Astronomical News

Bigphoot2

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Water found for first time on potentially habitable planet
By Pallab GhoshScience correspondent, BBC News
  • 1 hour ago
Astronomers have for the first time discovered water in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting within the habitable zone of a distant star.
The finding makes the world - which is called K2-18b - a plausible candidate in the search for alien life.
Within 10 years, new space telescopes might be able to determine whether K2-18b's atmosphere contains gases that could be produced by living organisms.
etc
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49648746
 

EnolaGaia

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This new initiative is aimed at analyzing the processes by which whole galaxies can - or cannot - sustain their star formation. It's interesting to see how astronomy is beginning to undertake research focused on the granularity level of entire galaxies.

Something Is Killing the Universe's Most Extreme Galaxies

In the most extreme regions of the universe, galaxies are being killed. Their star formation is being shut down and astronomers want to know why.

The first ever Canadian-led large project on one of the world's leading telescopes is hoping to do just that. The new program, called the Virgo Environment Traced in Carbon Monoxide survey (VERTICO), is investigating, in brilliant detail, how galaxies are killed by their environment. ...


Galaxy clusters

Where galaxies live in the universe and how they interact with their surroundings (the intergalactic medium that surrounds them) and each other are major influences on their ability to form stars. But precisely how this so-called environment dictates the life and death of galaxies remains a mystery.

Galaxy clusters are the most massive and most extreme environments in the universe, containing many hundreds or even thousands of galaxies. Where you have mass, you also have gravity and the huge gravitational forces present in clusters accelerates galaxies to great speeds, often thousands of kilometres-per-second, and superheats the plasma in between galaxies to temperatures so high that it glows with X-ray light.

In the dense, inhospitable interiors of these clusters, galaxies interact strongly with their surroundings and with each other. It is these interactions that can kill off — or quench — their star formation.

Understanding which quenching mechanisms shut off star formation and how they do it is the main focus of the VERTICO collaboration's research. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/whats-killing-universe-extreme-galaxies.html
 

Nemo

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Giant planet around tiny star 'should not exist'

Astronomers have discovered a giant planet that, they say, should not exist, according to current theories.
The Jupiter-like world is unusually large compared with its host star, contradicting a widely held idea about the way planets form.
The star, which lies 284 trillion km away, is an M-type red dwarf - the most common type in our galaxy.
An international team of astronomers has reported its findings in the journal Science.
(c) BBC. '19
 

eburacum

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The two main theories about planet formation are Core Accretion and Disk Instability. Most planets around red dwarfs are supposed to form via core accretion, resulting in lots of little planets. This planet seems to have formed by disk instability, so formed much more quickly. If this planet had continued to grow, it could have become a red dwarf star itself, making this into a binary system.
 
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‘Planet Nine’ may actually be a black hole

For nearly 5 years, growing numbers of scientists have blamed the weird orbits of distant solar system objects on the gravitational effects of an as-yet-undiscovered “Planet Nine” that lies in the icy realm far beyond Neptune. But a pair of physicists is now floating an intriguing idea that could offer a new way to search for the object: What if that supposed planet is actually a small black hole

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/planet-nine-may-actually-be-black-hole
 

Mythopoeika

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‘Planet Nine’ may actually be a black hole

For nearly 5 years, growing numbers of scientists have blamed the weird orbits of distant solar system objects on the gravitational effects of an as-yet-undiscovered “Planet Nine” that lies in the icy realm far beyond Neptune. But a pair of physicists is now floating an intriguing idea that could offer a new way to search for the object: What if that supposed planet is actually a small black hole

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/planet-nine-may-actually-be-black-hole
If it is, we're doomed.
 

eburacum

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Trouble is, there is no known mechanism by which a planet-mass black hole could form, and end up orbiting in our Oort Cloud. Black holes that are formed from the collapse of supernovae are invariably larger than the Chandrasekhar Limit, i.e, more than 1.4 solar masses.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrasekhar_limit

Planetary mass black holes are possible in theory, but they would need to be primordial - i.e. formed during the Big Bang. These would (hopefully) be very rare objects, and there would be no easy mechanism for a wandering primordial black hole to become entangled in our own system.
 

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Astronomers spot three supermassive black holes on collision course

Date: 30 September 2019
Source: Astronomy Now

Astronomers have spotted three galaxies hosting three supermassive black holes that are in the process of colliding.

“We were only looking for pairs of black holes at the time, and yet, through our selection technique, we stumbled upon this amazing system,” said Ryan Pfeifle of George Mason University, the first author of a new paper in The Astrophysical Journal describing the observations. “This is the strongest evidence yet found for such a triple system of actively feeding supermassive black holes.”

https://astronomynow.com/2019/09/30...supermassive-black-holes-on-collision-course/
 

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Asteroid larger than a bus to fly closer to Earth than the Moon tomorrow, Nasa warns

Source: The Sun Website
Updated: 2 Oct 2019, 15:12

A HUGE asteroid is about to pass so close to our planet that it will actually be closer to us than the Moon.

The "potentially hazardous" space rock is called 2019 SP3 and it will be zooming past Earth tomorrow.

Nasa has estimated that the asteroid could be up to 33 metres long and has classified it as potentially hazardous.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/10049076/nasa-alert-large-asteroid-close-approach/
 

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GALAXY NEXT TO US IS ‘VIOLENT’ AND COMING TO EAT THE MILKY WAY, SCIENTISTS SAY

Source: The Independent
Date: 2 October, 2019

The vast Andromeda galaxy, next to ours, has a violent past that will culminate in it eating our Milky Way, astronomers say.

The galaxy's powerful past has seen it eat several smaller galaxies just as it will go on to swallow ours, researchers say.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-...eda-space-history-collision-end-a9133306.html
 

Mythopoeika

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GALAXY NEXT TO US IS ‘VIOLENT’ AND COMING TO EAT THE MILKY WAY, SCIENTISTS SAY

Source: The Independent
Date: 2 October, 2019

The vast Andromeda galaxy, next to ours, has a violent past that will culminate in it eating our Milky Way, astronomers say.

The galaxy's powerful past has seen it eat several smaller galaxies just as it will go on to swallow ours, researchers say.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-...eda-space-history-collision-end-a9133306.html
That title is 'exciting' hype.
 

EnolaGaia

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Astronomers are nearing completion of a survey of our solar system's planetary satellites (i.e., moons). It's now been announced that Saturn is confirmed as the planet with the most moons.
Scientists Just Discovered 20 Previously Unknown Moons Orbiting Saturn

Saturn has unseated Jupiter as the Solar System's most moon-bearing planet, the Carnegie Institution for Science announced on Monday.

Scientists discovered 20 previously unknown moons orbiting Saturn, which gives Saturn a grand total of 82 moons, flying past Jupiter's 79. ...

"Using some of the largest telescopes in the world, we are now completing the inventory of small moons around the giant planets," Scott Sheppard, a Carnegie astronomer who led the discovery team, said in a press release. "They play a crucial role in helping us determine how our Solar System's planets formed and evolved."

Each of the newly discovered moons is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) in diameter, and 17 of them orbit in retrograde, or in the opposite direction of Saturn's rotation. One of them is now the farthest known moon from Saturn.

The discoveries join three groups of Saturn's outer moons, clustered by the angles at which they orbit the planet. The retrograde moons join the Norse group (all named after Norse mythology), while two others join the Inuit group (named for Inuit mythology), and the final moon goes with the Gallic group (again, mythology).

Scientists think each of those groups may have come from a larger moon that broke apart into smaller bodies. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/twenty-new-discoveries-brings-saturn-s-moon-total-to-a-whopping-82
 

Xanatic*

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On the website Astronomy Picture of the Day, they got a HD photo of sprites for today.
They certainly look different from lightning.
 

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Ancient stars shed light on Earth's similarities to other planets

New method used to study planets' geochemistry implies that Earth is not unique

Source: University of California - Los Angeles
Date: October 17, 2019

Earth-like planets may be common in the universe, a new study implies. The team of astrophysicists and geochemists presents new evidence that the Earth is not unique.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191017141052.htm
 

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Putting the 'bang' in the Big Bang

Physicists simulate critical 'reheating' period that kickstarted the Big Bang in the universe's first fractions of a second

Date: October 25, 2019
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Physicists have simulated in detail an intermediary phase of the early universe that may have bridged cosmic inflation with the Big Bang. This phase, known as 'reheating,' occurred at the end of cosmic inflation and involved processes that wrestled inflation's cold, uniform matter into the ultrahot, complex soup that was in place at the start of the Big Bang.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191025130414.htm
 

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ESO telescope reveals what could be the smallest dwarf planet yet in the solar system

Date: October 28, 2019
Source: ESO (European Southern Observatory)

Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is the fourth largest in the asteroid belt after Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the solar system.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191028164353.htm
 

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OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE COULD BE FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG, ASTRONOMERS SAY

Source: Independent Newspaper
Date: 4 November, 2019

The cosmos could be a different 'shape' than we thought, new data suggests.

Newly released data from the Planck Telescope, which aimed to take very precise readings of the shape, size and ancient history of our universe, suggests that there could be something wrong in our physics, according to a new paper.

https://www-independent-co-uk.cdn.a...shape-expanding-planck-constant-a9184711.html
 

INT21

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OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE COULD BE FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG, ASTRONOMERS SAY

Source: Independent Newspaper
Date: 4 November, 2019

The cosmos could be a different 'shape' than we thought, new data suggests.

Newly released data from the Planck Telescope, which aimed to take very precise readings of the shape, size and ancient history of our universe, suggests that there could be something wrong in our physics, according to a new paper.

https://www-independent-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/universe-shape-expanding-planck-constant-a9184711.html?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&amp&usqp=mq331AQCKAE=#referrer=https://www.google.com&amp_tf=From %1$s&ampshare=https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/universe-shape-expanding-planck-constant-a9184711.html
.. suggests that there could be something wrong in our physics,..

Hah!, 'been saying that for years.
 

INT21

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That title is 'exciting' hype.

Yep. It's coming to get you.

Pronunciation/ænˈdrɒmɪdə/ConstellationAndromedaRight ascension 00h 42m 44.3s[1]Declination +41° 16′ 9″[1]Redshift z = −0.001001
(minus sign
indicates blueshift)[1]Helio radial velocity −301 ± 1 km/s[2]Distance 2.54 ± 0.11 Mly
(778 ± 33 kpc)[2][3][4][5][6][a][original research?]Apparent magnitude (V) 3.44[7][8]Absolute magnitude (V) −21.5https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_Galaxy#cite_note-blue_mag-10[4]

Blue shift is a polite way of saying it isn't moving away from everything else, as all galaxies are supposed to be doing, but it is heading for us.

But don't cancel the newspapers just yet.
 
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