Tag Archives: Astronomers

Most massive neutron star ever detected strains the limits of physics

by Ashley Strickland, CNN

Astronomers have detected the most massive neutron star ever, and it almost shouldn’t even exist.

Neutron stars are the smallest in the universe, with a diameter comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta. They are the leftover remnants of supernovae. But they are incredibly dense, with masses bigger than that of our sun. So think of the sun, compressed into a major city.

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Astronomers Have Detected a Whopping 8 New Repeating Signals From Deep Space

by Michelle Starr, ScienceAlert

One of the biggest mysteries out there in the Universe is inching closer to answers. An astonishing eight new repeating radio signals known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been detected flaring from deep space.

At the start of 2019, just one of these mysterious signals, FRB 121102, was known to flash repeatedly. In January, scientists reported a second repeating one (FRB 180814).

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New NASA mission could find more than 1,000 planets

by Laura Arenschield, The Ohio State University, Phys.org

A NASA telescope that will give humans the largest, deepest, clearest picture of the universe since the Hubble Space Telescope could find as many as 1,400 new planets outside Earth’s solar system, new research suggests.

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Cosmic pile-up gives glimpse of how planets are made

by Helen Briggs and Paul Rincon, BBC News – Science & Environment

Astronomers say they have the first evidence of a head-on collision between two planets in a distant star system.

They believe two objects smacked into each other to produce an iron-rich world, with nearly 10 times the mass of Earth.

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Our Milky Way is warped

by Deborah Byrd, EarthSky

A team of astronomers has produced a 3D map of our galaxy, the 1st accurate one, they say. It reveals our galaxy’s true shape as warped and twisted.

We think of spiral galaxies as being flat. You often hear the disk of our galaxy described as “flat as a pancake.” The large spiral galaxy next door – the Andromeda galaxy – looks flat through a telescope. But nature can be intricate, and, this week (February 4, 2019), astronomers made a surprising announcement. They said our home galaxy, the Milky Way, isn’t flat. Instead it’s warped and twisted.

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Retreating Snow Line Reveals Organic Molecules around Young Star

by ALMA

Astronomers using ALMA have detected various complex organic molecules around the young star V883 Ori. A sudden outburst from this star is releasing molecules from the icy compounds in the planet forming disk. The chemical composition of the disk is similar to that of comets in the modern Solar System. Sensitive ALMA observations enable astronomers to reconstruct the evolution of organic molecules from the birth of the Solar System to the objects we see today.

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Mysterious Repeating Signals Have Been Detected Coming From Space For The Second Time

by Michelle Starr, Science Alert

For only the second time, astronomers have picked up a mysterious repeating signal coming from an unknown source in space.

They’re called fast radio bursts. And in less than the blink of an eye, they ping into the data collected by radio telescopes out of nowhere, with as much energy as a hundred million Suns.

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Astronomers Caught a Star Forming Just Like a Planet

by Joel Hruska, ExtremeTech

Stars are thought to form inside giant molecular clouds of gas, sometimes with diameters hundreds of light years across, with a combined mass equivalent to millions of solar masses. As these clouds collapse, they form fragments. Said fragments are thought to contain the mass that will become both the star and its protoplanetary disc, though there are opportunities for interactions with other nearby clouds. If an aged star near a stellar nursery goes supernova, for example, heavier elements created by the core collapse may form part of the new stars. A nearby supernova can even trigger the formation of new stars when its shock wave sharply compresses the molecular gas cloud.

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