SPACE.com 18 Jan 2021, 09:37 UTC Stars begin their lives when hydrogen fusion ignites in their dense, hot cores. Once that process starts, it's game on. The gravitational pull of all the mass of the star tries to squeeze it down into a tiny point, but the energy released by fusion pushes outward, creating a delicate balance that can persist for millions or even trillions of years.
New Scientist 15 Jan 2021, 10:35 UTC NASA’s “mole” on Mars has failed. After nearly two years of attempting to dig the InSight lander’s heat probe – nicknamed the mole – into the Red Planet’s surface, engineers have finally given up.
Astronomy.com News 14 Jan 2021, 20:00 UTC They lived fast, died young, and seeded the cosmos with material for future generations.
Cosmosphere 14 Jan 2021, 09:51 UTC IMAGE: Artist’s representation of the ID2299 galaxy. CREDIT: ESO/M. Kornmesser Maybe it’s not the year to talk about the death of a galaxy, but this next story intrigued me. Everything dies apparently, even galaxies. I mean, we talk about the heat death of the universe a lot, but I think this is the first time we’ve taken one step down from that. In new work presented in Nature Astronomy, researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to watch a galaxy eject a massive amount of its cold gas content. The galaxy is called ID2299, and it’s about 9 billion light-years away from us, and we’re seeing it when the universe was only 4.5 billion years old. Space-time is mind-boggling at this scale. Anyway, the gas is being ejected at a rate of 10000 Suns’ worth of mass every year, removing 46% of the total cold gas from the galaxy. And the galaxy is also undergoing extremely fast star formation, and calculations show that it will run out of gas in a few tens of million years. That’s very soon in astronomical terms. The image we’re sharing is an artist’s impression of the galaxy, and you may notice that one ...
Sky and Telescope 13 Jan 2021, 16:57 UTC Astronomers have discovered three planets orbiting a star about 10 billion years old — one of them rocky. The star, TOI 561 (meaning it was the 561st object of interest from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite), is in our galaxy’s older thick disk, which means its planets have a nice view from on high of the Milky Way’s spiral.
Sky and Telescope 13 Jan 2021, 13:00 UTC China is making its Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) available to international scientists in the wake of the collapse of the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico late last year.
New Scientist 11 Jan 2021, 23:16 UTC Our galaxy may have slightly less dark matter than researchers previously estimated. Measurements of how pulsars – rapidly spinning stars that emit beams of light – move as they orbit the centre of the Milky Way have demonstrated that the dark matter density in the plane of the galaxy’s disc is lower than expected.
Sky and Telescope 11 Jan 2021, 14:00 UTC In a first, an amateur astronomer has found four of five "lost" Jovian moons using images from a publicly available archive. The feat allows a recalculation of their orbits, leaving only one of Jupiter's 79 known satellites still missing.