August 31st, 2014
Title: A critical analysis of shock models for chondrule formation Authors: Stammler & Dullemond First Author’s Institution: Heidelberg University and International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics , Heidelberg Paper Status: Accepted for publication in Icarus Extraterrestrial rocks are important What’s a chondrule? Never heard of that before. That’s probably your first […]
Supermassive black holes (SMBH) likely exist at the center of every massive galaxy in our universe. How these million to billion solar mass beasts form is not well understood. The authors in today’s astrobite examine the possibility of the direct collapse of massive gas clouds to form SMBH seeds in a computer simulation of a galaxy merger.
The authors of this paper pursued a mechanism which could possibly keep dead galaxies from forming new stars: mass ejected from AGB stars moving through the galaxy could heat the ambient gas.
Astronomers use models to derive properties of individual stars that we cannot directly observe, such as mass, age, and radius. This is also the case for a group of stars (a galaxy or a star cluster). One problem with current stellar population models is that they remain untested for old populations of stars. The authors of this paper devise a new way to test models of old stellar populations.
Sometimes, stellar evolution happens on more human timescales—tens to hundreds of years rather than millions or billions.
We have one canonical idea of what life looks like on Earth: nitrogen, water, carbon dioxide. But would this be true on another world? When looking for life in the atmospheres of exoplanets, we might want to consider searching for something completely different.
There are arguably a lot of things defy categorization, but it’s not everyday that we find something that suggests we do away with our categories altogether. The authors of today’s paper believe that the recently-discovered Type II supernova ASASSN-13co — read that as “assassin”, please — might just be one of the latter.