Blogs about stars

A part of the IRAS 16562–3959 area (Image ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Fedriani, J. Tan)

An image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a part of the star-forming area cataloged as IRAS 16562–3959. The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument offers many details of that area at infrareds, in particular of the emissions coming from a massive star still in its formation phase whose consequences are visible in the part of the image that goes from the center towards the upper left and lower right. These and many other details can help reconstruct star formation processes.

Four X-ray observations of the supernova remnants SN 1006

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” reports a study of the supernova remnant cataloged as SN 1006 which led to the identification of an ejecta fragment of the progenitor star. A team of researchers led by Roberta Giuffrida of the University of Palermo and the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics used observations conducted with various telescopes exploiting X-ray emissions and compared them with theoretical models. The conclusion is that this iron-rich fragment is moving at a very high speed within the debris cloud generated by the supernova. This discovery is useful in the study of supernovae like this one, generated by explosions of white dwarfs.

Mosaic of the 19 spiral galaxies studied by the PHANGS project

The images of 19 spiral galaxies captured by the James Webb Space Telescope have been released as part of the PHANGS (Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS) project. These are galaxies up to 65 million light-years away that we see face-on, and this allows to better observe the stars inside them, an optimal situation for a project focused on star formation processes. Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) instruments were employed to cover the near and mid-infrared resulting in many new details.

The N79 South molecular complex (Image ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, O. Nayak, M. Meixner)

An image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope shows a part of the star-forming region cataloged as N79 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s satellite dwarf galaxies. It’s considered a sort of younger version of the Tarantula Nebula but astronomers believe that its star formation has been twice as efficient over the last 500,000 years. The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) was used to capture never-before-seen mid-infrared details of N79 that will be invaluable in improving our understanding of star formation processes.

Artist's impression of the compact object in the black hole mass gap with the NGC 1851E pulsar at the top (Image courtesy Daniëlle Futselaar (

An article published in the journal “Science” reports the discovery of a compact object within the globular cluster cataloged as NGC 1851 whose nature is uncertain because mass estimates place it on the border between a neutron star and a black hole. A team of researchers used observations conducted with the MeerKAT radio telescope to identify traces of a binary system composed of a so-called millisecond pulsar and the mysterious compact object. The estimated mass for this object is between 2.09 and 2.71 times the Sun’s, so it could be a massive neutron star or a small black hole.