January 2018

Artist's concept of winds around a black hole stealing gas from a companion (Image courtesy NASA/Swift/A. Simonnet, Sonoma State University)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the study of 12 binary systems with X-ray emissions and the presence of a black hole. A team of researchers found evidence of the continuous presence of strong winds that surround the black holes studied throughout their outbursts, which consist in very intense emissions. This research offers new information on the way in which masses move towards black holes and on black holes’ influence on the environment around them.

Rendering of the possible surface of K2-141b (Image courtesy Marco Galliani/INAF)

Two articles, one to be published in “The Astronomical Journal” and one to be published in the journal “Astronomy and Astrophysics”, describe the study of the exoplanet K2-141b, a super-Earth very close to its star, so much that its year lasts only 6.7 hours. A team of researchers led by Luca Malavolta of the University of Padua and the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics used the National Galileo Telescope and its HARPS-N spectrograph to study it.

X-ray emissions from the GW170817 source (Image NASA/CXC/McGill/J.Ruan et al)

An article published in the journal “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes the analysis of the observations of the afterglow from the merger of two neutron stars detected last August and announced in October. A team of researchers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory to study the consequences of that event noting that the glow continued, indicating that the gamma-ray burst generated from that collision is more complex than the scientists initially thought.

Artist's concept of PSR J0348+0432 and its companion (Image ESO/L. Cal├žada)

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes the calculation of the maximum mass that a neutron star can reach. A team of astrophysicists from the Goethe University Frankfurt exploited what are considered universal relations between stars of that type and data collected in the event that saw the merger of two neutron stars observed at both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves to establish that a non-rotating neutron star can’t exceed 2.16 solar masses.

The galaxies SDSS J1354+1327 and SDSS J1354+1328 (Image NASA , ESA, and J. Comerford (University of Colorado-Boulder))

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes the observation of two events consisting of a supermassive black hole that swallowed large amounts of gas and then emits a part of them in the form of very high-energy jets. A team of astronomers led by Julie Comerford of the University of Colorado at Boulder used observations made with various telescopes to capture this repeated activity at the center of a galaxy known as SDSS J1354+1327 or simply J1354.