Stars

Artistic concept of the galaxy A2744_YD4 (Image ESO/M. Kornmesser)

An article to be published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research about the galaxy A2744_YD4, the most distant observed with the ALMA radio telescope. A team of astronomers led by Nicolas Laporte of University College London also used the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s VLT to confirm that we’re seeing A2744_YD4 as it was about six hundred million years after the Big Bang. The most interesting thing is the dust detection indicating that there were already several supernovae.

Protoplanetary disk with a dust trap seen as a bright ring (Image courtesy Jean-Francois Gonzalez)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research that provides an explanation for one of the last remaining mysteries about planet formation. An international team of researchers conducted a series of simulations that show that in the protoplanetary disk around a young star dust traps form that accelerate the aggregation of pebble-sized fragments from which planets are born.

The supernova SN 1987A at the center (Image NASA, ESA, R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation), and M. Mutchler and R. Avila (STScI))

In recent days on La Réunion Island a meeting was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sighting of the supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), the brightest of the last four centuries and for this reason a historic event for modern astronomy. For these celebrations scientists from the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes chose an animation derived from the model of a team of astrophysicists from INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Italy led by Salvatore Orlando.

Artistic concept of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA held a press conference to communicate new discoveries in the research on the TRAPPIST-1 star system. These results have also been described in an article published in the journal “Nature”. Using data collected by NASA’s Spitzer Telescope, a team of researchers led by Michaël Gillon of the STAR Institute confirmed the existence of 7 planets in this system, all rocky. Potentially, at least in some region of all those planets there could be liquid water.

The Magellanic Clouds (Image V Belokurov, D Erkal, A Mellinger)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the evidence gathered of the existence of a bridge of stars between the two Magellanic Clouds, the two dwarf galaxies satellite of the Milky Way. An international team led by astronomers from the University of Cambridge used data collected by ESA’s Gaia space probe to determine that the bridge is composed not only of gas but also of stars that are old and were stripped from their galaxies.