Heavens

Supercomputer simulations of galaxies have shown that Einstein's theory of General Relativity might not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form.

Physicists at Durham University, UK, simulated the cosmos using an alternative model for gravity - f(R)-gravity, a so called Chameleon Theory.

The resulting images produced by the simulation show that galaxies like our Milky Way could still form in the universe even with different laws of gravity.

Astronomers using National Science Foundation (NSF) radio telescopes have demonstrated how a combination of gravitational-wave and radio observations, along with theoretical modeling, can turn the mergers of pairs of neutron stars into a "cosmic ruler" capable of measuring the expansion of the Universe and resolving an outstanding question over its rate.

Astronomers obtained the first detailed face-on view of a gaseous disk feeding the growth of a massive baby star. They found that it shares many common features with lighter baby stars. This implies that the process of star formation is the same, regardless of the final mass of the resulting star. This finding paves the way for a more complete understanding of star formation.

The role of an excited black hole in the death of an exotic 'jellyfish' galaxy will be presented today (3 July) by Callum Bellhouse of the University of Birmingham at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Lancaster. The supermassive black hole at the centre of jellyfish galaxy JO201 is stripping away gas and throwing it out into space, accelerating suppression of star formation and effectively 'killing' the galaxy. 

Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical "fingerprint" of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, but they are common around other stars.

The planet, Gliese 3470 b (also known as GJ 3470 b), may be a cross between Earth and Neptune, with a large rocky core buried under a deep crushing hydrogen and helium atmosphere. Weighing in at 12.6 Earth masses, the planet is more massive than Earth, but less massive than Neptune (which is more than 17 Earth masses).

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are among the most enigmatic and powerful events in the cosmos. Around 80 of these events--intensely bright millisecond-long bursts of radio waves coming from beyond our galaxy--have been witnessed so far, but their causes remain unknown.

Citizen scientists have discovered that solar storms become more complex as the Sun's 11-year activity cycle reaches its maximum - a finding which could help forecasters predict which space weather events could have potentially devastating consequences for modern technologies at Earth.

'Protect our Planet from Solar Storms', a research project launched by the University of Reading, the Science Museum Group and Zooniverse in May 2018, asked volunteers to evaluate pairs of images of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and decide which seemed the most visually complex.

A team of international asteroid and comet experts now agree that Oumuamua, the first recorded interstellar visitor, has natural origins, despite previous speculation by some other astronomers that the object could be an alien spacecraft sent from a distant civilization to examine our star system.

Imagine slow-motion fireworks that started exploding 170 years ago and are still continuing. This type of firework is not launched into Earth's atmosphere, but rather into space by a doomed super-massive star, called Eta Carinae, the largest member of a double-star system. A new view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, which includes ultraviolet light, shows the star's hot, expanding gases glowing in red, white and blue. Eta Carinae resides 7,500 light-years away.

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.