October 2015

Diagram of coronal eruption. At the left the corona (feature in purplish colors) gathers inward, becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole (middle and right) (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the detailed observation of a huge X-ray eruption by a supermassive black hole known as Markarian 335 or Mrk 335. The Swift and NuSTAR space telescopes were used to examine this phenomenon of gigantic proportions concluding that it originated from a coronal ejection.

Artistic representation of the Voyager 1 space probe in deep space (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a new analysis of the data collected by NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe to understand why certain detections were abnormal. Voyager 1 entered interstellar space in 2012 but the unclear data raised discussions. After about a year, NASA confirmed the event but some unexpected characteristics of the solar system borders required further studies.

The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on October 18, 2015 (Photo ESA/Rosetta/NavCam)

An article just published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of oxygen molecules in the coma of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It’s a surprising discovery, and in fact is the first time that this presence is detected in a comet because molecular oxygen is very reactive so it tends to combine for example with hydrogen to form water. This oxygen is a “survivor” from the time of formation of the solar system.

Artistic representation of a red giant with its powerful internal magnetic field (Image courtesy Rafael A. García (SAp CEA), Kyle Augustson (HAO), Jim Fuller (Caltech) & Gabriel Pérez (SMM, IAC), Photograph from AIA/SDO)

An article published in recent days in the journal “Science” describes research that has used the technique of asteroseismology to estimate the intensity of the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the cores of some red giants. This allowed to establish that their intensity can also be 10 million times greater than the Earth’s magnetic field. It’s the first time that scientists have been able to investigate within this type of star.

Comet Lovejoy aka C/2014 Q2 on February 12, 2015 (Photo courtesy Fabrice Noel)

An article just published in the journal “Science Advances” describes a research about Comet Lovejoy, cataloged as C/2014 Q2. A team of researchers led by Nicolas Biver at the Observatoire de Meudon, France, analyzed the compounds emitted together with water when the comet passed close to the Sun, on January 30, 2015, and found 21 different organic molecules including ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehyde, a simple sugar.