Swedish and Japanese researchers have, after ten years, found an explanation to the peculiar emission lines seen in one of the brightest supernovae ever observed -- SN 2006gy. At the same time they found an explanation for how the supernova arose.
A new search led by MSU astrophysicist Amy Reines has revealed more than a dozen massive black holes in dwarf galaxies that were previously considered too small to host them, surprising scientists with their location within the galaxies.
In 2017, a massive new region of magnetic field erupted on the sun's surface next to an existing sunspot. The powerful collision of magnetic energy produced a series of solar flares, causing turbulent space weather conditions at Earth. Scientists have now pinpointed for the first time exactly when and where the explosion released the energy that heated spewing plasma to energies equivalent to 1 billion degrees in temperature.
The most distant dying galaxy discovered so far, more massive than our Milky Way -- with more than a trillion stars -- has revealed that the 'cores' of these systems had formed already 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, about 1 billion years earlier than previous measurements revealed. The discovery will add to our knowledge on the formation of the Universe more generally, and may cause the computer models astronomers use, one of the most fundamental tools, to be revised
UCLA astronomers have discovered a new class of bizarre objects at the center of our galaxy, not far from the supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. 'Mergers of stars may be happening in the universe more often than we thought, and likely are quite common,' said Andrea Ghez, UCLA's Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Professor of Astrophysics. She believes the objects were binary stars that merged because of the black hole's gravitational force.
An analysis of cyclical changes in the light spectrum emitted by Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, suggests it may be orbited by a second planet. Mario Damasso and colleagues present data suggesting that this candidate planet orbits Proxima Centauri every 5.2 years and may be a 'super-Earth,' with a mass higher than Earth's, though much lower than that.
A 'cold Neptune' and two potentially habitable worlds are part of a cache of five newly discovered exoplanets and eight exoplanet candidates found orbiting nearby red dwarf stars by a team led by Carnegie's Fabo Feng and Paul Butler. The two potentially habitable planets are among the nearest stars to our own Sun, making them prime targets for observations by next-generation space- and land-based telescopes.
When it comes to the biggest and brightest explosions seen in the universe, University of Warwick astronomers have found that it takes two stars to make a gamma-ray burst.
Scientists have discovered the oldest solid material on Earth: 7-billion-year-old stardust trapped inside a meteorite. (For comparison, the sun is 4.6 billion years old, and the Earth is 4.5.) This stardust provides evidence for a 'baby boom' of new stars that formed 7 billion years ago, contrary to thinking that star formation happens at a steady, constant rate.
A group of scientists, among them several from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and from Technical University of Darmstadt, succeeded to experimentally determine characteristics of nuclear processes in matter ten million times denser and 25 times hotter than the center of our sun. A result of the measurement is that intermediate-mass stars are very likely to explode, and not, as assumed until now, collapse. The findings are now published in the scientific magazine Physical Review Letters.