Astrophysicists have not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn't supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.
As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies' supermassive black holes will form a 'binary', or two black holes in such close orbit they are gravitationally bound to one another. In a new study, astronomers present direct evidence of a pulsing quasar, which may substantiate the existence of black hole binaries.
Taking advantage of the unprecedented sensitivity of the Large Binocular Telescope in southeastern Arizona, an international team of astronomers has obtained the first results from the LEECH exoplanets survey.
Complex organic molecules such as formamide, from which sugars, amino acids and even nucleic acids essential for life can be made, already appear in the regions where stars similar to our Sun are born. Astrophysicists have detected this biomolecule in five protostellar clouds and propose that it forms on tiny dust grains.
After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE satellite has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization's technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths.
Researchers have long known that there is water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate has been found in the soil, which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty salt water - a brine.
A team of astronomers found that the type of supernovae commonly used to measure distances in the universe fall into distinct populations not recognized before; the findings have implications for our understanding of how fast the universe has been.
As part of the PlanetS National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), astronomers have come to measure the temperature of the atmosphere of an exoplanet with unequalled precision, by crossing two approaches.