Telescopes

44 exoplanets detected by the Kepler space telescope confirmed in one go

An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” describes the confirmation of 44 exoplanets that are part of an original group of 72 candidates detected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. A team of researchers led by John Livingston of the University of Tokyo, Japan, used data collected by ESA’s Gaia space probe and ground-based telescopes in the US to confirm the existence of 44 exoplanets in one go and discover some of their characteristics. 16 of them have a radius less than twice the Earth’s.

Fermi gamma-ray map

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a research that offers new confirmations that the anomalous gamma-ray detected for the first time in 2009 by NASA’s Fermi gamma-ray space telescope come from millisecond pulsars. The first hypothesis was that they were collisions of dark matter particles but millisecond pulsars that are found in the Milky Way nucleus with emissions mixed up in the signal detected by Fermi seem more and more probable.

Artist's concept of SIMP J01365663+0933473 (Image Caltech/Chuck Carter; NRAO/AUI/NSF)

An article published in the “Astrophysical Journal” describes a study on the magnetic fields of five brown dwarfs, objects at the limit between the planet and the star, cold even by the standards of their category. A team of researchers used the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to examine the brown dwarfs chosen due to their radio wave emissions. The one cataloged as SIMP J01365663+0933473 is especially interesting because it’s at the limit between the planet and the brown dwarf and has a magnetic field over 200 times stronger than Jupiter’s.

Perhaps in the Eta Carinae system there were three stars and one of them was destroyed

Two articles published in the journal “The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describe different aspects of a research that offers an explanation to the Great Eruption, an event in which the brightness of the Eta Carinae system increased between 1820 and 1843. A team of astronomers used various telescopes to gather new information about what’s happened in that area, concluding that originally there were three stars whose interaction ended up leading to the destruction of one of them.

CK Vul

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the discovery of aluminum monofluoride (AlF) molecules containing aluminum-26, a radioactive isotope of this element, in interstellar space. A team of astronomers used the ALMA and NOEMA radio telescopes to trace its origins to the variable star CK Vulpeculae (CK Vul), the remnant of the merger between two stars observed from the Earth between 1670 and 1672 and called Nova Vulpecola 1670. It’s the first observation of aluminum-26 that leads to the identification of its origin, which occurred in a very rare event.