AAS NOVA — Research Highlights 2017

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
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Have Two Lonely Trans-Neptunian Objects Found Each Other?

Postby bystander » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:24 pm

Have Two Lonely Trans-Neptunian Objects Found Each Other?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Aug 11

Who says there’s no romance in the outer solar system? A new study has identified 2004 TT357 as a body that may be made up of two separate objects in contact with each other.

2004 TT357: A Potential Contact Binary in the Trans-Neptunian Belt - Audrey Thirouin, Scott S. Sheppard, Keith S. Noll
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Can Radio Telescopes Find Axions?

Postby bystander » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:19 pm

Can Radio Telescopes Find Axions?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Aug 16

In the search for dark matter, the most commonly accepted candidates are invisible, massive particles commonly referred to as WIMPs. But as time passes and we still haven’t detected WIMPs, alternative scenarios are becoming more and more appealing. Prime among these is the idea of axions. ...

A Radio Astronomy Search for Cold Dark Matter Axions - Katharine Kelley, P.J. Quinn
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Re: AAS NOVA — Research Highlights 2017

Postby MargaritaMc » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:22 pm

16th Meeting of AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD).

AAS Nova Editor’s note: This week [ the week beginning 21 August 2017] we’re in Sun Valley, Idaho at the 16th meeting of the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD). Follow along to catch some of the latest news from the field of high energy astro!

http://aasnova.org/2017/08/21/2017-head-welcome/
Greetings from the 16th meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society in Sun Valley, Idaho! This week, I will be writing updates on just a few of the events at the meeting and posting each morning. The usual posting schedule for AAS Nova will resume next week.

http://aasnova.org/2017/08/22/2017-head-day-1/

http://aasnova.org/2017/08/23/2017-head-day-2/

http://aasnova.org/2017/08/24/2017-head-day-3/


"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Discovery of a Metal-Poor Little Cub

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:14 pm

Discovery of a Metal-Poor Little Cub
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Aug 30
The discovery of an extremely metal-poor star-forming galaxy in our local universe, dubbed Little Cub, is providing astronomers with front-row seats to the quenching of a near-pristine galaxy. ...

The Little Cub: Discovery of an Extremely Metal-poor Star-forming Galaxy in the Local Universe - Tiffany Hsyu et al

viewtopic.php?t=37359#p272646
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How a Black Widow Consumes Its Companion

Postby bystander » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:34 pm

How a Black Widow Consumes Its Companion
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 01
Hanging out in a binary system with a hot millisecond pulsar can be hazardous to your health! A new study has examined how these perilous objects can heat and evaporate away their companions. ...

B-ducted Heating of Black Widow Companions - Nicholas Sanchez, Roger W. Romani
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ALMA Finds Hints of Early Black-Hole Growth

Postby bystander » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:04 pm

ALMA Finds Hints of Early Black-Hole Growth
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 06

How did the first supermassive black holes grow alongside their host galaxies in the early universe? New observations from the Atacama Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) have provided us with a detailed look at one quasar, which may help us to answer this question. ...

Gas Dynamics of a Luminous z = 6.13 Quasar ULAS J1319+0950
Revealed by ALMA High-Resolution Observations
- Yali Shao et al
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The Total Solar Eclipse of 1854

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:07 pm

The Total Solar Eclipse of 1854
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 08

Can’t get enough eclipse news? Check out this coverage of the solar eclipse of 1854! Special thanks to Tumblr blogger Nemfrog for digging this out of the archives.

These two sets of photographs both capture the annular solar eclipse that occurred on May 26, 1854, passing close to the U.S./Canada border. The photographs come from articles (linked below) published by two scientists who both watched the eclipse from the state of New York and made extensive measurements of its properties. ...

Observation of the annular eclipse of May 26, in the suburbs of Ogdensburgh, N. Y. - Stephen Alexander
On the solar eclipse of 1854 May 26 - W. H. C. Bartlett
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TRAPPIST-1’s Stability and Age

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:19 pm

TRAPPIST-1’s Stability and Age
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 11

If you missed the New York Times publication of this video back in May, it’s definitely worth a watch! The video, created by Matt Russo (CITA, University of Toronto), Dan Tamayo, (University of Toronto Scarborough), and Andrew Santaguida (RVNNERS), provides a musical description — a sonification — of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanetary system. It was produced in conjunction with a study led by Tamayo that was published in ApJ Letters, exploring the dynamical stability of the TRAPPIST-1 system. ...

Convergent Migration Renders TRAPPIST-1 Long-lived - Daniel Tamayo et al

viewtopic.php?t=36874
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The Shredding of a Solar Filament

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:28 pm

The Shredding of a Solar Filament
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 13

Solar eruptions don’t always succeed! The Very High Angular Resolution Ultraviolet Telescope (VAULT2.0) sounding rocket captured an event in 2014 in which a solar filament was shredded by the Sun’s own magnetic forces before it had the chance to result in a coronal mass ejection. These observations, detailed in a recently published paper in ApJ led by Georgios Chintzoglou (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory and UCAR, Boulder), mark the first time we’ve witnessed a filament being torn down by the Sun — allowing us to investigate in detail how and why this happened. Check out the video below (by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Genna Duberstein) for an overview of the failed eruption and what we learned.

Magnetic Flux Rope Shredding By a Hyperbolic Flux Tube:
The Detrimental Effects of Magnetic Topology on Solar Eruptions
- Georgios Chintzoglou et al
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Pulsar Jackpot in a Star Cluster

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:37 pm

Pulsar Jackpot in a Star Cluster
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 15

Is Terzan 5, a star cluster that lies ~19,000 light-years away, a true globular cluster born in the Milky Way? Or are we seeing the remains of a dwarf galaxy that was captured by our galaxy? New observations by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia have tracked the radio signals of a treasure trove of millisecond pulsars — 36 of them — in the heart of Terzan 5. These signals can be used to trace the density distribution of the cluster, revealing where the matter resides. The observations, detailed in a recent article led by Brian Prager (University of Virginia, Charlottesville) and illustrated in the video below (credited to B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); GBO/AUI/NSF; NASA/ESA Hubble), suggest that there is no supermassive black hole in the cluster center. This supports the idea that Terzan 5 is a true globular cluster.

Using Long-term Millisecond Pulsar Timing to Obtain Physical
Characteristics of the Bulge Globular Cluster Terzan 5
- Brian J. Prager et al

viewtopic.php?t=37557
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When a Star and a Binary Meet

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:44 pm

When a Star and a Binary Meet
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 22

What happens in the extreme environments of globular clusters when a star and a binary system meet? A team of scientists has new ideas about how these objects can deform, change their paths, spiral around each other, and merge. ...

Formation of Tidal Captures and Gravitational Wave Inspirals
in Binary-Single Interactions
- Johan Samsing, Morgan MacLeod, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz
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Discovery of Two More Runaway Stars

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:51 pm

Discovery of Two More Runaway Stars
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 25

Speeding stars running away from our galaxy pose an intriguing puzzle: where did these stars come from, and how were they accelerated to their great speeds? The recent discovery of two new runaway stars have increased the mystery. ...

Discovery of Two New Hypervelocity Stars from the LAMOST Spectroscopic Surveys - Yang Huang et al
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Can LIGO Find the Missing Dark Matter?

Postby bystander » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:09 pm

Can LIGO Find the Missing Dark Matter?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 27

Today promises to be an exciting day in the world of gravitational-wave detections. To keep with the theme, we thought we’d use this opportunity to take a renewed look at an interesting question about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and dark matter: if dark matter is made up of primordial black holes, will LIGO be able to detect them? ...

Disentangling the Potential Dark Matter Origin of LIGO's Black Holes - Ryan Magee, Chad Hanna
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Identifying Bright X-Ray Beasts

Postby bystander » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:39 pm

Identifying Bright X-Ray Beasts
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Sep 29

Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are astronomical sources of X-rays that, while dimmer than active galactic nuclei, are nonetheless brighter than any known stellar process. What are these beasts and why do they shine so brightly? ...

The Origin of the Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources - Grzegorz Wiktorowicz et al
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Making and Breaking Clouds

Postby bystander » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:47 pm

Making and Breaking Clouds
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 04

Molecular clouds — which you’re likely familiar with from stunning popular astronomy imagery — lead complicated, tumultuous lives. A recent study has now found that these features must be rapidly built and destroyed. ...

Fast Molecular Cloud Destruction Requires Fast Cloud Formation - Mordecai-Mark Mac Low et al
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Why Are Hot Jupiters So Lonely?

Postby bystander » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:58 pm

Why Are Hot Jupiters So Lonely?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 06

Jupiter-like planets with blisteringly close-in orbits are generally friendless, with no nearby planets transiting along with them. Giant planets with orbits a little further out, on the other hand, often have at least one companion. A new study examines the cause of hot Jupiters’ loneliness. ...

A Secular Resonant Origin for the Loneliness of Hot Jupiters - Christopher Spalding, Konstantin Batygin
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The Prospect of Neutrinos with Gravitational Waves

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:07 pm

The Prospect of Neutrinos with Gravitational Waves
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 09

With the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015, scientists celebrated the opening of a new window to the universe. But multi-messenger astronomy — astronomy based on detections of not just photons, but other signals as well — was not a new idea at the time: we had already detected tiny, lightweight neutrinos emitted from astrophysical sources. Will we be able to combine observations of neutrinos and gravitational waves in the future to provide a deeper picture of astrophysical events? ...

High-Energy Neutrino Emission from Short Gamma-Ray Bursts:
Prospects for Coincident Detection with Gravitational Waves
- Shigeo S. Kimura et al
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Exploring Our Low-Mass Neighbors

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:14 pm

Exploring Our Low-Mass Neighbors
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 11

Taking advantage of a program offered by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), an undergraduate class has observed local dwarf galaxies to learn about their properties. ...

First Characterization of the Neutral ISM in Two Local Volume Dwarf Galaxies - Lilly Bralts-Kelly et al
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WorldWide Telescope Hits the Web

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:17 pm

WorldWide Telescope Hits the Web
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 13

Astronomers, have you missed out on WorldWide Telescope (WWT) because you’re not on a Windows computer? Good news: WWT can now be accessed via a web interface, with no dependence on your operating system! Now’s your chance to try it out. ...
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Neutron-Star Merger Detected By Many Eyes and Ears

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:55 pm

Neutron-Star Merger Detected By Many Eyes and Ears
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 16

Where were you on Thursday, 17 August 2017? I was in Idaho, getting ready for Monday morning’s solar eclipse. What I didn’t know was that, at the time, around 70 teams around the world were mobilizing to point their ground- and space-based telescopes at a single patch of sky suspected to host the first gravitational-wave-detected merger of two neutron stars. ...

viewtopic.php?t=37665
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Trapping Dust to Form Planets

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:25 pm

Trapping Dust to Form Planets
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 20

Growing a planet from a dust grain is hard work! A new study explores how vortices in protoplanetary disks can assist this process.

Dust-trapping Vortices and a Potentially Planet-Triggered Spiral Wake
in the Pre-Transitional Disk of V1247 Orionis
- Stefan Kraus et al

https://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=37662
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How A Black Hole Lights Up Its Surroundings

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:31 pm

How A Black Hole Lights Up Its Surroundings
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 23

How do the supermassive black holes that live at the centers of galaxies influence their environments? New observations of a distant active galaxy offer clues about this interaction. ...

Probing the Hot X-ray Gas in the Narrow-Line Region of Mrk 3 - Akos Bogdan et al
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Little Eyes on Large Solar Motions

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:37 pm

Little Eyes on Large Solar Motions
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Oct 25

It seems like science is increasingly being done with advanced detectors on enormous ground- and space-based telescopes. One might wonder: is there anything left to learn from observations made with digital cameras mounted on ~10-cm telescopes?

The answer is yes — plenty! Illustrating this point, a new study using such equipment recently reports on the structure and dynamics of the Sun’s corona during two solar eclipses. ...

Dynamics of Large-scale Coronal Structures as Imaged
during the 2012 and 2013 Total Solar Eclipses
- Nathalia Alzate et al
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Tracing the Fuel for Forming Stars

Postby bystander » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 pm

Tracing the Fuel for Forming Stars
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Nov 03

Huge reservoirs of cold hydrogen gas — the raw fuel for star formation — lurk in galaxies throughout the universe. A new study examines whether these reservoirs have always been similar, or whether those in distant galaxies are very different from those in local galaxies today. ...

ALMA Shows that Gas Reservoirs of Star-forming Disks over
the Past 3 Billion Years Are Not Predominantly Molecular
- Luca Cortese, Barbara Catinella, Stephen Janowiecki
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Did Triton Destroy Neptune’s First Moons?

Postby bystander » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:53 pm

Did Triton Destroy Neptune’s First Moons?
NOVA | American Astronomical Society | 2017 Nov 06

Neptune’s moon system is not what we would expect for a gas giant in our solar system. Scientists have now explored the possibility that Neptune started its life with an ordinary system of moons that was later destroyed by the capture of its current giant moon, Triton. ...

Triton's Evolution with a Primordial Neptunian Satellite System - Raluca Rufu, Robin M. Canup
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