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Original 1576574559

Feeding the first supermassive black holes

December 19, 2019
Extended hydrogen clouds around the first quasars could have sustained the rapid growth of their supermassive black holes. [more]
Original 1576227874

Star formation in the center of the Milky Way came in bursts, new study shows

December 16, 2019
New observations of the center of our home galaxy have allowed astronomers to reconstruct, for the first time, the history of star formation in the center of the Milky Way. Previously, it had been assumed that stars in the so-called nuclear stellar disk had formed continuously over the past billions of years. Instead, the new results imply a burst of star formation activity more than 8 billion years followed by a quiet period, and then another burst of activity about one billion years ago. The re-written evolutionary history has consequences for the formation of the bar-shaped feature of our galaxy’s disk. The results have been published in the journal Nature Astronomy. [more]
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Galactic fountains and carousels

November 07, 2019
Order emerging from chaos [more]
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Ancient gas cloud shows that the first stars must have formed very quickly

October 31, 2019
Astronomers led by Eduardo Bañados of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have discovered a gas cloud that contains information about an early phase of galaxy and star formation, merely 850 million years after the Big Bang. The cloud was found serendipitously during observations of a distant quasar, and it has the properties that astronomers expect from the precursors of modern-day dwarf galaxies. When it comes to relative abundances, the cloud's chemistry is surprisingly modern, showing that the first stars in the universe must have formed very quickly after the Big Bang. The results have been published in the Astrophysical Journal. [more]
Original 1571404391

The Alchemy of Merging Neutron Stars

October 23, 2019
Observations of a kilonova identify neutron star mergers as sites of nucleosynthesis of heavy elements [more]
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