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Radio telescope measures aurorae in distant planetary system

Radio telescope measures aurorae in distant planetary system

Science
Feb. 18 (UPI) -- With the help of a powerful radio telescope in the Netherlands, scientists have developed a new way to study the environment around exoplanets. Using the Low Frequency Array radio telescope, scientists for the first time detected and analyzed radio emissions produced by interactions between a star and one of its planets. Scientists used observations captured by the HARPS-N telescope in Spain to confirm the emissions weren't caused by interactions between the star and a stellar companion. The radio signatures detected by the LOFAR telescope are similar to the electromagnetic signatures produced by an aurora on Earth. The research, described this week in both Nature Astronomy and Astrophysical Journal Letters, focused on red dwarfs. In addition to being the most abundant ...
Europe’s Cheops telescope will profile distant planets

Europe’s Cheops telescope will profile distant planets

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Europe will launch a space telescope to study far-off worlds this week.Called Cheops, it's a different kind of mission to previous efforts in that it won't be trying to find new planets.Rather, it's going to follow up the discoveries of others, to see if it can reveal new insights - such as whether these distant objects are likely to be rocky or gas-rich.The telescope will ride to orbit on a Russian Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. The mission was scheduled for an early morning lift-off on Tuesday, but a late technical glitch related to the rocket's upper-stage Fregat booster stopped the countdown. A launch attempt on Wednesday may be possible if the issue can be resolved. Cheops (short for CHaract...
Distant star’s vision of our Sun’s future ‘death’

Distant star’s vision of our Sun’s future ‘death’

Science
A newly discovered planet offers new insights into the Solar System after the Sun reaches the end of its life in 5-6 billion years.Astronomers observed a giant planet orbiting a white dwarf, the small, dense objects some stars become once they have exhausted their nuclear fuel.It's the first direct evidence planets can survive the cataclysmic process that creates a white dwarf.Details of the discovery appear in the journal Nature.The Solar System as we know it won't be around forever. In about six billion years, the Sun, a medium-size yellow star, will have puffed up to about two hundred times its current size. In this phase, our parent star will be known as a Red Giant.As it expands, it will swallow and destroy the Earth before ...

Most distant world ever explored gets new name: Arrokoth

Technology
The most distant world ever explored 4 billion miles away finally has an official name: ArrokothBy MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace WriterNovember 12, 2019, 9:13 PM1 min read The most distant world ever explored 4 billion miles away finally has an official name: Arrokoth. NASA said Tuesday that means "sky" in the language of the Native American Powhatan people. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past the snowman-shaped Arrokoth on New Year's Day, 3 ½ years after exploring Pluto. At the time, this small icy world 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto was nicknamed Ultima Thule given its vast distance from us. Lead scientist Alan Stern says the new name "reflects the inspiration of looking to the skies." The Powhatan and New Horizons have regional ties. The spacecraft is operated fr
Eighty-three supermassive black holes found in the distant universe

Eighty-three supermassive black holes found in the distant universe

Science
March 13 (UPI) -- Astronomers have discovered 83 new supermassive black holes in the distant universe, or early universe, representing a time when the university was less than 2 billion years old. Researchers were surprised to find so many quasars, glowing galactic nuclei powered by supermassive central black holes, in the early universe, just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. "Understanding how black holes can form in the early universe, and just how common they are, is a challenge for our cosmological models," Michael Strauss, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, said in a news release. Scientists found the quasars using the Subaru Telescope's Hyper Suprime-Cam. The telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, i...