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The archaeological record of the Milky Way written by atomic hydrogen

October 21, 2020
Astronomers reveal the most detailed map of the raw material needed to form stars [more]

Earth-like Planets often come with a bodyguard

October 13, 2020
Simulations reveal that rocky super-Earths with thin atmospheres are often protected by a Jupiter-like planet [more]

First joint measurement of exoplanet’s mass and brightness challenges classical model of planet formation

October 02, 2020
A team of astronomers using the ESO instrument GRAVITY has taken the first image of an exoplanet that had previously only been detected indirectly via the spectrum of its star. The result is the first set of measurements that allows astronomers to both determine an exoplanet’s intrinsic brightness and estimate its mass. For the planet, beta Pictoris c, the outcome is surprising: Even though it may have a similar mass as its sister planet beta Pictoris b, its brightness is lower by a factor 6. All in all, beta Pictoris c poses a challenge to the classical model of planet formation by disk instability, and may be brighter than expected from the rival model of core accretion. [more]

Encounter of generations in the heart of the Galaxy

September 28, 2020
Astronomers discover a previously unknown population of stars near the centre of the Milky Way [more]

How galaxies have produced their stars: ASPECS survey provides key chapter of cosmic history

September 24, 2020
Astronomers have used the ALMA observatory to trace the fuel for star formation – molecular hydrogen gas – in the iconic Hubble Ultra-Deep Field, one of the best-studied regions of the sky. The observations allowed a group led by Fabian Walter of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy to track how the universe’s inventories of gas and dust have changed over time from just two billion years after the big bang to the present. Comparing their own observations with additional observational data and modern simulations, the astronomers were able to characterize and quantify the gas flows that are necessary prerequisites for the formation of stars within galaxies. The result is a broad-brush history of cosmic star formation that includes all the important pieces: the history of star production itself as well as information about the supply chain that enables stars to be produced in the first place. [more]
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