Boss & Keiser examine how magnetic fields with varying initial conditions affect star formation.
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.
The race to be the first to detect gravitational waves is on – are pulsar timing arrays on the verge of a discovery? New predictions based on revised galaxy merger calculations suggest that it may be so.
In this study, Kaviraj et al. find that major mergers only contribute a small percentage (17-27%) of the total star formation at a redshift of 2, when the Universe was 3.3 billion years old and vigorously creating new stars. This goes against what we once thought, and leaves the door open for other mechanisms to drive the global star formation rate in the early Universe.
Witzel et. al examine the statistical properties of the photometric variability of our Galaxy’s central black hole.
Title: Spatial Anisotropy of Galaxy Kinematics in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Galaxy Clusters First Author: Skielboe, A. Galaxy clusters are beautifully simple, but also fantastically complicated structures. For many years, astronomers have treated these systems as spherical cows, but simulations and observations have repeatedly shown that clusters exhibit triaxial rather than spherical shapes with nice [...]
Astronomers like to find cool things. The first Earth-sized planet. The most distant galaxy yet. Two stars that merged while we watched. The coolness factor is certainly one reason why we keep at it – who wouldn’t want to be the first to find an Earth-sized planet, or the first human to see light from a galaxy that’s existed for billions of years? But there’s also a compelling scientific reason to search for these oddballs. This paper reports on the likely discovery of dust around a pair of binary stars.