Blogs about telescopes and astronomical observations instruments

Artist's impression of the exoplanet WASP-12b and its star (Image NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI))

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research on the exoplanet WASP-12b. A team of astronomers from the McGille University, Canada, and the University of Exeter, UK, used the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), an instrument of the Hubble Space Telescope discovering that the planet reflects only a very little percentage of the light it receives from its star. In a word, this strange planet is darker than fresh asphalt: in technical terms, its albedo is 0.064.

The pulsar SXP 1062

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the first observation of an irregularity in the rotation period of a pulsar, a phenomenon called glitch, in a binary system. A team of scientists from the Middle East Technical University and Baskent University, both in Ankara, Turkey, used data collected from observations of the Swift, XMM-Newton and Chandra space telescopes conducted over two years to identify glitches in the pulsar SXP 1062.

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research that revealed a surprise in the origin of electromagnetic radiation from the Crab Nebula that can influence the research on cosmic rays. Federico Fraschetti of the University of Arizona, USA, and Martin Pohl of the University of Potsdam, Germany, believe that the model created by Enrico Fermi in 1949 is to be partially revised because those radiation are produced in a way different from what was thought.

Cosmic Eyelash seen by ALMA (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/E. Falgarone et al.)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the first detection in the distant universe of the carbon hydride molecule, or CH+. A team led by Edith Falgarone of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Observatoire de Paris, France, used the ALMA radio telescope to discover that cold and turbulent gas in galaxies of the starburst type such as SMM J2135-0102, nicknamed Cosmic Eyelash. This discovery will help to better understand the mechanisms of galaxy growth and the periods of rapid star formation.