Researchers have discovered a mechanism that explains the persistence of asymmetrical stellar clusters surrounding supermassive black holes in some galaxies and suggests that during post-galactic merger periods, orbiting stars could be flung into the black hole and destroyed at a rate of one per year.
An international team of astronomers has determined that Centaurus A, a massive elliptical galaxy 13 million light-years from Earth, is accompanied by a number of dwarf satellite galaxies orbiting the main body in a narrow disk.
A dark cloud of cosmic dust snakes across this spectacular wide field image, illuminated by the brilliant light of new stars. This dense cloud is a star-forming region called Lupus 3, where dazzlingly hot stars are born from collapsing masses of gas and dust.
Scientists have solved an important puzzle in astrochemistry: how to measure magnetic fields in space using methanol, the simplest form of alcohol. Their results give astronomers a new way of investigating how massive stars are born.