Astronomy / Astrophysics

Composite image of the Crab Nebula (Image NASA, ESA, G. Dubner (IAFE, CONICET-University of Buenos Aires) et al.; A. Loll et al.; T. Temim et al.; F. Seward et al.; VLA/NRAO/AUI/NSF; Chandra/CXC; Spitzer/JPL-Caltech; XMM-Newton/ESA; and Hubble/STScI)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a new research on the Crab Nebula based on images that embrace a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum because they got assembled by bringing images at different wavelengths together. These supernova remnants were portrayed by five telescopes: VLA radiotelescope (radio waves) in red, Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared) in yellow, Hubble Space Telescope (visible) in green, XMM-Newton (ultraviolet) in blue, and Chandra X-ray Observatory (X-ray) in purple.

Artist's illustration of TRAPPIST-1 and its planets (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the magazine “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research on the orbits of the TRAPPIST-1 system’s planets. NASA’s announcement of the detection of 7 planets in that system of which at least three in the habitable zone raised enthusiasm but the data collected seemed to indicate an instability in those planets’ orbits. A team led by Dan Tamayo of the University of Toronto offers an explanation based on a series of orbital resonances that keep the system stable.

Artist's concept of HAT-P-26b observed by Hubble and Spitzer (Image NASA/GSFC)

An article published in the journal “Science” describes a research on the exoplanet HAT-P-26b, a warm Neptune, meaning a planet of size similar to Neptune that orbits near its star HAT-P-26. A team of researchers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the British University of Exeter used the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to discover what is called a primitive atmosphere for HAT-P-26b despite its star being old.

A comparison between supermassive black holes in a normal galaxy and in one involved in a galaxy merger (Image National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the effects that a merger between two galaxies can have on a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy involved in that process. A team of researchers led by Claudio Ricci used especially NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope to study how in the last stages of galactic merger gas and dust fall towards a black hole enshrouding it and generating an active galactic nucleus.

Scheme of the molecular oxygen production process (Image courtesy Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” provides an explanation for the presence of oxygen molecules on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Konstantinos Giapis, a chemical engineer at Caltech, conducted this research after noting that the chemical reactions that took place on the comet’s surface were similar to those he had been generating for years. The most likely hypothesis initially offered was that it had “survived” since the solar system’s formation but perhaps the correct explanation has now been found.