Massimo Luciani

The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014 (Image ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a research that offers new clues about the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s formation. A team led by Stephen Schwartz of the University of Côte d’Azur and the University of Arizona conducted a series of computer simulations to study the formation of comets like this one, formed by two lobes, expanding previous studies confirming them and offering an explanation to some of its characteristics.

Artist's concept of binary system with a red giant and a neutron star stealing its materials (Image NASA/Dana Berry)

An article accepted for publication in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes the discovery of a binary system in which one of its two stars emitted an X-ray flare because it’s a neutron star that steals materials from its companion, a red giant. A team of researchers used observations of various telescopes to study the event indicated as IGR J17329-2731 and defined it the birth of a symbiotic X-ray binary.

Artist's concept of WASP-39b and its star (Image NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI))

An article published in the journal “The Astronomical Journal” describes a study of the exoplanet WASP-39b. A team of researchers led by Hannah Wakeford of the University of Exeter and the Space Telescope Science Institute used the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to discover the traces of water in the atmosphere of this gas giant very close to its star. These planets are classified as hot Jupiters even if in this case its characteristics are comparable to Saturn’s. The most complete map of the atmosphere of an exoplanet obtained so far showed a considerable amount of water.

Pattern of radio waves (Image courtesy Prof. Rennan Barkana)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research into the possible evidence of the existence of dark matter. Professor Rennan Barkana of the University of Tel Aviv used data collected by the team of Professor Judd Bowman, who found what could be traces of the first stars born in the universe. Those detections also show what were interpreted as evidence of an interaction between dark matter and baryonic matter, the one also called ordinary matter.

The universe timeline (Image courtesy N.R.Fuller, National Science Foundation. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that describes the detection of possible traces of the first stars born in the universe, found in cosmic microwave radiation from the hydrogen that existed at that time. A team of researchers led by Alan Rogers of the MIT Haystack Observatory and Judd Bowman of Arizona State University took over a decade to gather what’s believed to be evidence that the first stars were born about 180 million years after the Big Bang, well before the previous estimates.