Massimo Luciani

Artist's impression of the X9 system with the view from Chandra X-ray Observatory in the inset (Image X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Alberta/A.Bahramian et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research on what appears to be a binary system including a star with the closest orbit around a black hole. A team of astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NuSTAR space Telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) to observe this system called X9 concluding that the star, a white dwarf, takes 28 minutes to orbit the black hole.

A HSC-SSP image of a galaxy cluster (Image NAOJ/HSC Project)

At the end of February the first data from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program (HSC-SSP) were released to the public. It’s a kind of cosmic census created using a large digital camera installed on the Subaru Telescope. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) developed a dedicated database and interface to use the wealth of data collected. One hope is to be closer to understand the fate of the universe.

Enceladus with some tiger stripes in blue (Image NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the discovery that the south pole of Enceladus, one of the planet Saturn’s moons, is warmer than expected under the icy surface. A team of researchers led by Alice Le Gall of LATMOS and UVSQ studied detections carried out by the Cassini space probe during a flyby in 2011 concluding that the underground ocean on Enceladus is closer to the surface than previously thought.

Illustration of Fermi Bubbles and the use of quasars to study them (Image NASA, ESA, and Z. Levy (STScI))

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a research on one of the giant gas bubbles regurgitated by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Called Fermi bubble, it’s a type of structure still not well understood and a team led by Rongmon Bordoloi of MIT used the Hubble Space Telescope to change that measuring various characteristics of the gas inside the bubble.

The great bright spot at the center of Occator crater (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI/LPI)

An article published in the journal “Astronomical Journal” describes a study that provides a dating to the large bright spot in Occator crater on the dwarf planet Ceres. A team of researchers led by Andreas Nathues of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen, Germany, used data collected by NASA’s Dawn space probe to analyze the interior of Occator concluding that the bright spot is 4 million years old, 30 million less of the crater.