Astronomy / Astrophysics

A comparison between the LP 890-9 system and the inner solar system with the characteristics of the stars and their rocky planets

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” reports the identification of two super-Earths in the system of LP 890-9, a star that is tiny even by red dwarf standards. A team of researchers led by astrophysicist Laetitia Delrez of the Belgian University of Liège examined a candidate identified by the TESS space telescope using the SPECULOOS project Southern Observatory to monitor that system confirming the existence of the exoplanet cataloged LP 890-9b. SPECULOOS found a second exoplanet by observing further transits which was cataloged as LP 890-9c and is in ​its system’s habitable zone. Only TRAPPIST-1 is a smaller star than LP 890-9 among the ones known to have planets.

Artist's concept of various stars with their size in scale and the color we see today

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” reports a study on the history of Betelgeuse observations which concludes that 2,000 years ago this star was yellow in color and not red. A team of researchers led by Professor Ralph Neuhäuser of the German University of Jena examined ancient astronomical documents that report observations conducted in various parts of the world where Betelgeuse is described in a very different way from how it appears today. The conclusion is that it has only recently entered its red giant phase in astronomical terms. Reconstructing this star’s history offers information on its evolution that helps to predict its future changes.

The star HIP 65426 in a Digitalized Sky Survey image and at the bottom, the exoplanet HIP 65426 b seen at different infrared frequencies by the James Webb space telescope's NIRCam and MIRI instruments

An article submitted for peer-review reports the results of the first direct observation of an exoplanet, a super-Jupiter cataloged as HIP 65426 b, by the James Webb Space Telescope. A large international collaboration led by Sasha Hinkley, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the British University of Exeter, conducted observations of this gas giant as part of Webb’s Early Release Science (ERS) program. There are no revolutionary results but the new space telescope observed new details of an already known exoplanet confirming that it can be a valuable instrument to study exoplanets.

Combined view of the galaxy SDSS J1448+1010 seen by ALMA and Hubble (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), J. Spilker et al (Texas A&M), S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF))

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” reports a study on the galaxy SDSS J1448+1010. A team of researchers used the ALMA radio telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other instruments to examine it and found that no more stars are forming inside it. After analyzing the observations collected, they concluded that this is due to the fact that SDSS J1448+1010 is the result of a galaxy merger in which a large part of the hydrogen that forms the stars was ejected as a result of the gravitational effects suffered in the course of that event. In fact, the researchers discovered what was defined as a tidal tail formed by the ejected materials, which also include stars.

The galaxy M74 in a combined view at optical and infrared frequencies seen by the Hubble and Webb space telescopes, respectively

ESA has published images of the galaxy M74, nicknamed the Phantom Galaxy, captured by the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes with the addition of a combination between them. It’s a synergy that takes advantage of Hubble’s sensitivity to optical frequencies and Webb’s sensitivity to infrared frequencies. This allows to appreciate different details of a spiral galaxy that is practically visible face-on from the Earth and therefore an excellent object of study. Combining observations obtained with instruments that work in different electromagnetic bands is important Webb starts showing the great results it can offer in this type of study as well.