astronomy

Cosmic collisions: SOFIA unravels the mysterious formation of star clusters

Illustration of a star cluster forming from the collision of turbulent molecular clouds, which appear as dark shadows in front of the background galactic star field. Credit: NASA/SOFIA/Lynette Cook November 7, 2018, NASA The sun, like all stars, was born in a giant cold cloud of molecular gas and dust. It may have had dozens …

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Astronomers find pairs of black holes at the centres of merging galaxies

These images reveal the final stage of a union between two galactic nuclei in the messy core of the merging galaxy NGC 6240. The image at left shows the entire galaxy. At right is a close-up of the two brilliant cores of this galactic union. This view, taken in infrared light, pierces the dense cloud …

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Astronomers witness David versus Goliath fight between galaxies

The research team developed this map that reveals the Magellanic Clouds have had repeated interactions with each other over billions of years. Credit: Dougal Mackey, ANU   November 8, 2018 by Will Wright, Australian National University Astronomers have witnessed, in the finest detail yet, a brutal David-vs-Goliath fight between two nearby galaxies that are tearing …

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An artist’s impression of what an active galactic nucleus might look like at close quarters. The accretion disk produces the brilliant light in the centre. The broad-line region is just above the accretion disk and lost in the glare. Dust clouds are being driven upwards by the intense radiation. Credit: Peter Z. Harrington

One black hole or two? Dust clouds can explain puzzling features of active galactic nuclei

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), believe clouds of dust, rather than twin black holes, can explain the features found in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The team publish their results today (14 June) in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Many large galaxies have an AGN, a small bright …

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