin nuclear fusion and emit its own energy and starlight.
ESO Top News 11 Nov 2021, 12:00 UTC Using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), astronomers have discovered a small black hole outside the Milky Way by looking at how it influences the motion of a star in its close vicinity. This is the first time this detection method has been used to reveal the presence of a black hole outside of our galaxy. The method could be key to unveiling hidden black holes in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, and to help shed light on how these mysterious objects form and evolve.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 9 Nov 2021, 15:00 UTC A team of scientists has forecast the scientific impact of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s High Latitude Wide Area Survey on critical questions in cosmology. This observation program will consist of both imaging, which reveals the locations, shapes, sizes, and colors of objects like distant galaxies, and spectroscopy, which involves measuring the intensity of light from those objects at different wavelengths, across the same enormous swath of the universe. Scientists will be able to harness the power of a variety of cross-checking techniques using this rich data set, which promises an unprecedented look into some of cosmology’s most vexing problems.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 8 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC This image shows knots of cold, dense interstellar gas where new stars are forming. These Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules (frEGGs) were first seen in Hubble’s famous 1995 image of the Eagle Nebula. Because these lumps of gas are dark, they are rarely seen by telescopes. They can be observed when the newly forming stars ignite, their intense ultraviolet radiation eroding the surrounding gas away and letting the denser, more resistant frEGGs remain. These frEGGs are located in the Northern Coalsack Nebula in the direction of Cygnus, the Swan.
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy 5 Nov 2021, 09:00 UTC A group of astronomers, led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, propose and have tested a mechanism that explains most of the properties observed in dispersing planet-forming disks around newborn stars for the first time. The key ingredients to this new physical concept are X-ray emissions from the central star and a calm inner disk, well shielded from the incident radiation. This approach explains the seemingly contradicting features observed in those dwindling transition disks that previous models have been unable to reconcile. This result, published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” today, is a big step to understanding the evolution from dusty disks to clean planetary systems like the Solar System.