Telescopes

A HSC-SSP image of a galaxy cluster (Image NAOJ/HSC Project)

At the end of February the first data from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program (HSC-SSP) were released to the public. It’s a kind of cosmic census created using a large digital camera installed on the Subaru Telescope. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) developed a dedicated database and interface to use the wealth of data collected. One hope is to be closer to understand the fate of the universe.

Illustration of Fermi Bubbles and the use of quasars to study them (Image NASA, ESA, and Z. Levy (STScI))

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a research on one of the giant gas bubbles regurgitated by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Called Fermi bubble, it’s a type of structure still not well understood and a team led by Rongmon Bordoloi of MIT used the Hubble Space Telescope to change that measuring various characteristics of the gas inside the bubble.

Artistic concept of the galaxy A2744_YD4 (Image ESO/M. Kornmesser)

An article to be published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research about the galaxy A2744_YD4, the most distant observed with the ALMA radio telescope. A team of astronomers led by Nicolas Laporte of University College London also used the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s VLT to confirm that we’re seeing A2744_YD4 as it was about six hundred million years after the Big Bang. The most interesting thing is the dust detection indicating that there were already several supernovae.

Artist's concept of a supermassive black hole with ultrafast winds (Image ESA)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the most detailed observations of incredibly fast winds that travel at speeds of up to 71,000 km/s, nearly a quarter of the speed of light, near a supermassive black hole. A team of researchers used NASA’s NuSTAR and ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescopes to observe this phenomenon at the center of the galaxy IRAS 13224-3809 recording very quick temperature changes.

The supernova SN 1987A at the center (Image NASA, ESA, R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation), and M. Mutchler and R. Avila (STScI))

In recent days on La RĂ©union Island a meeting was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sighting of the supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), the brightest of the last four centuries and for this reason a historic event for modern astronomy. For these celebrations scientists from the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes chose an animation derived from the model of a team of astrophysicists from INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Italy led by Salvatore Orlando.