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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]

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]

For newborn planets, solar systems are naturally baby-proof

October 10, 2019
Numerical simulations by a group of astronomers, led by Mario Flock from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, have shown that young planetary systems are naturally “baby-proof:” Physical mechanisms combine to keep young planets in the inner regions from taking a fatal plunge into the star. Similar processes also allow planets to be born close to stars – from pebbles trapped in a region close to the star. The research, which has been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, explains findings by the Kepler space telescopes that show a large number of Super-Earths orbiting their stars very closely, at the edge of the baby-proof region. [more]

Cosmic collision produces neutrino

October 07, 2019
The volatile particle collected by the IceCube detector probably comes from the turbulent centre of a faraway galaxy [more]

When dwarfs give birth to giants

September 26, 2019
A newly discovered exoplanet challenges current models pertaining to planet formation [more]
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