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.

Astronomers Uncover Briefest Supernova-Powered Gamma-Ray Burst

Astronomers have discovered the shortest-ever gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the implosion of a massive star. Using the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, astronomers identified the cause of this 0.6-second flurry of gamma rays as a supernova explosion in a distant galaxy. GRBs caused by supernovae are usually more than twice as long, which suggests that some short GRBs might actually be imposters — supernova-produced GRBs in disguise.

NASA returns Hubble Space Telescope to science operations

NASA has returned the science instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope to operational status, and the collection of science data will now resume. This will be the first science data collected since the payload computer experienced a problem on June…

National Astronomy Meeting 2021: Media invitation

Around 850 astronomers and space scientists will gather online from 19 – 23 July, for the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting 2021 (NAM 2021) hosted by the University of Bath. Postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the…