Blogs about stars

The Serpens Nebula observed by the James Webb Space Telescope

An article accepted for publication in “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the first detection of aligned bipolar jets emitted by protostars in the Serpens Nebula. A team of researchers used observations conducted with the James Webb Space Telescope to obtain the details needed to spot these jets. Typically, they have different orientations within a star-forming region but in this case, they are aligned almost perfectly. This suggests that star formation may be at a unique time in its history in the Serpens Nebula and provide crucial information about these processes.

The WL20S system in a combination of ALMA and Webb observations

At the 244th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, a study was presented of what turned out to be a pair of stars inside the WL20 group, cataloged as WL20S. The authors of this study combined observations conducted with the ALMA radio telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope to obtain the information necessary to establish that in that system there are two young stars, and not one as astronomers thought, which formed between 2 and 4 million years ago. Both stars are surrounded by disks of materials in which there could be planets forming and parallel jets of materials emitted by the two stars.

Messier 78 (ESA/Euclid/Euclid Consortium/NASA, image processing by J.-C. Cuillandre (CEA Paris-Saclay), G. Anselmi)

ESA and the Euclid Consortium have presented the first scientific results obtained thanks to the Euclid Space Telescope within the ERO (Early Release Observations) program. That’s a series of scientific articles partly written directly by the Consortium’s researchers and partly by different teams of researchers who worked within the ERO program. Some images illustrate the possibilities of this instrument but research into some of the major cosmological mysteries goes far beyond the aesthetics of photos.

Artistic representation of the exoplanet WASP-193 b

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” reports the identification of the exoplanet WASP-193 b, a gas giant whose diameter is approximately 1.5 times Jupiter’s but with a mass that is only one-seventh of Jupiter’s. A team of researchers led by Khalid Barkaoui of the University of Li├Ęge, Belgium, used the WASP-South telescope of the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) collaboration to locate WASP-193 b and then study its characteristics with other instruments. The combination of this exoplanet’s mass and density is really difficult to explain since no theory of planetary formation leads to a planet like this.

The quasar J0148+0600

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the results of observations of primordial quasars that indicate that supermassive black holes form from “seeds” that are very massive and grow quickly. A team of researchers used observations conducted with the James Webb Space Telescope as part of the EIGER project to detect the faint light of the stars surrounding three of those quasars. This feat offers the possibility of obtaining much more information that allows to estimate the mass of galaxies and central supermassive black holes.

The estimates obtained for the three galaxies at the center of this study indicate that the primordial supermassive black holes were much more massive than today’s supermassive black holes compared to their host galaxies. According to the researchers’ reconstruction, primordial quasars powered by black holes engulfed materials at enormous speeds as they went from initial seeds to supermassive black holes.