Astronomy / Astrophysics

Star systems observed by the SPHERE instrument (Image ESO/H. Avenhaus et al./E. Sissa et al./DARTT-S and SHINE collaborations)

Two articles, one published in the “Astrophysical Journal” and one in “Astronomy & Astrophysics”, describe two researches on a number of star systems. Two teams used the SPHERE instrument mounted on ESO’s VLT in one case to study dust and gas disks around a number of young stars in their formation stage and in the other case to study a pair of disks in a system with three stars.

A snapshot of a simulation showing a binary black hole (Image courtesy Northwestern Visualization/Carl Rodriguez. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Physical Review Letters” describes the simulations of the evolution of globular clusters of the type commonly found in galaxies to assess the possibility of black holes mergers. A team led by MIT astrophysicist Carl Rodriguez used the Quest supercomputer at Northwestern University to simulate 24 clusters with different characteristics, also calculating relativistic effects, concluding that repeated mergers can occur, forming black holes more massive than the stellar ones.

The Horsehead Nebula

Two articles, one published in the journal “The Astronomical Journal” and one in the journal “Astronomy and Astrophysics”, describe as many researches on the Horsehead Nebula, iconic for its particular shape. Two teams of researchers used NASA’s SOFIA flying observatory to map the distribution of gas and dust connected to the star formation activity within it.

The supernova remnants 1E 0102.2-7219

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the study of the supernova remnants identified as 1E 0102.2-7219 in the Small Magellanic Cloud. A team of researchers led by Frédéric Vogt used the MUSE instrument installed on ESO’s VLT to observe a large ring of gas in that system that is slowly expanding into the depths of several other gas filaments that are quickly moving away, leaving behind a neutron star in the center.

Magnetic Field Map (Image courtesy MPI for Astrophysics, All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Classical and Quantum Gravity” describes the reconstruction of the map of magnetic fields generated after the Big Bang in the “cosmic neighborhood”. A team of researchers used an algorithm called BORG (Bayesian Origin Reconstruction from Galaxies), developed to work on large-scale structures, to data from the 2M++ galaxy catalog to calculate how these magnetic fields should look like today within a radius of 300 million of light years around the Earth.