Saturday , April 17 2021

This week in space :: WRAL.com



– This week, scientists speculate that the interstellar object is called & # 39; Oumuamua & # 39; could be an alien probe because of the way it accelerated through our solar system when it erupted last year.

The Parker Solar Probe is fine even though the first brush is close to the sun, 15 million miles from its surface, after being closer to our star than the spacecraft has gone. The Mars Curiosity rover only takes long, pleasant trips along the surface of Mars, the longest after computer damage in September. And Opportunities, another rover on Mars, is still very quiet.

This is what you miss in space this week.

Galaxy fountain

This is a fountain that you don't want to play, but it's beautiful to see.

More than a billion light years from Earth, the black hole in the center of the elliptical galaxy 2570 giant ellipses attract cold molecular gas and spray it again in the form of a jet or like a fountain. Observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimetre telescope array and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope were published this week in The Astrophysical Journal.

This process is doomed to repeat again. Cold gas fell into a black hole, triggered a black hole, and launched a beam of plasma that glowed into space. But plasma cannot escape the galactic gravity, so rain falls back to the black hole.

"The evolution of galaxies can be very chaotic, and large galaxies like this tend to live hard and die young," said Timothy Davis from Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy. "For the first time we can observe the full cycle of a supermassive black hole fountain, which acts to regulate this process, extending the life of galaxies."

Black hole joins

We know that galaxies combine to form larger galaxies, but for the first time, astronomers actually observed several pairs of galaxies when they came together. And they could see supermassive black holes in the centers of the galaxy joining together to form a giant black hole.

The study was published in this week's journal Nature.

"Seeing the pairs of galactic nuclei that join these huge black holes so close together is amazing," said Michael Koss, a research scientist at Eureka Scientific. "In our study, we saw two galactic nuclei right when the image was taken. You can't argue with that; this is a very clean result, which does not depend on interpretation."

Image archives of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as high-resolution images taken by the W. M. Keck Observatory's adaptive optical system, provide an amazing first look.

This is probably what will happen 4 billion years from now when our Milky Way galaxy blends with its neighboring Andromeda galaxy.

Death of a galaxy

The neighboring dwarf galaxy called the Small Magellan Cloud is only a fraction of the size of the Milky Way – and it loses the power it uses to form stars.

The fine details provided by radio images from the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope array, published in this week's Natural Astronomy study, show the destruction of galaxies when they lose gas.

"Galaxies that stop forming stars gradually fade into oblivion. This is a kind of slow death for galaxies if they lose all of their gas," said Naomi McClure-Griffiths of the Australian National University Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Finally, astronomers believe, it will be eaten by the Milky Way.

Flock of stars

These stars are a little wild. Meet the Wild Duck Cluster, where 2,900 stars live together.

Astronomers think groups of stars that are open will only contain stars from the same generation. However, the Wild Duck group has bright stars in different colors, which shows they have different ages. Blue stars are usually younger, and red stars are usually older.

But in a new study, researchers realized that open clusters played tricks on them. The way they spin causes them to appear as different ages and colors.

Their rotation causes their wavelengths to appear solid when one side of the star is facing Earth, distorting the light they emit and making it appear blue or red.

A star from a very long time

Astronomers have discovered what could be one of the oldest stars in the universe, which means it was made from materials originally removed from the Big Bang. The 13.5 billion year old star is small, with a low mass and low metal content, which can be an indication of the first star ever born.

The earliest stars will be full of elements such as helium, hydrogen and lithium, producing heavier elements and spreading them throughout the universe as they explode. This will allow later stars to have more metals and other elements.

This star is found as a secondary star that is almost invisible in a binary star system. And if this old star can be observed, there might be an older person to learn.

"This star may be one in 10 million," said Kevin Schlaufman, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. "This tells us something very important about the first generation of stars."


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