Astronomy / Astrophysics

Artist's concept of lightning distribution in Jupiter's northern hemisphere (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/JunoCam)

Two articles, one published in the journal “Nature” and one published in “Nature Astronomy”, describe two researches on Jovian lightning. A team led by Shannon Brown of NASA’s JPL described the ways in which lightning strikes on the planet Jupiter are similar to those on Earth even if they’re someway the opposite. Another team led by Ivana Kolmašová of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague created the largest database of low-frequency radio emissions generated by lightning strikes on Jupiter, called in jargon whistlers. In both cases, the researchers used data collected by NASA’s Juno space probe.

The inside of MiniBooNE (Photo Fred Ullrich of Fermilab)

An article published on the arXiv server describes the observation of an excess of electron neutrinos detected by FermiLab’s MiniBooNE experiment. The results are consistent with regard to energy and order of magnitude with those obtained in the 1990s by the LSND experiment in Los Alamos. The most likely explanation is that it’s a proof of the existence of the sterile neutrino, a type of neutrino hypothesized but at least so far not found despite a lot of targeted research.

Carbon monoxide in starburst galaxies

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of star formation regions where the percentage of massive stars is much higher compared to others. A team of astronomers led by Zhi-Yu Zhang of the University of Edinburgh used the ALMA radio telescope to study four very old dusty galaxies of the starburst type, meaning where there’s a high star formation rate.

GW170817 seen by XMM-Newton (Image ESA/XMM-Newton; P. D'Avanzo (INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera))

Two articles, one published in the journal “Astronomy and Astrophysics” and one in “The Astrophysical Journal Letter”, describe two researches on the consequences of the merger of two neutron stars detected last year at electromagnetic and gravitational waves. ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope was used to monitor the evolution of its X-ray emissions. NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory was similarly used and a team of researchers concluded that the merger generated a black hole.

The Tarantula Nebula and its A crowded neighborhood for the Tarantula Nebula (Image ESO)

An image published by ESO shows the Tarantula Nebula along with the neighboring areas in their details. A team of astronomers used the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, in Chile, to capture unseen details of star clusters, bright gas clouds and supernova remnants scattered around. It’s the sharpest image ever obtained of that region of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s satellite dwarf galaxies.