An article accepted for publication in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes the VST Early-type GAlaxy Survey (VEGAS). A team of researchers led by Marilena Spavone from INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte in Naples, Italy, used ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) in Chile to obtain highly detailed images of many elliptical galaxies. Among them there’s NGC 5018, interesting among other things for structures such as what’s called a tidal tail, a stream of gas containing various stars stretching outwards from that galaxy. These are evidence of interactions between galaxies that provide information on the characteristics of primordial galaxies.
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.
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.
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.
A few hours ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-15 (Cargo Resupply Service 15) mission for NASA splashing down smoothly in the Pacific Ocean a little more than 420 kilometers (about 326 miles) off the coast of California. The Dragon left the International Space Station a few hours before.