Telescopes

Diagram of coronal eruption. At the left the corona (feature in purplish colors) gathers inward, becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole (middle and right) (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the detailed observation of a huge X-ray eruption by a supermassive black hole known as Markarian 335 or Mrk 335. The Swift and NuSTAR space telescopes were used to examine this phenomenon of gigantic proportions concluding that it originated from a coronal ejection.

Artistic representation of a red giant with its powerful internal magnetic field (Image courtesy Rafael A. García (SAp CEA), Kyle Augustson (HAO), Jim Fuller (Caltech) & Gabriel Pérez (SMM, IAC), Photograph from AIA/SDO)

An article published in recent days in the journal “Science” describes research that has used the technique of asteroseismology to estimate the intensity of the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the cores of some red giants. This allowed to establish that their intensity can also be 10 million times greater than the Earth’s magnetic field. It’s the first time that scientists have been able to investigate within this type of star.

Comet Lovejoy aka C/2014 Q2 on February 12, 2015 (Photo courtesy Fabrice Noel)

An article just published in the journal “Science Advances” describes a research about Comet Lovejoy, cataloged as C/2014 Q2. A team of researchers led by Nicolas Biver at the Observatoire de Meudon, France, analyzed the compounds emitted together with water when the comet passed close to the Sun, on January 30, 2015, and found 21 different organic molecules including ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehyde, a simple sugar.

The galaxy cluster MACS J0416.1–2403 observed by the Hubble Space Telescope (Image NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI))

An international team led by the astronomer Hakim Atek of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe over 250 dwarf galaxies that existed between 600 and 900 million years after the Big Bang. It’s one of the largest samples of dwarf galaxies discovered so far dating back to such a remote era and allows us to look into the universe at a young age providing useful information to understand its evolution.

Artistic impression of the VFTS 352 stars (Image ESO/L. Calçada)

An article published in “Astrophysical Journal” describes a research on a couple of very special stars. The binary system called VFTS 352 is in fact composed of two stars that are touching and these stars are the largest discovered to date in this situation. An international team of astronomers used ESO’s VLT (Very Large Telescope) to observe this double star, also to try to understand what kind of development could have.