To help detect suitable candidates, identify the range of atmospheric conditions on planets with water and shed light on how planetary magnetic fields originate and evolve, the HOTMOL project is devising new tools relying on spectro-polarimetry.
The GRAVITY instrument is now operating with the four 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope, and even from early test results it is already clear that it will soon be producing world-class science.
Some 3.9 billion years ago in the heart of a distant galaxy, the intense tidal pull of a monster black hole shredded a star that passed too close. When X-rays produced in this event first reached Earth, they were detected by NASA's Swift satellite.
A new study presents one of the most complete models of matter in the universe and predicts hundreds of massive black hole mergers each year observable with the second generation of gravitational wave detectors.
Astronomers have discovered a vast cloud of high-energy particles called a wind nebula around a rare ultra-magnetic neutron star, or magnetar, for the first time. The find offers a unique window into the properties, environment and outburst history of magnetars, which are the strongest magnets in the universe.
A simulation of the powerful jets generated by supermassive black holes at the centres of the largest galaxies explains why some burst forth as bright beacons visible across the universe, while others fall apart and never pierce the halo of the galaxy.
The organic molecule methyl alcohol (methanol) has been found by the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the TW Hydrae protoplanetary disc. This is the first such detection of the compound in a young planet-forming disc.
Researchers have detected, for the first time, a chiral molecule outside of our solar system, bringing them one step closer to understanding one of the most puzzling mysteries of the early origins of life.