August 2017

Scheme of the detection of a galaxy's magnetic field through a gravitational lens (Image Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF; NASA, Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI). Additional Processing: Robert Gendler)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the measurement of the magnetic field of a galaxy that is nearly 5 billion light-years away from Earth, the farthest of which such a detection has been made. A team of researchers used the Very Large Array (VLA) to detect it not directly but thanks to a kind of magnetic footprint called Faraday effect that reached the Earth thanks to the light coming from a quasar that appears to us behind the galaxy studied.

The Pleiades seen by the Kepler Space Telescope (Image NASA / Aarhus University / T. White)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the most detailed study ever made on the variability of the Pleiades. A team of astronomers led by Dr. Tim White of the Stellar Astrophysics Center at the Danish University of Aarhus used a new algorithm to improve the observations made by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope in its K2 mission.

Vela supernova remnant at X-rays (Image courtesy ROSAT All-Sky Survey / Federico García et al.)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes an analysis of the chemical composition of a kind of plasma shrapnel ejected from the Vela supernova remnant. A team led by Federico García of the Argentinian Institute of Radioastronomy used the XMM-Newton Space Telescope to study the plasma jets around the the supernova remnant discovering an abnormal abundance of silicon.

Antares seen by VLTI (Image ESO/K. Ohnaka)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the creation of the most detailed image of the surface and atmosphere of a star other than the Sun. A team of astronomers led by Keiichi Ohnaka of the Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) to achieve this result with the red supergiant Antares. It’s also the first map of the materials that make up the atmosphere of a star other than the Sun.

Close-up of the rust on the surface of Rusty Rock (Photo NASA)

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” describes a research on the presence of water on the Moon. A team led by the geochemist James M. D. Day of the University of California at San Diego examined amounts and compositions of zinc, chlorine and lead isotopes in a lunar rock concluding that water and other volatile compounds evaporated very early in the Moon’s history. This contradicts a research published only a few weeks ago in which it’s argued that ancient Moon volcanic deposits contain large amounts of water.