AAS NOVA — Research Highlights 2016

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
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Nova: Are Stellar Storms Bad News for M-Dwarf Planets?

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:49 pm

Are Stellar Storms Bad News for M-Dwarf Planets?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 14

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), enormous releases of energy from the Sun, can have significant space-weather implications for Earth. Do similar storms from smaller stars — M dwarfs like V374 Peg, or the nearby Proxima Centauri — mean bad news for the planets that these stars host?

Probability of CME Impact on Exoplanets Orbiting M Dwarfs and Solar-Like Stars - C. Kay, M. Opher, M. Kornbleuth
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Nova: Update On the Puzzling Boyajian’s Star

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:01 pm

Update On the Puzzling Boyajian’s Star
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 16

What’s causing the mysterious light-curve dips of the so-called “alien megastructure” star, Boyajian’s Star? A recent study analyzes a variety of possible explanations to determine which ones are the most plausible.

Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian’s Star - Jason T. Wright, Steinn Sigurdsson
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?p=257547#p257547
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=35401
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Nova: Building an Unusual White-Dwarf Duo

Post by bystander » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:06 pm

Building an Unusual White-Dwarf Duo
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 19

A new study has examined how the puzzling wide binary system HS 2220+2146 — which consists of two white dwarfs orbiting each other — might have formed. This system may be an example of a new evolutionary pathway for wide white-dwarf binaries.

Today a Duo, But Once a Trio? The Double White Dwarf HS 2220+2146 May Be A Post-Blue Straggler Binary - Jeff J. Andrews et al
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Nova: Colliding Neutron Stars as the Source of Heavy Elements

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:16 pm

Colliding Neutron Stars as the Source of Heavy Elements
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 21

Where do the heavy elements — the chemical elements beyond iron — in our universe come from? One of the primary candidate sources is the merger of two neutron stars, but recent observations have cast doubt on this model. Can neutron-star mergers really be responsible? ...

Natal Kicks and Time Delays in Merging Neutron Star Binaries: Implications for
r-Process Nucleosynthesis in Ultra Faint Dwarfs and in the Milky Way
- Paz Beniamini, Kenta Hotokezaka, Tsvi Piran
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Nova: Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:24 pm

Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 23

A new study examines the possibility that Mars’s two moons formed after a large body slammed into Mars, creating a disk of debris. This scenario might be the key to reconciling the moons’ orbital properties with their compositions. ...

Reconciling the Orbital and Physical Properties of the Martian Moons - Thomas Ronnet et al
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Nova: Is There a Size Limit for Supermassive Black Holes?

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:29 pm

Is There a Size Limit for Supermassive Black Holes?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 28

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) lurk in the centers of galaxies, and we’ve measured their masses to range from hundreds of thousands to ten billion solar masses. But is there a maximum mass that these monsters are limited to? ...

Is There a Maximum Mass for Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei? - Kohei Inayoshi, Zoltan Haiman
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Nova: A Planet Found by Pulsations

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:39 pm

A Planet Found by Pulsations
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Sep 30

Searching for planets around very hot stars is much more challenging than looking around cool stars. For this reason, the recent discovery of a planet around a main-sequence A star is an important find — both because of its unique position near the star’s habitable zone, and because of the way in which the planet was discovered. ...

A Planet in an 840 Day Orbit Around a Kepler Main-Sequence A Star
Found From Phase Modulation of Its Pulsations
- Simon J. Murphy, Timothy R. Bedding, Hiromoto Shibahashi
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Nova: A Solution to “Too Big to Fail”

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:36 pm

A Solution to “Too Big to Fail”
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 03

It’s a tricky business to reconcile simulations of our galaxy’s formation with our current observations of the Milky Way and its satellites. In a recent study, scientists have addressed one discrepancy between simulations and observations: the so-called “to big to fail” problem. ...

Tidal stirring of satellites with shallow density profiles prevents them
from being too big to fail
- Mihai Tomozeiu, Lucio Mayer, Thomas Quinn
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Nova: Merging a Pair of Supermassive Black Holes

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:42 pm

Merging a Pair of Supermassive Black Holes
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 05

When galaxies merge, the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at the galaxies’ centers are thought to coalesce, forming a new, larger black hole. But can this merger process take place on timescales short enough that we could actually observe it? Results from a new simulation suggests that it can! ...

Swift coalescence of supermassive black holes in cosmological mergers of massive galaxies - Fazeel M. Khan et al
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Nova: SMASH 1: A Disrupting Satellite of a Satellite?

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:49 pm

SMASH 1: A Disrupting Satellite of a Satellite?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 07

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) — a dwarf galaxy that’s a satellite of the Milky Way — may have a newly discovered satellite of its own: a faint collection of stars dubbed SMASH 1. This tiny satellite has a tenuous future, however, as SMASH 1 may soon be torn apart by the LMC’s gravitational forces. ...

SMASH 1: A very faint globular cluster disrupting in the outer reaches of the LMC? - Nicolas F. Martin et al
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Nova: How Did Our Galactic Nucleus Form?

Post by bystander » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:59 pm

How Did Our Galactic Nucleus Form?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 12

The recent discovery of old and variable RR Lyrae stars in the very center of our galaxy may answer the long-standing question of how the Milky Way’s nucleus formed. ...

Discovery of RR Lyrae Stars in the Nuclear Bulge of the Milky Way - Dante Minniti et al
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=36456
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Nova: Narrowing the Search After Gravitational-Wave Detections

Post by bystander » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:30 pm

Narrowing the Search After Gravitational-Wave Detections
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 26

Now that we’re able to detect gravitational waves, the next challenge is to spot electromagnetic signatures associated with gravitational-wave events. A team of scientists has proposed a new algorithm that might narrow the search. ... data

Going the Distance: Mapping Host Galaxies of LIGO and Virgo Sources
in Three Dimensions Using Local Cosmography and Targeted Follow-up
- L. P. Singer et al
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Nova: The Shape of Superluminous Supernovae

Post by bystander » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:39 pm

The Shape of Superluminous Supernovae
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 28

What causes the tremendous explosions of superluminous supernovae? New observations reveal the geometry of one such explosion, SN 2015bn, providing clues as to its source. ...

Spectropolarimetry of Superluminous Supernovae: Insight into Their Geometry - C. Inserra et al
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Nova: Flying Through Dust From Asteroids

Post by bystander » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:47 pm

Flying Through Dust From Asteroids
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Oct 31

How can we tell what an asteroid is made of? Until now, we’ve relied on remote spectral observations, though NASA’s recently launched OSIRIS-REx mission may soon change this by landing on an asteroid and returning with a sample.

But what if we could learn more about the asteroids near Earth without needing to land on each one? It turns out that we can — by flying through their dust. ...

The Impact Ejecta Environment of Near Earth Asteroids - Jamey R. Szalay, Mihály Horányi
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Nova: A Pulsar and White Dwarf in an Unexpected Orbit

Post by bystander » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:53 pm

A Pulsar and White Dwarf in an Unexpected Orbit
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 02

Astronomers have discovered a binary system consisting of a low-mass white dwarf and a millisecond pulsar — but its eccentric orbit defies all expectations of how such binaries form. ...

An Eccentric Binary Millisecond Pulsar With a Helium White Dwarf Companion in the Galactic Field - John Antoniadis et al
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Nova: Could Ultracool Dwarfs Have Sun-Like Activity?

Post by bystander » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:59 pm

Could Ultracool Dwarfs Have Sun-Like Activity?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 09

Solar-like stars exhibit magnetic cycles; our Sun, for instance, displays an 11-year period in its activity, manifesting as cyclic changes in radiation levels, the number of sunspots and flares, and ejection of solar material. Over the span of two activity cycles, the Sun’s magnetic field flips polarity and then returns to its original state.

But what about the magnetic behavior of objects near the cooler end of the stellar main sequence — do they exhibit similar activity cycles? ...

The Discovery of Solar-like Activity Cycles Beyond the End of the Main Sequence? - Matthew Route
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Nova: Using LISA to Learn How Pairs of Black Holes Formed

Post by bystander » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:06 pm

Using LISA to Learn How Pairs of Black Holes Formed
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 11

How are black-hole binaries built? Observations of gravitational waves from these systems — made using the European Space Agency’s upcoming mission, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) — may be able to reveal their origins. ...

Distinguishing between Formation Channels for Binary Black Holes with LISA - Katelyn Breivik et al
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Nova: An Exoplanet Spinning Up Its Star

Post by bystander » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:15 pm

An Exoplanet Spinning Up Its Star
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 14

We know that the large masses of stars govern the orbits of the planets that circle them — but a large, close-in planet can also influence the rotation of its host star. A recently discovered, unusual hot Jupiter may be causing its star to spin faster than it should. ...

HATS-18b: An Extreme Short-Period Massive Transiting Planet Spinning Up Its Star - Kaloyan M. Penev et al
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Nova: Hunting for Cosmic-Ray Origins with SuperTIGER

Post by bystander » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:45 pm

Hunting for Cosmic-Ray Origins with SuperTIGER
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 16

The SuperTIGER (Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder) experiment flew over Antarctica for 55 days, collecting millions of galactic cosmic rays. What can it tell us about the origins of these high-energy particles? ...

Galactic Cosmic Ray Origins and OB Associations:
Evidence from SuperTIGER Observations of Elements 26Fe through 40Zr
- R. P. Murphy et al
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Nova: X-Ray Background from Early Binaries

Post by bystander » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:44 pm

X-Ray Background from Early Binaries
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 23

What impact did X-rays from the first binary star systems have on the universe around them? A new study suggests this radiation may have played an important role during the reionization of our universe. ...

X-ray Background at High Redshifts from Pop III Remnants: Results
from Pop III Star Formation Rates in the Renaissance Simulations
- Hao Xu et al
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Nova: Matching Supernovae to Galaxies

Post by bystander » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:51 pm

Matching Supernovae to Galaxies
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 28

One of the major challenges for modern supernova surveys is identifying the galaxy that hosted each explosion. Is there an accurate and efficient way to do this that avoids investing significant human resources? ...

Host Galaxy Identification for Supernova Surveys - Ravi R. Gupta et al
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Nova: Does the Galactic Bulge Have Fewer Planets?

Post by bystander » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:15 pm

Does the Galactic Bulge Have Fewer Planets?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Nov 30

The Milky Way’s dense central bulge is a very different environment than the surrounding galactic disk in which we live. Do the differences affect the ability of planets to form in the bulge? ...

Is the Galactic Bulge Devoid of Planets? - Matthew T. Penny, Calen B. Henderson, Christian Clanton
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Nova: Einstein@Home Finds a Double Neutron Star

Post by bystander » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:22 pm

Einstein@Home Finds a Double Neutron Star
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Dec 02

Have you been contributing your computer idle time to the Einstein@Home project? If so, you’re partly responsible for the program’s recent discovery of a new double-neutron-star system that will be key to learning about general relativity and stellar evolution. ...

Home Computers Discover Record-Breaking Binary Neutron Star
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | 2016 Dec 08

International science team finds most massive double neutron star system with distributed volunteer computing project Einstein@Home in data from the Arecibo radio telescope ...
Einstein@Home discovery of a Double-Neutron Star Binary in the PALFA Survey - P. Lazarus et al
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Nova: Lopsided Collections of Satellite Galaxies

Post by bystander » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:23 pm

Lopsided Collections of Satellite Galaxies
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Dec 07

You might think that small satellite galaxies would be distributed evenly around their larger galactic hosts — but local evidence suggests otherwise. Are satellite distributions lopsided throughout the universe? ...

The Lopsided Distribution of Satellite Galaxies - Noam I Libeskind et al
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Nova: Could Flaring Stars Change Our Views of Their Planets?

Post by bystander » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:29 pm

Could Flaring Stars Change Our Views of Their Planets?
Nova | American Astronomical Society | 2016 Dec 09

As the exoplanet count continues to increase, we are making progressively more measurements of exoplanets’ outer atmospheres through spectroscopy. A new study, however, reveals that these measurements may be influenced by the planets’ hosts. ...
Influence of Stellar Flares on the Chemical Composition of Exoplanets and Spectra - Olivia Venot et al
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