Heavens

An international research team analyzed a database of more than 1000 supernova explosions and found that models for the expansion of the Universe best match the data when a new time dependent variation is introduced. If proven correct with future, higher-quality data from the Subaru Telescope and other observatories, these results could indicate still unknown physics working on the cosmic scale.

Astronomers commonly refer to massive stars as the chemical factories of the Universe. They generally end their lives in spectacular supernovae, events that forge many of the elements on the periodic table. How elemental nuclei mix within these enormous stars has a major impact on our understanding of their evolution prior to their explosion. It also represents the largest uncertainty for scientists studying their structure and evolution.

Most of us have imagined how free it would feel to float around, like an astronaut, in conditions of reduced gravity. But have you ever considered what the effects of reduced gravity might have on muscles? Gravity is a constant force on Earth which all living creatures have evolved to rely on and adapt to. Space exploration has brought about many scientific and technological advances, yet manned spaceflights come at a cost to astronauts, including reduced skeletal muscle mass and strength.

A recent study analyses data collect4d at 44 of the darkest places in the world, including the Canary Island Observatories, to develop the first complete reference method to measure the natural brightness of the night sky using low-cost photometers.

Of the 44 photometers in the survey, the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma, Canary Islands) stands out at the darkest of all the skies analysed.

New observations and simulations show that jets of high-energy particles emitted from the central massive black hole in the brightest galaxy in galaxy clusters can be used to map the structure of invisible inter-cluster magnetic fields. These findings provide astronomers with a new tool for investigating previously unexplored aspects of clusters of galaxies.

A curiously yellow pre-supernova star has caused astrophysicists to re-evaluate what's possible at the deaths of our Universe's most massive stars. The team describe the peculiar star and its resulting supernova in a new study published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

New Johns Hopkins University simulations offer an intriguing look into Saturn's interior, suggesting that a thick layer of helium rain influences the planet's magnetic field.

The models, published this week in AGU Advances, also indicate that Saturn's interior may feature higher temperatures at the equatorial region, with lower temperatures at the high latitudes at the top of the helium rain layer.

It is notoriously difficult to study the interior structures of large gaseous planets, and the findings advance the effort to map Saturn's hidden regions.

This overlay shows radio (orange) and infrared images of a giant molecular cloud called W49A, where new stars are being formed. A team of astronomers led by Chris DePree of Agnes Scott College used the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to make new, high-resolution radio images of this cluster of still-forming, massive stars. W49A, 36,000 light-years from Earth, has been studied for many decades, and the new radio images revealed some tantalizing changes that have occurred since an earlier set of VLA observations in 1994 and 1995.

Scientists from the National Centre for radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR) Pune used the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) to determine that AT 2018 cow, the first of a newly discovered class of cosmic explosions, has an extremely patchy environment. Sources like AT 2018cow release an enormous amount of energy, nonetheless fade extremely rapidly. This along with their extremely blue color has led to them being called FBOTs for Fast Blue Optical Transient.

The detection of the axion would mark a key episode in the history of science. This hypothetical particle could resolve two fundamental problems of Modern Physics at the same time: the problema of Charge and Parity in the strong interaction, and the mystery of dark matter. However, in spite of the high scientific interest in finding it, the search at high radio frequency -above 6 GHz- has been almost left aside for the lack of the high sensitivity technology which could be built at reasonable cost. Until now.

Prof. YAN Yihua and his research team from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) recently released detailed results of observations by the new generation solar radio telescope--Mingantu Spectral Radio Heliograph (MUSER)--from 2014 to 2019.

The study was published in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences on March 29. It may help us better understand the basic nature of solar eruptions.

Many meteorological satellite networks are constantly scanning Earth, providing vital research data and real-time life-saving weather information. Since China began its initial development in 1970, the Fengyun (FY) series of meteorological satellites have advanced considerably throughout more than 50 years. While FY satellites primarily focus on the atmosphere, they are capable of observing complex variables within the Earth-atmosphere system. Since the initial FY dispatch, China has successfully launched 17 FY satellites, seven of which are currently operating in orbit.

A new study led by University of Minnesota astrophysicists shows that high-energy light from small galaxies may have played a key role in the early evolution of the Universe. The research gives insight into how the Universe became reionized, a problem that astronomers have been trying to solve for years.

The research is published in The Astrophysical Journal, a peer-reviewed scientific journal of astrophysics and astronomy.

Scientists have recreated the reaction by which carbon isotopes made their way into different organic compounds, challenging the notion that organic compounds, such as amino acids, were formed by isotopically enriched substrates. Their discovery suggests that the building blocks of life in meteorites were derived from widely available substrates in the early solar system.

Their findings were published online in Science Advances on April 28, 2021.

Studying the violent collisions of black holes and neutron stars may soon provide a new measurement of the Universe's expansion rate, helping to resolve a long-standing dispute, suggests a new simulation study led by researchers at UCL (University College London).

Our two current best ways of estimating the Universe's rate of expansion - measuring the brightness and speed of pulsating and exploding stars, and looking at fluctuations in radiation from the early Universe - give very different answers, suggesting our theory of the Universe may be wrong.