Heavens

Earth-like planets may be common in the universe, a new UCLA study implies. The team of astrophysicists and geochemists presents new evidence that the Earth is not unique. The study was published in the journal Science on Oct. 18.

"We have just raised the probability that many rocky planets are like the Earth, and there's a very large number of rocky planets in the universe," said co-author Edward Young, UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry.

The interiors of some exoplanets have Earth-like geochemistry, according to a new study, which finds that extrasolar rocks share similar levels of oxidation, or oxygen fugacity, to those in the Solar System. The results suggest that some of the rocky exoplanets orbiting distant stars have similar internal properties to Earth and Mars. Alexandra Doyle and colleagues were able to probe the geochemistry of distant rocks by evaluating their elemental remains, imprinted in the atmospheres of white dwarfs after rocky bodies crashed into them.

"Weather" in clusters of galaxies may explain a longstanding puzzle, according to a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge. The scientists used sophisticated simulations to show how powerful jets from supermassive black holes are disrupted by the motion of hot gas and galaxies, preventing gas from cooling, which could otherwise form stars. The team publish their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

On 12 October 2019, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provided astronomers with their best look yet at an interstellar visitor -- Comet 2I/Borisov -- which is believed to have arrived here from another planetary system elsewhere in our galaxy.

This observation is the sharpest view ever of the interstellar comet. Hubble reveals a central concentration of dust around the solid icy nucleus.

Astronomers have completed the largest survey to date of the faint outskirts of nearby galaxies, successfully testing a low-cost system for exploring these local stellar systems. R. Michael Rich of the University of California, Los Angeles led an international team carrying out a survey for the Haloes and Environments of Nearby Galaxies (HERON) collaboration, published in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team find that the diameters of the galactic outskirts - the haloes - appear to correlate with the brightness and type of galaxy.

Forest protects the climate. Reforestation can decisively contribute to mitigating global warming according to the Paris Agreement. Based on simulations, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have studied the conditions that should be fulfilled in Europe for this. According to the study published in Environmental Research Letters (DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab3744), sufficient increase in forest areas requires a transformation of the food system and in particular, the reduction of meat consumption.

At the center of a galaxy called NGC 1068, a supermassive black hole hides within a thick doughnut-shaped cloud of dust and gas. When astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study this cloud in more detail, they made an unexpected discovery that could explain why supermassive black holes grew so rapidly in the early Universe.

Astronomers at MIT and elsewhere have used a massive cluster of galaxies as an X-ray magnifying glass to peer back in time, to nearly 9.4 billion years ago. In the process, they spotted a tiny dwarf galaxy in its very first, high-energy stages of star formation.

While galaxy clusters have been used to magnify objects at optical wavelengths, this is the first time scientists have leveraged these massive gravitational giants to zoom in on extreme, distant, X-ray-emitting phenomena.

For decades, astronomers have speculated that the space between stars may be populated by exosolar minor bodies -- comets and asteroids -- ejected from their home planetary systems. Studies have also suggested that these bodies may occasionally pass through the Solar System and be identified thanks to their strongly open orbits. The discovery of 'Oumuamua two years ago brought the long-awaited confirmation, sparking hopes for subsequent detections.

On Oct. 10, Hagibis was a super typhoon, but overnight, the storm weakened to typhoon status. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of the large storm that stretched along most of the big islands of Japan.

Satellite data has confirmed the formation of Subtropical Storm Melissa. NASA's Terra Satellite provided a visible image the former Nor'easter turned subtropical storm off the coast of New England.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC noted that the Nor'easter centered southeast of New England (in the northeastern U.S.) becomes a subtropical storm, and that the change in storm status does not change expected impacts from wind and coastal flooding along portions of the mid-Atlantic coast and Southeastern New England.

Our Milky Way is a frugal galaxy. Supernovas and violent stellar winds blow gas out of the galactic disk, but that gas falls back onto the galaxy to form new generations of stars. In an ambitious effort to conduct a full accounting of this recycling process, astronomers were surprised to find a surplus of incoming gas.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a composite visible image of the very large Super Typhoon Hagibis in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Oct. 10. It took Suomi NPP three orbits to capture images to show the entire storm that revealed it maintained its impressive structure.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown 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.

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. The researchers used large computer simulations to demonstrate how the merger of two stars creates strong magnetic fields. If such stars explode in supernovae, magnetars could result. Scientists from Heidelberg University, the Max Planck Society, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, and the University of Oxford were involved in the research.