Magnetic fields around the most photogenic black hole
A few years ago, scientists obtained the first image of a black hole shadow. A new study presents the detection of magnetic fields at the black hole’s edge. The result takes us a step closer to understanding how the black hole launches energetic jets far into space.
Comet’s death uncovers powerful winds on Jupiter
The aftermath of a historic Jupiter comet impact enabled scientists to directly study the giant planet’s middle atmosphere’s winds for the first time. Surprisingly powerful winds near the polar region point to a presence of a giant vortex with a diameter of up to four times that of Earth.
Voracious eater at the cosmic dawn
Astronomers found a distant galaxy vigorously spewing material from its core. It is the farthest known galaxy of its kind to shine in radio wavelengths. The discovery of this ravenous beast provides researchers with a novel tool to study galaxies and black holes in the young, unapproachable Universe.
GRB 101225A, a puzzling Christmas present
Ten years ago, on Christmas day, satellites detected a gamma-ray burst. The event was not like anything seen before. Was it even a gamma-ray burst? It took three years, several theories, and many observations before astronomers nailed down the event’s origin.
10 Amazing Eyes We Have on the Sky
There is much more to the Universe than what it appears at first sight. It shines in all kinds of different lights ranging from radio waves to gamma rays. This very minute we are being bombarded by elusive neutrinos and inundated by gravitational waves.
So, life on Venus?
We have been dreaming of finding alien life on other planets. Perhaps we don’t have to go far. Scientists found a special type of gas on Venus. Its origin being unknown, the gas could point to the presence of microbes in Venus’s atmosphere.
Astronomers for Planet EarthThe September issue of Nature Astronomy is dedicated to the carbon footprint of professional astronomy. We are quite the polluters, but there is no reason why we couldn’t reduce the emissions by changing some of our working habits. I briefly summarize the main results of the studies and present the aspirations of the initiative Astronomers for Planet Earth.
About citizen science. And penguins, voorwerpen, and old weather.
Science is not the property of educated professionals. With a little guidance, everyone can contribute to our collective knowledge. Chris Lintott, the Principle Investigator of Zooniverse, explains the concept and success of citizen science in the book “The Crowd and the Cosmos.”
EAS 2020: Mega-constellations and astronomy
The annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society EAS 2020 hosted a session on the impact of the upcoming commercial satellite constellations on professional astronomy. Astronomers, engineers, and representatives of companies discussed the future coexistence of astronomy and satellites. My takeaway from the meeting is: it never rains, but it pours.
Gamma-ray bursts: from dying stars to first galaxies
On 4 October 2017, the Swift satellite detected a gamma-ray burst (GRB), an echo of a dying star. The burst was followed by a long-lived emission, called afterglow, which was quickly observed with the Very Large Telescope in Chile. The results were delightful, as the burst offered a rare opportunity to contribute to the study of the Universe’s rise from the Dark age.