Those of us who love astrobiology get really worked up about the lack of Earth-sized exoplanets found at Earth-like distances from their stars. All we want, we who hope for lots of extraterrestrial life, is a bunch of Earth-like planets doing Earth-like things so we can feel better about the odds for lots of Earth-like life in the universe.
Once thought to be the main mechanism by which galaxies feed their star formation; the authors of this paper find that minor mergers cannot account for the observed star formation rates of galaxies.
What might be causing the accretion rates in newly formed stars to remain so high?
The authors report the discovery of perhaps the faintest black hole x-ray binary. But this conclusion is limited by the uncertainty in the distance to the object.
Archival data are able to place constraints on the origin of supernova 2011fe.
The black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sgr A*, is a very picky eater. However, with the discovery of the G2 cloud, astronomers have had the opportunity to watch the infrequent feeding process in Sgr A* in action. While the origin of this cloud is still debated, research is beginning to suggest that G2 is a gas cloud that was ripped away from a giant star in orbit around our galaxy’s central black hole.
How do simulations of galaxy formation stack up against each other and against observations? Find out with the Aquila project, a comparo of many different codes in current use.
Has a multi-wavelength study of AGN across a large redshift range revealed that these energetic giants do not impact upon their host galaxy as significantly as previously thought?
The progenitors of a special type of cataclysmic variable, AM CVn, and possibly supernovae have been found.
Sgr A* – the supermassive black hole sitting in the center of the Milky Way – is often referred to as a ‘starved’ black hole, meaning that it swallows very little of the nearby cosmic gas and dust. The authors of this paper observed Sgr A* with the Chandra X-ray telescope for 3 mega seconds, throughout which only 1% of the gas available to Sgr A* actually accreted onto the black hole. It swallows cold gas, while rejecting hot gas – ejecting the matter back into space.