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Tag: Astronomers

Astronomers accidentally discover massive galaxy in early universe

Astronomers accidentally discover massive galaxy in early universe

Science
Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Astronomers have located evidence of a massive galaxy in the early universe, quelling doubts about the existence of such monstrous galaxies. The discovery was made on accident, they say. While analyzing observations of the distant universe captured by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, a collection of 66 telescopes in Chile's high desert, scientists spotted a faint blob. Like a ghost, the unexpected glow appeared unconnected to any major cosmic structure. "It was very mysterious because the light seemed not to be linked to any known galaxy at all," lead researcher Christina Williams, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, said in a news release. "When I saw this galaxy was invisible at any other wavelength, I got really excited because it meant that it was...
Astronomers spot oldest galactic protocluster, a giant of the early universe

Astronomers spot oldest galactic protocluster, a giant of the early universe

Science
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- With the help of several powerful telescopes, an international team of astronomers has identified the earliest known protocluster. The protocluster, a constellation of 12 galaxies linked by gravity, formed some 13 billion years ago, when the universe was just 800 million years old. Scientists have described their discovery in a new paper, set to be published in the Astrophysical Journal on September 30. In the present universe, galactic clusters can grow to contain thousands of galaxies. Smaller galaxy clusters can organize to form superclusters, the largest structures in the cosmos. Models suggest there are 10 million superclusters in the observable universe. The protocluster candidate, z66OD, contains a protogalaxy called Himiko, a giant gas cloud and one of the larg...
Astronomers find star recently ripped apart by black hole

Astronomers find star recently ripped apart by black hole

Science
Sept. 26 (UPI) -- NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has spotted the remnants of a star that was recently shredded by a supermassive black hole -- a first. Astrophysicists and cosmologists estimate supermassive black holes are located at the center of most galaxies. When stars wander too close, a black hole's tremendous gravitational pull can rip it apart. The violent interaction is known as a tidal disruption event, or TDE. Scientists can come to better understand the dynamics of black holes by studying the spectral signatures of TDEs. The tidal disruption event ASASSN-19bt was first spotted by an international network of telescopes called the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae. TESS was able to observe the TDE, as well, providing complementary images of the event. When ...
Astronomers spot evidence of volcanically active exomoon

Astronomers spot evidence of volcanically active exomoon

Science
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Scientists may have found a volcanically active moon outside our solar system. Hints of the moon's presence were discovered hiding in the WASP-49 solar system. Astronomers likened the moon to Io, the most volcanically active body in our solar system. They also likened the moon to a satellite from Star Wars, the planet Mustafar, where Darth Vader's castle is located. "It would be a dangerous volcanic world with a molten surface of lava, a lunar version of close-in Super Earths like 55 Cancri-e, a place where Jedis go to die, perilously familiar to Anakin Skywalker," Apurva Oza, postdoctoral fellow at the Physics Insitute of the University of Bern in Switzerland, said in a news release. Though researchers aren't conjuring the so-called exo-Io from thin air, it's possible ...