Cosmology

RX J1347.5-1145 galaxy cluster (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/T. Kitayama (Toho University, Japan)/ESA/Hubble & NASA)

The ALMA radio telescope was used for the first time to measure the thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect aiming it at the RX J1347.5-1145 galaxy cluster, located about 5 billion light years from Earth. This effect is due to the photons from the cosmic microwave background radiation that interact with high-energy electrons because of their temperature. Those measurements are useful to obtain information on the location and distribution of dense galactic clusters such as the one studied in this case.

The quasar HE0435-1223 seen through a gravitational lens that creates four images of it (Image ESA/Hubble, NASA, Suyu et al.)

A series of articles about to be published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes various aspects of a new calculation of the Hubble constant, the value indicating the rate of expansion of the universe. A team of the H0LiCOW collaborative used the Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes to measure the Hubble constant using the effect of gravitational lensing of 5 galaxies.

A group of dwarf galaxies (Image courtesy Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the discovery of seven groups of dwarf galaxies that show the conditions for starting the merger process that will lead to form galaxies like the Milky Way. A team of researchers led by Sabrina Stierwalt of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) identified seven groups starting from data of the TiNy Titans (TNT) survey then carried out specific studies.

Global view of the Orion A molecular cloud (Image ESO/VISION survey)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes the most detailed view of the molecular cloud called Orion A, one of the two giant molecular clouds in the Orion molecular cloud complex. A team of researchers created it by putting together infrared images obtained from the VISION (Vienna Survey in Orion) survey with ESO’s VISTA telescope revealing many young stars and other objects normally hidden within dust clouds.

Interstellar filaments in Polaris (Image ESA and the SPIRE & PACS consortia, Ph. André (CEA Saclay) for the Gould’s Belt Survey Key Programme Consortium, and A. Abergel (IAS Orsay) for the Evolution of Interstellar Dust Key Programme Consortium)

ESA has published a new picture of the network of interstellar filaments seen by the Herschel Space Observatory in the space around Polaris, the North Star, which is actually a multiple system. For this reason also known as Polaris Flare, it’s an interstellar cloud in which filaments formed in which there are gas and dust visible especially at infrareds.