Heavens

Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black. This discovery sheds new light on the atmospheric composition of the planet and also refutes previous hypotheses about WASP-12b's atmosphere. The results are also in stark contrast to observations of another similarly sized exoplanet.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Identical twins are similar to each other in many ways, but they have different experiences, friends, and lifestyles.

This concept is played out on a cosmological scale by galaxies. Two galaxies that appear at first glance to be very similar and effectively identical can have inner regions rotating at very different rates - the galactic analog of twins with different lifestyles.

The accelerating expansion of the Universe may not be real, but could just be an apparent effect, according to new research published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The new study--by a group at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand--finds the fit of Type Ia supernovae to a model universe with no dark energy to be very slightly better than the fit to the standard dark energy model.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- In research that may prove useful to future lunar explorers, scientists from Brown University have created the first quantitative map of water and its chemical building blocks trapped in the uppermost portion of the Moon's soil.

A team of astronomers led by Elyar Sedaghati, an ESO fellow and recent graduate of TU Berlin, has examined the atmosphere of the exoplanet [WASP-19b] in greater detail than ever before. This remarkable planet has about the same mass as Jupiter, but is so close to its parent star that it completes an orbit in just 19 hours and its atmosphere is estimated to have a temperature of about 2000 degrees Celsius.

Five KFU employees have been involved in the project - Ilfan Bikmaev, Eldar Irtuganov, Roman Zhuchkov, Almaz Galeev, and Sergey Melnikov.

Astronomers found that active star formation upswells galaxies, like yeast helps bread rise. Using three powerful telescopes on the ground and in orbit, they observed galaxies from 11 billion years ago and found explosive formation of stars in the cores of galaxies. This suggests that galaxies can change their own shape without interaction with other galaxies.

Operation IceBridge is flying in Greenland to measure how much ice has melted over the course of the summer from the ice sheet. The flights, which began on Aug. 25 and will go on until Sept. 21, repeat paths flown this spring and aim to monitor seasonal changes in the elevation of the ice sheet.

A group of scientists from Queen's University Belfast and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany have turned exoplanet-hunting on its head, in a study that instead looks at how an alien observer might be able to detect Earth using our own methods. They find that at least nine exoplanets are ideally placed to observe transits of Earth, in a new work published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The sun emitted two mid-level solar flares on Sept. 7, 2017. The first peaked at 6:15 a.m. EDT. The second, larger flare, peaked at 10:36 a.m. EDT. These are the fourth and fifth sizable flares from the same active region since Sept. 4.

To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.