Astronomy: To catch a cosmic ray
Nature 514, 7520 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/514020a
Author: Katia Moskvitch
The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina has spent almost ten years looking for the source of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays — but to no avail. Now the observatory faces an uncertain future.
Astrophysics: Space ripples could pump up stars
Nature 514, 7520 (2014). doi:10.1038/514009c
Gravitational waves could energize and brighten stars — possibly providing indirect evidence for the weak ripples in space time that are thought to be emitted by high-energy events such as exploding stars.Barry McKernan at the City University of New York and his colleagues calculated
Astronomy: The age of the quasars
Nature 514, 7520 (2014). doi:10.1038/514043a
Authors: Daniel Mortlock
An infrared census of accreting supermassive black holes across a wide range of cosmic times indicates that the canonical understanding of how these luminous objects form and evolve may need to be adjusted.
Astronomy data bounty spurs debate over access
Nature 514, 7520 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/514018a
Author: Mark Zastrow
Small institutions fear exclusion from Large Synoptic Survey Telescope's benefits.
The weather forecast for a planet 120 light-years from Earth is clear skies and steamy water vapor. Finding clear skies on a gaseous world the size of Neptune is a good sign that even smaller, Earth-size planets might have similarly good visibility. This would allow earthbound astronomers to measure the underlying atmospheric composition of an exoplanet. Astronomers using the Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler space telescopes were able to determine that the planet, cataloged HAT-P-11b, has water vapor in its atmosphere. The world is definitely steamy with temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet is so hot because it orbits so close to its star, completing one orbit every five days.