Faigler et al. apply their BEER algorithm to a collection of stars in the Kepler field and find a hot Jupiter missed by the Kepler Science Team, showing a new way to find and characterize planets without follow-up observations.
It’s big, it’s active, and it’s only 20 million lightyears away– it is the Whirlpool galaxy, and astronomers are getting a brand new view. Using the Plateau de Bure interferometer, this paper examines the gas in this nearby grand-design spiral galaxy on arcsecond scales, resolving for the first time its individual molecular clouds. What does this tell us about star formation in this galaxy? Stay tuned!
Huang et al. dig up evidence that distant “red nugget” galaxies grew into the massive ellipticals we see today by consuming smaller, gas-poor galaxies.
Astrobites will be at the 222nd AAS meeting in Indianapolis, IN from June 2-6, 2013! Will you? Although the regular abstract deadline has passed, you can still present a poster. The late deadline for the meeting is coming up soon: April 18 at 9:00 pm ET. Also, the regular registration deadline is even sooner: April 11. After [...]
Check out these cool new results from LOFAR which is boldly going to some of the longest wavelengths astronomers have ever observed! An active galaxy has a less active past than we might expect, pulsating neutron stars are behaving strangely, and even at wavelengths as long as meters, there are still spectral lines from extremely low-energy atomic transitions.
Unlike its candy bar namesake, the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is not actually a very pleasant place to be. There’s a supermassive central black hole to deal with, intense radiation from a population of massive stars, and hot clouds of molecular gas. In this paper, the authors use observations of three molecular spectral lines to measure the temperatures of these gas clouds in the center of the Galaxy, and find that the processes heating the clouds may not be what you expect!
Carretti and collaborators have found new evidence that the gigantic bubbles of emission emanating from the center of our Milky Way are the result of winds from supernova explosions, not jets from our supermassive black hole.
The Canada-France Hawaii Telescope weak gravitational lensing survey (CFHTLens), recently released new results to help constrain our cosmological models. While still in its early stages, weak lensing will ultimately be a powerful tool to discover the nature of the mysterious dark energy.
I’ve got pretty bad eyesight. If I take off my glasses and look at the flowers on my window sill, they look like a fuzzy yellow blob. But with glasses, the petals and the patterns cast on them come into focus. This is how I felt when looking at the new observations of the debris disk around AU Mic. Putting on our ALMA glasses, the fuzzy debris disk around AU Mic is sharpening into something surprisingly consistent with our own Solar System.
I recently attended a two-week crash course in the “Astrophysical Applications of Gravitational Lensing”. In this post, I overview a few of the ways astronomers employ lensing to study the Universe, from extrasolar planets to distant quasars and large-scale structure.