IRAS 16399-0937 (Image ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (geckzilla))

An image obtained thanks to observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a very peculiar galaxy. Called IRAS 16399-0937, it’s a megamaser, which is an astronomical maser that emits microwaves with an intensity about a hundred million times greater than that of astronomical masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. That’s because virtually all the galaxy is a maser.

The nebula NGC 6357 (Image X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/L. Townsley et al; Optical: UKIRT; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA has released an image that’s stunning even by its standards of nebula NGC 6357. The colors are the result of a composition obtained by putting together X-ray data from Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ROSAT space telescope, the infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer space telescope and optical data from the SuperCosmos Sky Survey.

Possible Proxima Centauri orbit. The numbers are in millennia (Image P. Kervella (CNRS/U. of Chile/Observatoire de Paris/LESIA), ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2, D. De Martin/M. Zamani)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy and Astrophysics” describes the observations that led to conclude that the star Proxima Centauri orbits Alpha Centauri A and B forming a triple system. Astronomers Pierre Kervella, Frederic Thevenin and Christophe Lovis used the HARPS instrument installed at ESO’s La Silla observatory in Chile to obtain the precise measurements needed to support this theory.

Some of the ancient galaxies observed (Image K. Trisupatsilp, NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes the observations of the birthplaces of most of today’s stars. A team of astronomers led by Wiphu Rujopakam of the University of Tokyo and the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok used the VLA and ALMA radio telescopes to study galaxies so far away that we see them as they were about 10 billion years ago, when in the universe there was a peak period of star formation.

VIPERS survey's map (Image B. Granett, L. Guzzo & the VIPERS Collaboration)

In recent days, two groups of researchers have published their cosmic maps. The VIPERS project used the VIMOS spectrograph installed on ESO’s VLT (Very Large Telescope) to examine 90,000 galaxies and create a wide and highly accurate three-dimensional map of the distant universe. The Pan-STARRS project used the telescope at Haleakala, Hawaii, to obtain repeated images of three-quarters of the visible sky and create a map of billions of space objects.