There’s a strange sickle-shaped object in the Carina Nebula. The authors of this paper used observations at several different wavelengths to investigate the nature of this intriguing nebula, leading to some interesting discoveries and even more questions.
Based on galactic rotation curves, we think that spiral galaxies are embedded in massive dark matter halos. Is the same true for elliptical galaxies? Magain and Chantry use gravitational lensing to measure the mass-to-light ratios in 15 elliptical galaxies, and the results might surprise you!
Previous authors have claimed that the black hole at the center of NGC 1365 is spinning extremely rapidly. But these claims are based on certain assumptions about the dominance of relativistic effects on the spectrum of NGC 1365. Risaliti et al., dig deeper into the spectral data of this X-ray source and use simulations to determine whether the signatures we see are caused by a rapidly-spinning black hole, or just cloudy (galactic) weather.
In our search for life on other planets, we begin by determining which exoplanets orbit in the habitable zone of their star. But where exactly is the habitable zone for a given star? The authors of this paper update a previous planetary climate model to predict where you should looking for your next extrasolar vacation home.
The Solar System’s interplanetary dust (called zodiacal dust) can be a source of noise in infrared and optical observations, but it also holds information about the recent history of the Solar System. This new and improved model of the zodiacal dust reveals the relative contributions to the dust by asteroids, comets, and interstellar dust.