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The astro-ph Reader’s Digest

“Your heart sounds just fine, PSO J334.2028+01.4075″

Quasar PSO J334.2028+01.4075 has a very healthy heart rate of 6.7 beats per decade, or once every 542 days. One explanation is that this guy hosts a pair of supermassive black holes. If true, then the astonishing interpretation of this quasar’s heart rate is that its black holes are only a few orbits away from merging!

Signals from Hidden Dwarf Galaxies

There is quite a lot left to learn about the smallest galaxies in our Universe, dwarf galaxies. Since they are small compared to galaxies like the Milky Way, they are challenging to observe directly, either because they are too dim or because they are too small to be resolved. The authors suggest a new detection method for these faint galaxies that takes advantage of ongoing and upcoming large surveys looking for, among other things, novae and supernovae.

The Lives of the Longest Lived Stars

Heavy stars live like rock stars: they live fast, become big, and die young. Low mass stars, on the other hand, are more persistent, and live longer. Fusing hydrogen slow and steady wins the stellar age-race.

The Cosmic Microwave Oven Background

Over the past couple of decades the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia has been picking up two types of mysterious signals, each lasting just a few milliseconds. One kind, the Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), have come from seemingly random points in the sky at unpredictable times, and are thought to have a (thus far unknown) astronomical origin. The other signal, known as perytons, have been found by this paper to have an origin much close to home.

Beyond astro-ph

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The Age of Solar System Exploration

The years of 2014 and 2015 may well be known as the time when our exploration of the solar system truly took off, as we explored asteroids, comets, and minor planets. Here’s a look back at what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and what we’re about to achieve in the year to come.

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