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Astronomers identify the ancient heart of the Milky Way galaxy

A group of MPIA astronomers has managed to identify the “poor old heart of the Milky Way” – a population of stars left over from the earliest history of our home galaxy, which resides in our galaxy’s core regions. more

In the background: a black surface with isolated bright small dots representing stars.
In the foreground: the left half of the image consists of a grey sphere with various shades and stripes, illuminated from a distance by a yellow light source.

Scientists find the youngest super-Jovian exoplanet yet for which they measure both mass and size more

A bright round disc in the background illuminates part of a sphere in the foreground. It has stripes that suggest clouds.

Observations of the exoplanet WASP-39b with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have yielded a wealth of information about the planet’s atmosphere – a whole new level of observational data, and a harbinger of how JWST will shape the study of exoplanet atmospheres in the future. The detailed infrared spectra taken with three of JWST’s four instruments contain information about atmospheric chemistry of unprecedented accuracy, allow deductions about the planet’s cloud cover, and include the first signs of photochemistry in exoplanet atmospheres. Data about the chemical composition is so accurate as to allow for deductions about the planet's formation. more

Composition of several individual images. Background: many bright stars and dark clouds; foreground image 1: section with bright star in the centre and other less bright stars around it; foreground image 2: a thin, white ellipse against a black background and a bright dot is on the ellipse; foreground image 3: a dark, almost circular object surrounded by a distorted bright ring.

The finding promises numerous similar discoveries more

A first glimpse at the high-productivity star factory in the Galactic Center

With the help of detailed observations, astronomers have managed to get a first representative glimpse of the numerous young stars in the central regions of our home galaxy. The observations provide evidence for star formation in the Galactic Center having started off near the center and then worked its way outwards. This confirms a mode of star formation that had earlier been found in the centers of other, distant galaxies. The results also reveal that most stars in that region did not form in tightly-bound massive clusters, but in loose associations whose member stars have long since gone their separate ways. The results have been published in Nature Astronomy.

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