Thursday, October 17, 2019

Black Holes Stunt Growth of Dwarf Galaxies

NGC 1569 is a star-forming galaxy. Credit: HST/NASA/ESA

Astronomers at the University of California, Riverside, have discovered that powerful winds driven by supermassive black holes in the centers of dwarf galaxies have a significant impact on the evolution of these galaxies by suppressing star formation.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Study Suggests Ice on Lunar South Pole May Have More than One Source

Shackleton Crater, the floor of which is permanently shadowed from the sun, appears to be home to deposits of water ice. A new study sheds light on how old these and other deposits on the Moon's south pole might be. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The discovery of ice deposits in craters scattered across the Moon’s south pole has helped to renew interest in exploring the lunar surface, but no one is sure exactly when or how that ice got there. A new study published in the journal Icarus suggests that while a majority of those deposits are likely billions of years old, some may be much more recent.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Milky Way Kidnapped Several Tiny Galaxies from Its Neighbor

Visualization of the simulations used in the study. Top left shows dark matter in white. Bottom right shows a simulated Large Magellanic Cloud-like galaxy with stars and gas, and several smaller companion galaxies. (UCR/Ethan Jahn)

Just like the moon orbits the Earth, and the Earth orbits the sun, galaxies orbit each other according to the predictions of cosmology. For example, more than 50 discovered satellite galaxies orbit our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The largest of these is the Large Magellanic Cloud, or LMC, a large dwarf galaxy that resembles a faint cloud in the Southern Hemisphere night sky.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Liquifying a Rocky Exoplanet

Artist’s impression of the interior of a hot, molten rocky planet (with labels). © University of Bern, illustration: Thibaut Roger

Rocky exoplanets that are around Earth-size are comparatively small, which makes them incredibly difficult to detect and characterize using telescopes. What are the optimal conditions to find such small planets that linger in the darkness?

Physicists Have Found a Way to 'Hear' Dark Matter

The researchers propose a new instrument for searching dark matter axions using tunable plasmas. Illustration: Alexander Millar/Stockholm University

Physicists at Stockholm University and the Max Planck Institute for Physics have turned to plasmas in a proposal that could revolutionize the search for the elusive dark matter.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

How Do the Strongest Magnets in the Universe Form?

The simulation marks the birth of a magnetic star such as Tau Scorpii. The image is a cut through the orbital plane where the colouring indicates the strength of the magnetic field and the light hatching reflects the direction of the magnetic field line. | © Ohlmann/Schneider/Röpke

How do some neutron stars become the strongest magnets in the Universe? A German-British team of astrophysicists has found a possible answer to the question of how these so-called magnetars form.

Scientists Observe Year-long Plateaus in Decline of Type Ia Supernova Light Curves

Hubble Space Telescope color composite of SN2018gv within its host galaxy.  Credit: HST, Adam Riess, Or Graur

Scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian have announced the discovery that, contrary to previously accepted knowledge, Type Ia supernovae experience light curve decline plateaus, and lengthy ones at that, lasting up to a year.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Saturn Surpasses Jupiter After The Discovery Of 20 New Moons

An artist’s conception of the 20 newly discovered moons orbiting Saturn. These discoveries bring the planet’s total moon count to 82, surpassing Jupiter for the most in our Solar System. Studying these moons can reveal information about their formation and about the conditions around Saturn at the time. Illustration is courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science. (Saturn image is courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. Starry background courtesy of Paolo Sartorio/Shutterstock.)

Move over Jupiter; Saturn is the new moon king. A team led by Carnegie's Scott S. Sheppard has found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. This brings the ringed planet’s total number of moons to 82, surpassing Jupiter, which has 79. The discovery was announced Monday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.