Chile  ATACAMA 20/07/2021

EHT pinpoints dark heart of the nearest radio galaxy

The astronomers reveal how a gigantic jet is being born

An international team anchored by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, which is known for capturing the first image of a black hole in the galaxy Messier 87, has now imaged the heart of the nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A in unprecedented detail. The astronomers pinpoint the location of the central supermassive black hole and reveal how a gigantic jet is being born. Most remarkably, only the outer edges of the jet seem to emit radiation, which challenges our theoretical models of jets. This work, led by Michael Janssen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn and Radboud University Nijmegen is published in Nature Astronomy on July 19th.

 

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 14/06/2021

Earliest gigantic black hole storm discovered

This finding confirm that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the Universe

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) discovered a titanic galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole 13.1 billion years ago. This is the earliest-yet-observed example of such wind to date and is a telltale sign that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the Universe.

 

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 24/05/2021

Oldest spiral galaxy discovered

Studies have shown that the proportion of spiral galaxies declines rapidly as we look back through the history of the Universe. So, when were the spiral galaxies formed?

Analyzing data obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers found a galaxy with a spiral morphology in the Universe, only 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. This is the most ancient galaxy of its kind ever observed. The discovery of a galaxy with a spiral structure at such an early stage is an essential clue to solve the classic questions of astronomy: “How and when did spiral galaxies form?".

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 23/04/2021

Rotating infant galaxy with help of natural cosmic telescope

The team was able to explore for the first time the nature of small and dark “normal galaxies” in the early Universe, representative of the main population of the first galaxies

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers found a rotating baby galaxy 1/100th the size of the Milky Way at a time when the Universe was only seven percent of its present age. Assisted by the gravitational lens effect, the team was able to explore for the first time the nature of small and dark “normal galaxies” in the early Universe, representative of the main population of the first galaxies, which greatly advances our understanding of the initial phase of galaxy evolution.

 
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Spain  MADRID 14/04/2021

A European project to develop electrodeless plasma thrusters

The results could also be applied in other fields, such as nuclear fusion by magnetic confinement

In-depth research into the physics of a new type of plasma rockets for space missions and revolutionising their design. This is the aim of ZARATHUSTRA, a European ERC Starting Grant research project at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) that aims to develop a new aerospace technology and whose results could also be applied in other fields, such as nuclear fusion by magnetic confinement.

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 05/04/2021

Stellar eggs near galactic center hatching into baby stars

The observations prove that even in the strongly disturbed areas around the Galactic Center, baby stars still form, astronomers say

Astronomers found a number of baby stars hiding around the center of the Milky Way using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Previous studies had suggested that the environment there is too harsh to form stars because of the strong tidal forces, strong magnetic fields, high energy particles, and frequent supernova explosions. These findings indicate that star formation is more resilient than researchers thought. These observations suggest there is ubiquitous star formation activity hidden deep in dense molecular gas, which may allow for the possibility of a future burst of star formation around the Galactic Center.

 

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 18/03/2021

Powerful stratospheric winds measured on Jupiter for the first time

This planet is famous for its distinctive red and white bands: swirling clouds of moving gas that astronomers traditionally use to track winds in Jupiter’s lower atmosphere

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a team of astronomers have directly measured winds in Jupiter’s middle atmosphere for the first time. By analyzing the aftermath of a comet collision from the 1990s, the researchers have revealed incredibly powerful winds, with speeds of up to 1450 kilometers an hour, near Jupiter’s poles. They could represent what the team has described as a “unique meteorological beast in our Solar System.”

 
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Spain  MADRID 03/02/2021

A laboratory integrates a deorbit device to eliminate space debris

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and SENER Aeroespacial have set up a laboratory to develop a new device to deorbit space debris based on electrodynamic tether technology

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and SENER Aeroespacial have set up a laboratory to develop a new device to deorbit space debris based on electrodynamic tether technology. The laboratory, located in SENER’s facilities in Tres Cantos (Madrid, Spain), will be used to integrate the avionics system into the deorbit device that is currently under development thanks to E.T.PACK, a FET-OPEN project funded with €3 million by the European Commission. The avionic system of the device belongs to the activities of an industrial doctorate funded by the Government of the Community of Madrid.

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 22/10/2020

ALMA shows volcanic impact on Io’s atmosphere

Io is the most volcanically active moon in our solar system. It hosts more than 400 active volcanoes

New radio images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) show for the first time the direct effect of volcanic activity on the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Io.

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 31/07/2020

ALMA finds possible sign of neutron star in supernova 1987A

Two teams of astronomers have made a compelling case in the 33-year-old mystery surrounding Supernova 1987A

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Chile  ATACAMA 08/07/2020

Stellar fireworks celebrate birth of giant cluster

The cluster is located in the Carina region of our galaxy, about 8000 light-years away

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Chile  ATACAMA 17/06/2020

Supergiant atmosphere of Antares revealed by radio telescopes

Red supergiant stars, like Antares and its more well-known cousin Betelgeuse, are huge, relatively cold stars at the end of their lifetime

An international team of astronomers has created the most detailed map yet of the atmosphere of the red supergiant star Antares. The unprecedented sensitivity and resolution of both the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) revealed the size and temperature of Antares’ atmosphere from just above the star’s surface, throughout its chromosphere, and all the way out to the wind region.

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 26/05/2020

ALMA spots twinkling heart of Milky Way

Astronomers presume that a supermassive black hole with a mass of 4 million suns is located at the center of Sgr A*

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found quasi-periodic flickers in millimeter-waves from the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*. The team interpreted these blinks to be due to the rotation of radio spots circling the supermassive black hole with an orbit radius smaller than that of Mercury. This is an interesting clue to investigate space-time with extreme gravity.

 
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Spain  MADRID 21/05/2020

A new plasma engine will allow less expensive, more efficient, and longer space missions

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) patent

Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have patented a new spatial plasma-fueled engine capable of satellite and spacecraft propulsion, with magnetic field geometry and configuration that would minimize losses on walls and their erosion, thereby resolving issues of efficiency, durability, and operating restrictions of engines that are currently in orbit.

 
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Chile  CHILE 06/05/2020

ESO instrument finds closest black hole to Earth

Invisible object has two companion stars visible to the naked eye

A team of astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other institutes has discovered a black hole lying just 1000 light-years from Earth. The black hole is closer to our Solar System than any other found to date and forms part of a triple system that can be seen with the naked eye. The team found evidence for the invisible object by tracking its two companion stars using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. They say this system could just be the tip of the iceberg, as many more similar black holes could be found in the future.

 
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Chile  CHILE 16/04/2020

ESO telescope sees star dance around supermassive black hole, proves Einstein right

A star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves just as predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity

Observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed for the first time that a star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves just as predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity. Its orbit is shaped like a rosette and not like an ellipse as predicted by Newton's theory of gravity. This long-sought-after result was made possible by increasingly precise measurements over nearly 30 years, which have enabled scientists to unlock the mysteries of the behemoth lurking at the heart of our galaxy.

 
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Chile  CHILE 15/04/2020

Event Horizon Telescope Images of a Black-Hole Powered Jet

The collaboration has extracted new information from the EHT data on the distant quasar 3C 279

Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279. One year ago, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration published the first image of a black hole in the nearby radio galaxy M 87. Now the collaboration has extracted new information from the EHT data on the distant quasar 3C 279: they observed the finest detail ever seen in a jet produced by a supermassive black hole. New analyses, led by Jae-Young Kim from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, enabled the collaboration to trace the jet back to its launch point, close to where violently variable radiation from across the electromagnetic spectrum arises.

 
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Chile  CHILE 14/02/2020

ESO telescope sees surface of dim Betelgeuse

The stunning new images of the star's surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star's surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing.

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 05/02/2020

ALMA catches beautiful outcome of stellar fight

One star grew so large it engulfed the other which, in turn, spiralled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is a partner, have spotted a peculiar gas cloud that resulted from a confrontation between two stars. One star grew so large it engulfed the other which, in turn, spiralled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers.

 
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Chile  ATACAMA 08/01/2020

The turbulent life of two supermassive black holes caught in a galaxy crash

400 million light-years away from Earth, in the constellation of Ophiuchus, two galaxies are crashing into each other and forming a galaxy we know as NGC 6240

An international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to create the most detailed image yet of the gas surrounding two supermassive black holes in a merging galaxy.

 
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