August 2017

Artist's concept of a white dwarf stealing gas from a companion star (Image courtesy Russell Kightley)

An article published in the journal “Science” describes a research on the remnants of a strange supernova cataloged as LP 40-365. According to a team led by Stephane Vennes of the Astronomical Institute of Czech Academy of Sciences in Ondrejov, Czech Republic, that’s a type Iax supernova. It only partially destroyed a white dwarf leaving a part that moves at a very high speed and has an abnormal composition for that dead star type.

The jellyfish galaxy JO204 (mage ESO/GASP collaboration)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that shows a new function of the “tentacles” of the so-called jellyfish galaxies. An international team of astronomers led by Bianca Poggianti of the INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padua in Italy used the observations conducted during ESO’s GASP program with the MUSE instrument installed on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), discovering that the mechanism that generates those tentacles is the same that powers the supermassive black holes at the center of those galaxies.

The supernova SN 2017cbv and the galaxy NGC 5643 (Image courtesy B.J. Fulton)

An article published in “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes the observation of the collision of the supernova SN 2017cbv with a companion. A team of astronomers observed for the first time the details of this type of cosmic event that happened in the NGC 5643 galaxy and was spotted on Earth on March 10, 2017. This is due to the possibility of observing it for five days with the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) obtaining data suggesting that the companion was a normal star with a radius about 20 times the Sun’s.

Thaumasia mountains and Coracis Fossae (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has released some photos taken by its Mars Express space probe showing an area of ​​the Thaumasia mountains and Coracis Fossae on Mars. This area is south of the gigantic canyon system called Valles Marineris and of Tharsis volcanoes and shows traces of the activity that led to their formation more than 3.5 billion years ago. The result is a variety of features with mountains and graben.