Telescopes

Blogs about telescopes and astronomical observations instruments

The protoplanetary disk surrounding the star Orion Source I (Image ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); NRAO/AUI/NSF; Gemini Observatory/AURA)

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the discovery of the presence of salts and in particular of the ordinary table salt, in the protoplanetary disk surrounding the young star Orion Source I. A team of astronomers used the ALMA radio telescope to detect the “chemical signatures” that indicate the presence of a number of molecules including two salts. In particular, sodium chloride seems to make up a considerable part of the disk given that the estimated mass is around one sextillion kilograms, more or less equivalent to the water of the Earth’s oceans.

A newborn star in a giant bubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud

An article published in the journal “Nature” reports the discovery of a jet of materials from a young massive star in an area called LHA 120-N 180B, or simply N180 B, a star formation region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. A team of researchers led by Anna McLeod used the MUSE instrument installed on the VLT in Chile to study the area and in particular the jet cataloged as HH 1177, the first of this type detected in visible light outside the Milky Way.

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.