Representation of a solar superflare (Image NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.)

An article published in the journal “Nature Geoscience” describes a study on the relationship between super solar flares of a few billion years ago and the emergence of life forms on Earth. According to a team of NASA scientists led by Vladimir Airapetian those gigantic storms provided the energy needed to warm up the Earth and to trigger some chemical reactions needed to form complex molecules such as RNA and DNA on which life is based.

Artistic representation of a supermassive black hole seed. The inset boxes show a candidate seen by Chandra (top) and by Hubble (bottom) (Image X-ray: NASA/CXC/Scuola Normale Superiore/F. Pacucci, et al. Optical: NASA/STScI. Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss)

An article that will be published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research on the origin of supermassive black holes. A team of Italian scientists led by Fabio Pacucci of Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa used NASA’s space telescopes to identify two ancient objects that represent the best candidates black hole “seeds” found so far.

The LHA 120-N55 nebula photographed by the VLT (Photo ESO)

ESO released new photos of the nebula LHA 120-N55 – usually called simply N55 – taken with the VLT (Very Large Telescope). It’s an emission nebula located inside a so-called superbubble called CML 4 and has a halo that in the images has various colors like a cloak adorning recently formed stars and consists of gas remained after most of it was absorbed by those stars.

Image of the Tycho Supernova remnant (Image X-ray: NASA/CXC/GSFC/B. Williams et al; Optical: DSS; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research on the Tycho supernova remnant. That explosion was seen on Earth in 1572 in an event well documented. The expansion of the remaining materials is still interesting and a team of astronomers studied it with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and many other telescopes to create a kind of film that shows it.

Artistic representation of the biggest dwarf planets in the solar system (Image Konkoly Observatory/András Pál, Hungarian Astronomical Association/Iván Éder, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” describes a research on a trans-Neptunian object called 2007 OR10. A team of astronomers used NASA’s Kepler space telescope and archive data of ESA’s Herschel space telescope’s observations to study this celestial body. The result is that they discovered that it’s much bigger than it looked and is probably a dwarf planet.