UCI-led astronomers capitalize on early access to James Webb Space Telescope data

First in line to receive data transmissions from the James Webb Space Telescope, a team of astronomers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions is using the unprecedentedly clear observations to reveal the secret inner workings of galaxies. In a paper published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the researchers describe their examination of the nearby galaxy NGC 7469 with the JWST’s ultrasensitive mid-infrared detection instruments.

After Fire and Monsoons, DESI Resumes Cataloguing the Cosmos

In June, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument survived a massive wildfire, followed by rains and mudslides. After cleaning and testing the equipment, DESI collaborators successfully restarted the experiment and began imaging the night sky again on Sept. 10. The survey is creating the largest 3D map of the universe ever made to study a phenomenon called dark energy.

How superwinds help drive galactic development

Galactic superwinds – large outflows of gas created by a combination of supernova explosions and stellar winds – are closely connected to a galaxy’s earliest stages of development and evolution, including aspects like its size, shape, and even how many stars will eventually call it home.But while researchers have commonly observed these winds, very little is understood about the mechanism that drives them.

WVU scientist says NASA’s Webb Telescope will boost space research at University, Green Bank Observatory

The first photos from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have given researchers the deepest and clearest infrared look into space to date. West Virginia University researcher Maura McLaughlin, distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at the Eberly College of Arts…

What a martian meteorite can teach us about Earth’s origins

Astronomy postdoc Valerie Payré is on an international team that discovered the origin of the martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, one of the most-studied meteorites in the world. It may hold clues to the development of Earth and other terrestrial planets and help explain why Earth sustains life when its closest neighbor does not.

study provides new insights about surface, structure of asteroid Bennu

When NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected samples from asteroid Bennu’s surface in 2020, forces measured during the interaction provided scientists with a direct test of the poorly understood near-subsurface physical properties of rubble-pile asteroids. Now, a Southwest Research Institute-led study has characterized the layer just below the asteroid’s surface as composed of weakly bound rock fragments containing twice the void space as the overall asteroid.

Citizen Scientist Leads Discovery of 34 Ultracool Dwarf Binaries Using Archive at NSF’s NOIRLab

How often do stars live alone? For brown dwarfs — objects that straddle the boundary between the most massive planets and the smallest stars — astronomers need to uncover more examples of their companions to find out. Ace citizen scientist Frank Kiwy has done just that by using the Astro Data Lab science platform at NSF’s NOIRLab to discover 34 new ultracool dwarf binary systems in the Sun’s neighborhood, nearly doubling the number of such systems known.

Long-term liquid water also on non-Earth-like planets?

Liquid water is an important prerequisite for life to develop on a planet. As researchers from the University of Bern, the University of Zurich and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS report in a new study, liquid water could also exist for billions of years on planets that are very different from Earth. This calls our currently Earth-centred idea of potentially habitable planets into question.

NASA’s Webb to Uncover Riches of the Early Universe

Telescopes have spotted many distant galaxies – but none earlier than 400 million years after the big bang. What were galaxies that existed even earlier like? Two research teams using the James Webb Space Telescope will wield its state-of-the-art instruments to reveal an untold number of details about this early period in the universe for the first time – and revise what we know about some of the earliest chapters of galaxy evolution.

Science Results From NRAO Facilities to Be Presented at Multiple AAS 240 Press Conferences

Seven new scientific results from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the Very Large Array (VLA), and the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) will be revealed at multiple press conferences during the 240th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) between June 13-15, 2022 in Pasadena, California.

New Clues about How Hot Jupiters Form

Since the first hot Jupiter was discovered in 1995, astronomers have been trying to figure out how the searing-hot exoplanets formed and arrived in their extreme orbits. Johns Hopkins University astronomers have found a way to determine the relative age of hot Jupiters using new measurements from the Gaia spacecraft, which is tracking over a billion stars.

Rapid-fire fast radio burst shows hot space between galaxies

A recently discovered, rare and persistent rapid-fire fast radio burst source – sending out an occasional and informative cosmic ping from more than 3.5 billion light years away – helps to reveal the secrets of the broiling hot space between the galaxies. That’s according to an international team of astronomers who published their findings in the journal Nature.

Astronomers Closer to Unlocking Origin of Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts

Nearly 15 years after the discovery of fast radio bursts (FRBs), the origin of the millisecond-long, deep-space cosmic explosions remains a mystery. That may soon change, thanks to the work of an international team of scientists – including UNLV astrophysicist Bing Zhang – which tracked hundreds of the bursts from five different sources and found clues in FRB polarization patterns that may reveal their origin.

Tread lightly: ‘Eggshell planets’ possible around other stars

Strange ‘eggshell planets’ are among the rich variety of exoplanets possible, according to a study from Washington University in St. Louis. These rocky worlds have an ultra-thin outer brittle layer and little to no topography. Such worlds are unlikely to have plate tectonics, raising questions as to their habitability.

ALMA Scientists Detect Signs of Water in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Scientists studying SPT0311-58 found H20, along with carbon monoxide in the galaxy, which is located nearly 12.88 billion light years from Earth. Detection of these two molecules in abundance suggests that the molecular Universe was going strong shortly after the elements were forged in early stars.

A Cosmic Whodunit: ALMA Study Confirms What’s Robbing Galaxies of Their Star-Forming Gas

Astronomers examining the nearby Universe with the help of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have just completed the largest high-resolution survey of star-forming fuel ever conducted in galaxy clusters. But more importantly, they’re tackling a long-standing mystery in astrophysics: what’s killing galaxies? The research, which provides the clearest evidence to date that extreme environments in space have severe impacts on the galaxies within them, will be published in an upcoming edition of The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.