Heavens

Galaxies grow by accumulating gas from their surroundings and converting it to stars, but the details of this process have remained murky. New observations, made using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, now provide the clearest, most direct evidence yet that filaments of cool gas spiral into young galaxies, supplying the fuel for stars.

Researchers using the radio telescope ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) observed signals of oxygen, carbon, and dust from a galaxy in the early Universe 13 billion years ago. This is the earliest galaxy where this useful combination of three signals has been detected. By comparing the different signals, the team determined that the galaxy is actually two galaxies merging together, making it the earliest example of merging galaxies yet discovered.

Hubble offers a special view of the double star system Eta Carinae's expanding gases glowing in red, white, and blue. This is the highest resolution image of Eta Carinae taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Primitive chondrites, un-molten stony meteorites, are believed to be the building blocks of the Earth. Because terrestrial planets have experienced chemical differentiation in the core, mantle, and hydrosphere, the elemental abundance pattern of some elements at the planetary surface is not chondritic. In other words, the non-chondritic abundance pattern of elements on the planetary surface is a key to understanding the chemical differentiation processes of terrestrial planets.

Astrophysicists at Western University have found evidence for the direct formation of black holes that do not need to emerge from a star remnant. The production of black holes in the early universe, formed in this manner, may provide scientists with an explanation for the presence of extremely massive black holes at a very early stage in the history of our universe.

The origin of a single, transient radio pulse has been pinpointed to a distant galaxy several billion light years away, representing the first localization of a non-repeating fast radio burst (FRB). The FRB's burst source and host galaxy are distinct from those of the only other localized FRB, a repeating fast radio burst pegged to its galaxy in 2017. Short blasts of radio energy from powerful, yet currently unknown, astrophysical processes travel far and wide across vast intergalactic expanses.

In a world first, an Australian-led international team of astronomers has determined the precise location of a powerful one-off burst of cosmic radio waves.

The discovery was made with CSIRO's new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope in Western Australia. The galaxy from which the burst originated was then imaged by three of the world's largest optical telescopes - Keck, Gemini South and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope - and the results were published online by the journal Science today.

An Australian-led team of astronomers using the Gemini South telescope in Chile have successfully confirmed the distance to a galaxy hosting an intense radio burst that flashed only once and lasted but a thousandth of a second. The team made the initial discovery of the fast radio burst (FRB) using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope.

The critical Gemini observations were key to verifying that the burst left its host galaxy some 4 billion years ago.

Visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite showed Tropical Storm Alvin had organized and strengthened into a strong tropical storm, just over 500 miles from Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

On June 27, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of Alvin. Satellite imagery revealed that Alvin's clouds appeared more organized than they did the previous day.

Main sequence star, red giant, white dwarf - in the course of their lifespan covering millions or even billions of years, stars pass through different stages of stellar evolution - all differing greatly in appearance. Yet, stars do not reveal their ages easily, at least not at first glance. The duration of each phase differs too greatly from star to star. With deeper look, however, researchers can reconstruct the star's life story. Various methods now make it possible to reliably determine the age of a star.

Researchers using ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) found a small dust concentration in the disk around TW Hydrae, the nearest young star. It is highly possible that a planet is growing or about to be formed in this concentration. This is the first time that the exact place where cold materials are forming the seed of a planet has been pinpointed in the disk around a young star.

Using sophisticated computer simulations and observations, a team led by researchers from the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at Tokyo Institute of Technology has shown how the so-called trans-Neptunian Objects (or TNOs) may have formed. TNOs, which include the dwarf planet Pluto, are a group of icy and rocky small bodies--smaller than planets but larger than comets--that orbit the Solar System beyond the planet Neptune. TNOs likely formed at the same time as the Solar System, and understanding their origin could provide important clues as to how the entire Solar System originated.

Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life - a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn.

These giant planets' faraway twins may protect life in other solar systems, but they aren't bright enough to be viewed directly. Scientists find them based on properties they can observe in the stars they orbit. The challenge for planet hunters is that in our galaxy alone, there are roughly 200 billion stars.

Dying stars that cast off their outer envelopes to form the beautiful yet enigmatic "planetary nebulae" (PNe) have a new heavy-weight champion, the innocuously named PNe "BMP1613-5406". Massive stars live fast and die young, exploding as powerful supernovae after only a few million years. However, the vast majority of stars, including our own Sun, have much lower mass and may live for many billions of years before going through a short lived but glorious PNe phase. PNe form when only a tiny fraction of unburnt hydrogen remains in the stellar core.

New technique to monitor evolution of magnetic disturbances from the Aurora Borealis

University of Warwick researchers link up over a hundred magnetometers to form a 'social network'

Magnetometers 'befriend' each other when the disturbance propagates to them

Space weather results in magnetic disturbances on the ground that can interfere with power distribution and electrical systems