AAS NOVA — Research Highlights 2017

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
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Challenging the Model for Galactic Bulges

Postby bystander » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:54 pm

Challenging the Model for Galactic Bulges
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Mar 24

Galaxies of similar stellar mass to our own don’t all have the same bulge and black hole masses. So what determines how much mass will end up in the bulge and the black hole at the center of a Milky-Way-like galaxy? ...

Galaxies Grow Their Bulges and Black Holes in Diverse Ways - Eric F. Bell et al
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Observations from Sunrise

Postby bystander » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:23 pm

Observations from Sunrise
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Mar 27

On a cloudy but windless day in early summer 2013, a team of scientists gathered in Sweden to launch a balloon carrying the largest solar telescope to leave Earth. Now the team has published 13 papers describing what they learned from the spectacularly high-resolution ultraviolet observations of the Sun during the Sunrise II mission. ...

Special Issue on SUNRISE - Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (arXiv preprints)

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Counting Rogue Asteroids and Comets

Postby bystander » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:03 pm

Counting Rogue Asteroids and Comets
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Mar 29

How many comets, asteroids, and planetary bodies are floating through interstellar space, not gravitationally bound to any solar system? A new study explores this question and what its answer means for our understanding of how solar systems form. ...

An Observational Upper Limit on the Interstellar Number Density of Asteroids and Comets - Toni Engelhardt et al
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An Exo-Venus in the Solar Neighborhood

Postby bystander » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:28 pm

An Exo-Venus in the Solar Neighborhood
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Mar 31

Earth is great place for life — but Venus definitely isn’t. Both planets have similar masses and densities. So why did one evolve to support life, while the other turned into a barren and inhospitable hothouse? This is a question we might be able to answer if we can gather observations of other planets similar to Earth and Venus. The recent discovery of an exo-Venus in our solar neighborhood brings us one step closer to this goal! ...

Kepler-1649b: An Exo-Venus in the Solar Neighborhood - Isabel Angelo et al

Possible Venus Twin Discovered Around Dim Star
SETI Institute | 2017 Apr 06
Last edited by bystander on Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added SETI Link
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ALMA Examines a Distant Quasar Host

Postby bystander » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:41 pm

ALMA Examines a Distant Quasar Host
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 05

A team of scientists has used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to explore the host galaxy of the most distant quasar known. Their observations may help us to build a picture of how the first supermassive black holes in the universe formed and evolved. ...

The Compact, ~1 kpc Host Galaxy of a Quasar at a Redshift of 7.1 - Bram Venemans et al

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The Search for Ringed Exoplanets

Postby bystander » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:58 pm

The Search for Ringed Exoplanets
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 07

Are planetary rings as common in our galaxy as they are in our solar system? A new study demonstrates how we might search for ringed exoplanets — and then possibly finds one! ...

Toward Detection of Exoplanetary Rings via Transit Photometry: Methodology and a Possible Candidate - Masataka Aizawa et al
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PACMan to Help Sort Hubble Proposals

Postby bystander » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:32 pm

PACMan to Help Sort Hubble Proposals
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 10

Every year, astronomers submit over a thousand proposals requesting time on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Currently, humans must sort through each of these proposals by hand before sending them off for review. Could this burden be shifted to computers? ...

The Proposal Auto-Categorizer and Manager for Time
Allocation Review at Space Telescope Science Institute
- Louis-Gregory Strolger et al
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New Discoveries Fill the Quasar Gap

Postby bystander » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:39 pm

New Discoveries Fill the Quasar Gap
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 14

Quasars — active and luminous galactic centers — can be difficult to find at some high redshifts due to their camouflaging color. A team of scientists has now come up with a way to detect these distant monsters in spite of their disguise. ...

Discovery of 16 New z ~ 5.5 Quasars: Filling in the Redshift Gap of Quasar Color Selection - Jinyi Yang et al
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Habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 System

Postby bystander » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:32 pm

Habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 System
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 14

The recent discovery of seven Earth-sized, terrestrial planets around an M dwarf star was met with excitement and optimism. But how habitable are these planets actually likely to be? A recent study of these planets’ likely climates may provide an answer to this question. ...

Assessing the Habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 System Using a 3D Climate Model - Eric T. Wolf

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What Shaped Elias 2-27’s Disk?

Postby bystander » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:38 pm

What Shaped Elias 2-27’s Disk?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 19

The young star Elias 2-27 is surrounded by a massive disk with spectacular spiral arms. A team of scientists from University of Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy has now examined what might cause this disk’s appearance. ...

On the Origin of the Spiral Morphology in the Elias 2–27 Circumstellar Disk - Farzana Meru et al

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An Exploration of Dusty Galaxies

Postby bystander » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:47 pm

An Exploration of Dusty Galaxies
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 21

Submillimeter galaxies — i.e., galaxies that we detect in the submillimeter wavelength range — are mysterious creatures. It’s only within the last couple decades that we’ve had telescope technology capable of observing them, and we’re only now getting to the point where angular resolution limits allow us to examine them closely. A new study has taken advantage of new capabilities to explore the properties of a sample of 52 of these galaxies. ...

The SCUBA-2 Cosmology Legacy Survey: Multi-wavelength Properties
of ALMA-identified Submillimeter Galaxies in UKIDSS UDS
- J. M. Simpson et al
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Worlds without Moons

Postby bystander » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:40 pm

Worlds without Moons
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 24

Many of the exoplanets that we’ve discovered lie in compact systems with orbits very close to their host star. These systems are especially interesting in the case of cool stars where planets lie in the star’s habitable zone — as is the case, for instance, for the headline-making TRAPPIST-1 system.

But other factors go into determining potential habitability of a planet beyond the rough location where water can remain liquid. One possible consideration: whether the planets have moons. ...

Worlds without Moons: Exomoon Constraints for Compact Planetary Systems - Stephen R. Kane
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Microlensing Discovery of an Earth-Mass Planet

Postby bystander » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:44 pm

Microlensing Discovery of an Earth-Mass Planet
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 26

What do we know about planet formation around stars that are so light that they can’t fuse hydrogen in their cores? The new discovery of an Earth-mass planet — orbiting what is likely a brown dwarf — may help us better understand this process. ...

An Earth-mass Planet in a 1 au Orbit around an Ultracool Dwarf - Y. Shvartzvald et al

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Hunting Elusive SPRITEs with Spitzer

Postby bystander » Wed May 03, 2017 5:27 pm

Hunting Elusive SPRITEs with Spitzer
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Apr 28

In recent years, astronomers have developed many wide-field imaging surveys in which the same targets are observed again and again. This new form of observing has allowed us to discover optical and radio transients — explosive or irregular events with durations ranging from seconds to years. The dynamic infrared sky, however, has remained largely unexplored … until now. ...

SPIRITS: Uncovering Unusual Infrared Transients with Spitzer - Mansi M. Kasliwal et al
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Anatomy of an Asteroid Breakup

Postby bystander » Sat May 06, 2017 2:54 pm

Anatomy of an Asteroid Breakup
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 03

A team of scientists has observed the breakup of an asteroid as it orbits the Sun. In a new study, they reveal what they’ve learned from their ground- and space-based observations of this disintegration. ...

Anatomy of an Asteroid Breakup: The Case of P/2013 R3 - David Jewitt et al
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Curious Case of a Stripped Elliptical Galaxy

Postby bystander » Sat May 06, 2017 3:01 pm

Curious Case of a Stripped Elliptical Galaxy
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 05

An elliptical galaxy in the cluster Abell 2670 has been discovered with some unexpected features. What conditions led to this galaxy’s unusual morphology? ...

Discovery of Ram-pressure Stripped Gas around an Elliptical Galaxy in Abell 2670 - Yun-Kyeong Sheen et al
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Escape for the Slow Solar Wind

Postby bystander » Thu May 11, 2017 4:43 pm

Escape for the Slow Solar Wind
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 08

Plasma from the Sun known as the slow solar wind has been observed far away from where scientists thought it was produced. Now new simulations may have resolved the puzzle of where the slow solar wind comes from and how it escapes the Sun to travel through our solar system. ...

Formation of Heliospheric Arcs of Slow Solar Wind - A. K. Higginson et al
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Designing a Gamma-Ray Telescope on a Budget

Postby bystander » Thu May 11, 2017 4:54 pm

Designing a Gamma-Ray Telescope on a Budget
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 10

Major space-based observatories are imperative in astronomy, but they take a long time to plan, build, and launch — and they aren’t cheap. A new study examines an interesting compromise: a low-cost, space-based gamma-ray detector that we could use while we wait for the next big observatory to launch. ...

Scientific Performance of a Nano-satellite MeV Telescope - Giulio Lucchetta et al
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Re: Designing a Gamma-Ray Telescope on a Budget

Postby neufer » Thu May 11, 2017 5:36 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Art Neuendorffer

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Are LIGO’s Black Holes Made From Smaller Black Holes?

Postby bystander » Sun May 14, 2017 1:41 pm

Are LIGO’s Black Holes Made From Smaller Black Holes?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 12

The recent successes of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has raised hopes that several long-standing questions in black-hole physics will soon be answerable. Besides revealing how the black-hole binary pairs are built, could detections with LIGO also reveal how the black holes themselves form? ...

Are LIGO's Black Holes Made from Smaller Black Holes? - Maya Fishbach, Daniel E. Holz, Ben Farr
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Measuring Sirius: An Exercise in Patience

Postby bystander » Fri May 19, 2017 4:25 pm

Measuring Sirius: An Exercise in Patience
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 17

Sometimes important astronomical advances require the newest and fanciest observatories and technologies — but sometimes they just require decades of work and a lot of patience. Patience is finally paying off for a team of scientists who have been observing the Sirius star system for nearly 20 years. ...

The Sirius System and Its Astrophysical Puzzles:
Hubble Space Telescope and Ground-Based Astrometry
- Howard E. Bond et al
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Using Dust Lines to Learn About Planetary Birthplaces

Postby bystander » Sat May 20, 2017 3:31 pm

Using Dust Lines to Learn About Planetary Birthplaces
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 19

Observations of the protoplanetary disks that surround young stars provide crucial information about the initial conditions for planet formation. In a recent study, a team of scientists has proposed a novel new approach for determining disk properties from observations. ...

Using Ice and Dust Lines to Constrain the Surface Densities of Protoplanetary Disks
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Rapid Rotation of a Heavy White Dwarf

Postby bystander » Fri May 26, 2017 6:51 pm

Rapid Rotation of a Heavy White Dwarf
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 22

New Kepler observations of a pulsating white dwarf have revealed clues about the rotation of intermediate-mass stars. ...

Evidence from K2 for Rapid Rotation in the Descendant of an Intermediate-Mass Star - J. J. Hermes et al
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ASKAP Joins the Hunt for Mysterious Bursts

Postby bystander » Fri May 26, 2017 7:00 pm

ASKAP Joins the Hunt for Mysterious Bursts
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 24

A new telescope, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), has joined the search for energetic and elusive fast radio bursts. And in just a few days of looking, it’s already had success! ...

ASKAP Telescope to Rule Radio-Burst Hunt
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) | 2017 May 23

A CSIRO telescope has found its first 'fast radio burst' from space after less than four days of searching. ...

The Detection of an Extremely Bright Fast Radio Burst in a Phased Array Feed Survey - Keith W. Bannister et al
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Observations of a Windy Star

Postby bystander » Fri May 26, 2017 7:07 pm

Observations of a Windy Star
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 May 26

The incredibly luminous massive star Eta Carinae has long posed a challenge for astronomers to model. New observations are now in … so were our models correct? ...

Resolving the Hα-emitting Region in the Wind of η Carinae - Ya-Lin Wu et al
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