Telescopes

The galaxy MACS0416_Y1 seen by ALMA and Hubble (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, Tamura, et al.)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a study on the galaxy MACS0416_Y1. A team of researchers led by Professor Yoichi Tamura of the Japanese University of Nagoya used the ALMA radio telescope to observe a galaxy we see as it was about 13.2 billion years ago. The surprising discovery is the considerable amount of interstellar dust present within it, explained by two intense periods of star formation that took place around 300 million and 600 million years after the Big Bang with a quiet phase between them.

A binary system formed by high mass newborn stars

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the first observation of a binary system formed by high mass newborn stars. A team of researchers used the ALMA radio telescope to study a star-forming region cataloged as IRAS07299-1651 where a cloud of gas and dust is collapsing adding materials to two protostars that have similar masses for a total of at least 18 solar masses and must still reach a state of stability. The observations indicate that this pair was born from the division of a single disk of gas and dust and now each of the two protostars is surrounded by its own disk.

83 quasars discovered in the early universe

5 articles published in the journals “The Astrophysical Journal Letters”, “The Astrophysical Journal” (here and here), “The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series” (paiwalled, available here) and “Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan” describe various aspects of the discovery of 83 new quasars dating back to about 13 billion years ago, studied together with 17 other quasars from that era that were already known. A team of researchers led by Yoshiki Matsuoka, now at the Japanese Ehime University, used the Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC), an instrument mounted on the Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) in Hawaii. Those quasars are powered by supermassive black holes and their study will help perfect our cosmological models.

Artistic concept of the Kepler-1658 system (Image courtesy Gabriel Perez Diaz/Instituto de AstrofĂ­sica de Canarias)

An article to be published in “The Astronomical Journal” offers evidence that confirms the existence of the exoplanet Kepler-1658b almost ten years after the detection of its first traces by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which made it the first candidate discovered in its mission. A team of researchers led by Ashley Chontos, a student at the University of Hawaii, reviewed the data collected after that first detection also using the technique of astroseismology to confirm that the planet actually exists. The results were also presented in recent days at the Kepler/K2 Science Conference held in Glendale, California.

Artist's concept of star system with planets as spinning tops (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech, Sarah Millholland)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” offers a solution to a mystery concerning a configuration of exoplanets pairs’ orbits discovered over the years by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. According to Sarah Millholland and Gregory Laughlin of the American Yale University, obliquity, which is the inclination between these planets’ axis and their orbit, is a key element to explain why those orbits are just outside the natural points of stability.