Newfound meteor showers expand astronomical calendar
Nature 525, 7569 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/525302a
Author: Alexandra Witze
Sky-watching cameras spot 86 previously unknown events.
Hunt for gravitational waves to resume after massive upgrade
Nature 525, 7569 (2015). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/525301a
Author: Davide Castelvecchi
LIGO experiment now has better chance of detecting ripples in space-time.
Astronomy: The farthest galaxy so far
Nature 525, 7569 (2015). doi:10.1038/525293c
Astronomers have observed the most distant galaxy yet by detecting photons emitted from its clouds of hydrogen when the 13.8-billion-year-old Universe was less than 600 million years old.Such photons rarely make it to telescopes on Earth, but Adi Zitrin at the California Institute of
Planetary science: A faster spin for Mercury
Nature 525, 7569 (2015). doi:10.1038/525293a
Mercury rotates nine seconds faster than scientists had thought, probably because of gravitational effects from Jupiter.A team led by Alexander Stark of the German Aerospace Center in Berlin studied three years of data from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, which orbited the planet between 2011 and
Astronomers have discovered a rare beast of a galaxy cluster whose heart is
bursting with new stars. The unexpected find, made with the help of NASA's
Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, suggests that behemoth galaxies at the
cores of these massive clusters can grow significantly by feeding on gas stolen
from other galaxies. The cluster in the new study, referred to by astronomers
as SpARCS1049+56, has at least 27 galaxy members, and a combined mass equal
to nearly 400 trillion suns. It is located 9.8 billion light-years away in the
Ursa Major constellation. The object was initially discovered using Spitzer and
the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, and confirmed using the W. M. Keck Observatory.
Hubble helped confirm the source of the fuel for the new stars.
To learn more about the behavior of massive galaxy clusters, join the discussion with the scientists during the live Hubble Hangout at 3pm EDT today (Thurs., Sept. 10) at http://hbbl.us/z7P .
Astronomers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and the Space Telescope Science Institute have made the most accurate statistical estimate of the number of faint, small galaxies that existed only 500 million years after the big bang. This was culled from an analysis of the deepest Hubble Space Telescope sky survey, CANDELS (Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey). Previously, studies using Caltech's CIBER (the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment) rocket-borne instrument and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope images confirmed the presence of "intra-halo light" from stars distributed outside of galaxies. The Hubble data found a new component in the infrared background in addition to intra-halo light the collective glow of entire galaxies that formed first in the universe. UCI's Asantha Cooray believes that these early galaxies are very different from the well-defined spiral and disk-shaped galaxies seen in the present-day universe. They were more diffuse and populated by giant stars. This discovery paves the way for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to see these very faint galaxies individually, after its launch in 2018.
Astrophysics: Glimpse into a primitive stellar nursery
Nature 525, 7568 (2015). doi:10.1038/525195a
Authors: Adam Leroy
The first well-resolved images of local-galaxy stellar nurseries that are poor in elements heavier than helium give the best picture yet of the conditions in which stars may have formed in the early Universe. See Letter p.218