Blogs about telescopes and astronomical observations instruments

Planetary formation discovered in the Taurus molecular cloud

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the observation of structures in protoplanetary disks that probably were left by newborn and perhaps still developing planets. A team of researchers led by Feng Long of the University of Beijing used the ALMA radio telescope to examine disks surrounding young stars in the Taurus star formation region discovering that of 32 protoplanetary disks 12 were divided into rings, a situation associated with planetary formation.

The quasar 3C 273 (Image ESA/Hubble & NASA)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the first detailed observation of the environment surrounding a supermassive black hole outside the Milky Way. A team of astronomers led by Professor Hagai Netzer of the Tel Aviv University used the GRAVITY instrument installed on ESO’s VLTI to examine the first quasar discovered, known as 3C 273, uncovering gas clouds that move quickly around the black hole that powers that quasar and forms its heart.

The V4046 Sgr system (Image V. D’Orazi/Sphere/Inaf)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a study of the V4046 Sagittarii, or simply V4046 Sgr, binary system. A team of researchers led by Valentina D’Orazi of INAF, Padua, Italy, used the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to examine the rotating shadows projected on the protoplanetary disk that orbits the two young stars. The mapping of the shadows’ movements made it possible to better understand that system’s characteristics thanks to the motion of the two stars, which orbit each other in almost 2.5 days.

The Nili Fossae (Image ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

ESA has published new photos of the region on planet Mars called Nili Fossae taken by its Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The Nili Fossae are a group of tectonic depressions called graben that show signs not only of geological activity but also of erosion by winds and especially by water that dug the shapes still visible today.

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a new research on the possible climate existing on the seven rocky planets of the star TRAPPIST-1’s system. A team of astronomers coordinated by the University of Washington (UW) used updated climate models to try to understand what kind of atmospheres they can have as a result of environmental evolution based on the observations collected. The result is that the planet TRAPPIST-1 e is the one most likely to have liquid water on its surface.