Astronomy / Astrophysics

False-color image of V883 Ori. The distribution of dust is shown in orange and the distribution of methanol, an organic molecule, is shown in blue. (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Lee et al.)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” reports the discovery of complex organic molecules (COMs) in the protoplanetary disk of the star V883 Orionis, or simply V883 Ori. A team of researchers led by Jeong-Eun Lee of Kyung Hee University, South Korea, used the ALMA radio telescope to detect the “chemical signatures” of compounds such as methanol, acetaldehyde, methyl formate, acetonitrile and acetone after a sudden outburst caused the snow line to move causing the sublimation of frozen materials and the consequent release of those compounds.

Artist's concept of protoplanet impact (Image Nasa/JPL-Caltech modified)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a study about two super-Earths in the Kepler-107 star system that have similar size but very different densities that indicate a very different chemical composition. A team of researchers led by Aldo Bonomo of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Turin used the HARPS-N spectrograph installed on the Galileo National Telescope in the Canary Islands to examine the planets Kepler-107b and Kepler-107c and conclude that probably the remarkable differences between them are due to a primordial impact.

The dwarf galaxy Bedin 1 behind the globular star cluster NGC 6752 (Image ESA/Hubble, NASA, Bedin et al.)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters” describes the discovery of the most isolated dwarf galaxy detected so far. A team of researchers led by Luigi Bedin of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics examined observations of the star cluster NGC 6752 carried out with the Hubble Space Telescope for a study of white dwarfs finding a group of very ancient stars that turned out to be a dwarf galaxy that was nicknamed Bedin 1.

Artist’s impression of a planetesimal (Image courtesy Ko Arimatsu / NAOJ. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” reports the discovery of a planetesimal, which is an object of the type that probably formed planets, dwarf planets and asteroids, with an estimated radius of about 1.3 kilometers in the Kuiper Belt. A team led by Ko Arimatsu of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) used two 28 cm amateur telescopes using the occultation technique in a 60-hour monitoring. The analysis of the data revealed what appears to be a planetesimal whose presence has long been predicted by the models of planetary formation but had never been identified.

A measurement of the Hubble constant based on quasars suggests possible changes to cosmological models

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the use of quasars as cosmic tracers to measure the expansion of the universe up to 12 billion years ago. Guido Risaliti of the University of Florence and Elisabeta Lusso of Durham University studied the X-ray and optical emissions of a number of quasars using the comparison between those emissions to accurately assess their distances. The results could explain the discrepancies between the different measurements carried out with other methods suggesting that the density of the mysterious dark energy isn’t constant over time.