June 2018

Artist's concept of the blazar OJ 287

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research on a blazar, a type of active galactic nucleus, known as OJ 287. A team of researchers led by Silke Britzen of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, studied this blazar, which has long been known and left the astronomers puzzled by its variations in brightness. The cause could be in the presence of two black holes or a misaligned accretion disk.

The galaxy ESO325-G004 and the Einstein ring (Image ESO, ESA/Hubble, NASA)

An article published in the journal “Science” describes the most precise verification of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity outside the Milky Way. A team of researchers led by Thomas Collett of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the British University of Portsmouth used data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope and ESO’s VLT to observe a gravitational lensing effect, one of the relativistic predictions, created by the galaxy ESO325-G004. The two instruments provided separate data that, compared, confirmed the correctness of the theory.

Scheme of the detection of baryons in intergalactic gas

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of the missing ordinary matter in the universe. A team of researchers led by Fabrizio Nicastro of INAF, Rome, Italy, discovered what is technically called baryonic matter after having searched it for almost twenty years using ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope keeping under observation the quasar 1ES 1553+113 up to find the traces of the baryons hidden in the hot gas present among the galaxies.

The galaxy galaxy 6dFGS gJ215022.2-055059 and the intermediate-mass black hole candidate

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the discovery of the best candidate found so far for a type of black hole that’s been elusive for a long time. A team led by Dacheng Lin of the University of New Hampshire’s Space Science Center used observations from a number of telescopes to detect flares at various wavelengths emitted in the area near an intermediate-mass black hole while destroying a nearby star in what is called the tidal disruption event.

The Medusae Fossae Formation seen by Mars Odyssey. Mars based on data from the MOLA instrument (Image NASA, modified by Chmee2)

An article published in the journal “Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets” describes a research on the Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars. A team of researchers coordinated by the Johns Hopkins University analyzed this geological formation finding its possible origin in explosive volcanic eruptions that over three billion years ago ejected ash, rock and gas. It could add important information about Mars interior and its past.