Blogs about stars

Artist's concept of galaxies merging near a quasar (Image MPIA using material from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of four galaxies that are very ancient, so much that they formed less than a billion years after the Big Bang. A very high stellar formation rate was observed within them. A team of astronomers led by Roberto Decarli of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy discovered by chance these four galaxies, noting that they were close to as many quasars.

A part of the Sh2-308 nebula (Image ESA/Hubble & NASA)

An image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows part of a nebula called Sh2-308 surrounding the star EZ Canis Majoris, a Wolf-Rayet star, a rare type of very massive star, over twenty times the mass of the Sun, and very hot that emits very strong solar winds. The star and the nebula are closely linked because the very strong solar winds push large amounts of ionized hydrogen that form a kind of temporary bubble around it.

The Fomalhaut system seen by ALMA and Hubble (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. MacGregor; NASA/ESA Hubble, P. Kalas; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF))

Two articles to be published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describe two studies concerning the ring of debris surrounding the star Fomalhaut. An international team of astronomers used the ALMA radio telescope to get the first complete image of those debris, which are probably the product of a series of collisions among comets near the outer edges of that solar system. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide have also been found in abundance.

Composite image of the Crab Nebula (Image NASA, ESA, G. Dubner (IAFE, CONICET-University of Buenos Aires) et al.; A. Loll et al.; T. Temim et al.; F. Seward et al.; VLA/NRAO/AUI/NSF; Chandra/CXC; Spitzer/JPL-Caltech; XMM-Newton/ESA; and Hubble/STScI)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a new research on the Crab Nebula based on images that embrace a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum because they got assembled by bringing images at different wavelengths together. These supernova remnants were portrayed by five telescopes: VLA radiotelescope (radio waves) in red, Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared) in yellow, Hubble Space Telescope (visible) in green, XMM-Newton (ultraviolet) in blue, and Chandra X-ray Observatory (X-ray) in purple.

Artist's illustration of TRAPPIST-1 and its planets (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the magazine “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research on the orbits of the TRAPPIST-1 system’s planets. NASA’s announcement of the detection of 7 planets in that system of which at least three in the habitable zone raised enthusiasm but the data collected seemed to indicate an instability in those planets’ orbits. A team led by Dan Tamayo of the University of Toronto offers an explanation based on a series of orbital resonances that keep the system stable.