Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics News

3D Map of Core-Collapse Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A

January 30, 2015

0 Comments

Nearby Supernova Remnant Reveals Frothy Interior

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals near-infrared observations of the young Milky Way supernova remnant Cassiopeia A and a three-dimensional map of its interior. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, is one of the most well studied supernova remnants in our galaxy. But it still holds major surprises. […]

Continue reading...

CID-42: A Recoiling, Supermassive Black Hole?

January 23, 2015

2 Comments

CID-42 A Recoiling Black Hole

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics provides new insights from deep VLA data on the potentially recoiling black hole CID-42 in the COSMOS field. When galaxies collide, the central supermassive black holes that reside at their cores will end up orbiting one another in a binary pair, at least according to current simulations. […]

Continue reading...

A Significant Step Towards Explaining the Cosmic Origins of the Seeds of Galaxies

January 16, 2015

1 Comment

3D Simulation Shows Small Protostellar-Like Core Can Grow into a Supermassive Black Hole

In a new study, astronomers from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found that a small protostellar-like core of only 0.1 solar-masses can develop in only a few years from a suitable environment and then can grow into a supermassive black hole in only millions of years. Supermassive black holes with millions or billions of solar-masses of […]

Continue reading...

HARPS-N Spectrograph Reveals the Composition of Terrestrial Planets

January 7, 2015

0 Comments

Astronomers Reveal New Recipe for Other Earths

Using the High-Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), astronomers show that the recipe for Earth also applies to terrestrial exoplanets orbiting distant stars. Cambridge, Massachusetts – How do you make an Earth-like planet? The “test kitchen” of Earth has given us a detailed recipe, but it wasn’t clear whether other planetary systems would follow the […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Discover Eight New Planets in “Goldilocks” Zone

January 7, 2015

0 Comments

Eight New Planets Found in Goldilocks Zone

Using Kepler data, a team of astronomers has discovered eight new planets orbiting their stars at a distance where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Astronomers announced today that they have found eight new planets in the “Goldilocks” zone of their stars, orbiting at a distance where liquid water can […]

Continue reading...

Study Details Why Super-Earths Have Long-Lasting Oceans

January 6, 2015

0 Comments

Super-Earths May Have Long-Lasting Oceans

A newly published study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals why oceans on super-Earths, once established, can last for billions of years. Cambridge, Massachusetts – For life as we know it to develop on other planets, those planets would need liquid water, or oceans. Geologic evidence suggests that Earth’s oceans have existed for nearly […]

Continue reading...

A New Set of Calculations for Catastrophic Disruptions of Main Belt Asteroids

January 2, 2015

1 Comment

Catastrophic Disruption Rate of Small Main Belt Asteroids

A team of astronomers has revealed a new set of calculations for catastrophic disruptions of main belt asteroids, finding that for asteroids about one hundred meters in diameter collisions are not the primarily cause of break ups – rapid rotation is. Hundreds of thousands of asteroids are known to orbit our Sun at distances ranging […]

Continue reading...

A Deficit of Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources in Starburst Galaxies

December 22, 2014

0 Comments

Astronomers Discover Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources in Starburst Galaxies

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have completed a study of active star-forming galaxies, revealing a large deficit in the number of ULXs detected. Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than a million suns emit at all wavelengths. ULXs […]

Continue reading...

Kepler Detects A Super-Earth Transiting the Bright K-Dwarf HIP 116454

December 22, 2014

0 Comments

Kepler Discovers HIP 116454

Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft is still alive and working and has detected a newfound planet, HIP 116454b, has a diameter of 20,000 miles, two and a half times the size of Earth. Cambridge, Massachusetts – To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft’s […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Detect Pluto-Size Objects around a Sun-Like Star

December 12, 2014

0 Comments

Astronomers Detect Pluto-Size Objects swarming Around an Adolescent Sun

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have detected Pluto-size objects around an adolescent Sun-like star. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to make detailed observations of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star known as HD 107146, detecting an unexpected increase in the concentration […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Detect Magnetic Fields on Solar-Type Stars

December 12, 2014

0 Comments

Astronomers Study the Magnetic Fields Stars

A team of astronomers that has just completed the most extensive polarization survey of stars to date, detecting magnetic fields on sixty-seven stars with twenty-one of them being classified as solar-type. That is about four times as many solar-type stars as had been previously classified. The Sun rotates slowly, about once every 24 days at […]

Continue reading...

New Observations Confirm Variability of Young Stellar Objects

December 5, 2014

0 Comments

Rho Ophiuchi

Using the Spitzer Space Telescope to monitor the variability of light from 882 previously identified young stellar objects, astronomers confirm that probably all YSOs are variable at infrared wavelengths to some degree, and moreover that the younger, more deeply embedded stars often have longer and larger intensity variations, consistent with the current disk evolution picture. […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Develop a New Method to Evaluate the Turbulence of the Hot Intracluster Gas

December 1, 2014

0 Comments

New Method to Evaluate the Turbulence of the Hot Intracluster Gas

Using data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have pioneered a new method to evaluate the turbulence of the hot intracluster gas. Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of a few to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the “Local Group,” a […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Use Ground-Based Telescope to Measure Super-Earth Transit

December 1, 2014

0 Comments

Astronomers Measure Super-Earth Transit Using a Ground-Based Telescope

Using the 2.5-meter Nordic Optical Telescope, astronomers have measured transit of exoplanet 55 Cancri e – this is the first time that a super-Earth transit has been measured from a ground-based telescope. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Astronomers have measured the passing of a super-Earth in front of a bright, nearby Sun-like star using a ground-based telescope […]

Continue reading...

Scientists Use Meteorite to Measure Ancient Solar Nebula Magnetic Fields

November 21, 2014

0 Comments

Solar Nebula Magnetic Fields Recorded in the Semarkona Meteorite

Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have succeeded in determining ancient solar nebula magnetic field strength by measuring the field recorded in chondrules from the Semarkona meteorite. Astronomical observations of young protostars indicate that early planetary systems evolved from the dust in a protoplanetary disk very quickly – in under five million years. Such […]

Continue reading...

The Future of Astrophysical Neutrino Measurements

November 17, 2014

0 Comments

The Future of Neutrino Cosmology

An international team of scientists has published an extensive report on the future of astrophysical neutrino measurements, discussing how facilities that measure the microwave background will in the next decade also enable scientists to study the nature of neutrinos, and lead to fundamental insights into the basic laws of nature. One of the most remarkable […]

Continue reading...

New Research Reveals the Role of Magnetic Fields in Star Formation

November 10, 2014

0 Comments

Scientists Reveal Role of Magnetic Fields in Star Formation

Using the Submillimeter Array to study the magnetic field in a massive star cluster, astronomers were able to determine the properties of the magnetic field and the role they play in star formation. Massive stars tend to form in clusters as the gas and dust in molecular clouds collapses and fragments under the influence of […]

Continue reading...