ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) 28 Feb 2019, 01:00 UTC Astronomers have detected a stealthy black hole from its effects on an interstellar gas cloud. This intermediate mass black hole is one of over 100 million quiet black holes expected to be lurking in our galaxy. These results provide a new method to search for other hidden black holes and help us understand the growth and evolution of black holes.Black holes are objects with such strong gravity that everything, including light, is sucked in and cannot escape. Because black holes do not emit light, astronomers must infer their existence from the effects their gravity produce in other objects. Black holes range in mass from about 5 times the mass of the Sun to supermassive black holes millions of times the mass of the Sun. Astronomers think that small black holes merge and gradually grow into large ones, but no one had ever found an intermediate mass, hundreds or thousands of times the mass of the Sun.A research team led by Shunya Takekawa at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan noticed HCN–0.009–0.044, a gas cloud moving strangely near the center of the Galaxy 25,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. They used ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) to perform ...
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 27 Feb 2019, 18:02 UTC Three images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show pairs of galaxies on the cusp of cosmic consolidations. Though the galaxies appear separate now, gravity is pulling them together, and soon they will combine to form new, merged galaxies. Some merged galaxies will experience billions of years of growth. For others, however, the merger will kick off processes that eventually halt star formation, dooming the galaxies to wither prematurely.
University of Michigan Astronomy Department 27 Feb 2019, 16:05 UTC Seeing is believing, but when it comes to Planet Nine, complex calculations of space objects’ behavior, careful observation of orbital anomalies, and watchful observation of the region beyond Neptune will have to do for now.
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe 26 Feb 2019, 16:00 UTC Dark matter may scatter against each other only when they hit the right energy, say researchers in Japan, Germany, and Austria in a new study. Their idea helps explain why galaxies from the smallest to the biggest have the shapes they do.
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) 26 Feb 2019, 05:00 UTC Astronomers have unveiled the enigmatic origins of two different gas streams from a baby star. Using ALMA, they found that the slow outflow and the high speed jet from a protostar have misaligned axes and that the former started to be ejected earlier than the latter. The origins of these two flows have been a mystery, but these observations provide telltale signs that these two streams were launched from different parts of the disk around the protostar.Stars in the Universe have a wide range of masses, ranging from hundreds of times the mass of the Sun to less than a tenth of that of the Sun. To understand the origin of this variety, astronomers study the formation process of the stars, that is the aggregation of cosmic gas and dust.Baby stars collect the gas with their gravitational pull, however, some of the material is ejected by the protostars. This ejected material forms a stellar birth cry which provides clues to understand the process of mass accumulation.Yuko Matsushita, a graduate student at Kyushu University and her team used ALMA to observe the detailed structure of the birth cry from the baby star MMS5/OMC-3 and found two different gaseous flows: a slow ...
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 25 Feb 2019, 20:03 UTC Scientists have reproduced in the lab how the ingredients for life could have formed deep in the ocean 4 billion years ago. The results of the new study offer clues to how life started on Earth and where else in the cosmos we might find it.
ESA Top News 25 Feb 2019, 13:30 UTC This swirling palette of colours portrays the life cycle of stars in a spiral galaxy known as NGC 300. Located some six million light-years away, NGC 300 is relatively nearby. It is one of the closest galaxies beyond the Local Group – the hub of galaxies to which our own Milky Way galaxy belongs. Due to its proximity, it is a favourite target for astronomers to study stellar processes in spiral galaxies.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 22 Feb 2019, 20:02 UTC NASA's Curiosity rover is busy making new discoveries on Mars. The rover has been climbing Mount Sharp since 2014 and recently reached a clay region that may offer new clues about the ancient Martian environment's potential to support life. Curiosity encountered a hurdle last Friday, when a hiccup during boot-up interrupted its planned activities and triggered a protective safe mode. The rover was brought out of this mode on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and is otherwise operating normally, having successfully booted up over 30 times without further issues.