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News in the Media




July 2017

màxim Distant Galaxies ‘Lift the Veil’ on the End of the Cosmic Dark Ages, 12/07/2017
National Optical Astronomy Observatory / Astrophysical Journal Letters

Astronomers studying the distant Universe have found that small star-forming galaxies were abundant when the Universe was only 800 million years old, a few percent of its present age. The results suggest that the earliest galaxies, which illuminated and ionized the Universe, formed at even earlier times.

màxim Odd planetary system around fast-spinning star doesn't quite fit existing models of planet formation, 12/07/2017
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy / Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomers have discovered a rare, warm, massive Jupiter-like planet orbiting a star that is rotating extremely quickly. The discovery raises puzzling questions about planet formation – neither the planet's comparatively small mass nor its large distance from its host star are expected according to current models.

màxim Big sunspot faces the Earth,, 11/07/2017
Five days after it first appeared, AR2665 has finally rotated into geoeffective position. AR2665 is by far the biggest sunspot of 2017, stretching more than 120,000 km from end to end. Moreover, it has an unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class explosions.The huge sunspot is directly facing Earth.
Click to view a movie of the sunspot's progression from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

June 2017

màxim The latest asteroid discovered at Fabra Observatory is named after the UB professor Jorge Núñez,, 30/06/2017
The asteroid 1941 WA has been named (4298) Jorgenunez. This celestial body, one of the minor planets in the main asteroid belt of the Solar System –located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter-, is named after Jorge Núñez de Murga director of the Fabra Observatory astronomical observatory of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona (RACAB) and member of the ICCUB and the FQA department of the University of Barcelona.

màxim III International Conference of Light Pollution in Cellers, Lleida,, 30/06/2017
The 3rd International Conference of Light Pollution (LPTMM) has been held from June 27 to 30, 2017 in Cellers (Lleida). Eighty experts in Theory, Modelling and Measurements of light pollution from 20 countries around the world have participated. The conference has been organized by the Parc Astronòmic Montsec (PAM) Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Cégep de Sherbrooke in Quebec in Canada.

màxim brain helps Gaia catch speeding stars, 26/06/2017
With the help of software that mimics a human brain, ESA’s Gaia satellite spotted six stars zipping at high speed from the centre of our Galaxy to its outskirts. This could provide key information about some of the most obscure regions of the Milky Way.

màxim No Universe without Big Bang, 15/06/2017
According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the curvature of spacetime was infinite at the big bang. In fact, at this point all mathematical tools fail, and the theory breaks down. However, there remained the notion that perhaps the beginning of the universe could be treated in a simpler manner, and that the infinities of the big bang might be avoided. Now scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) in Potsdam and at the Perimeter Institute in Canada have been able to use better mathematical methods to show that these ideas cannot work. The big bang, in its complicated glory, retains all its mystery.

May 2017

màxim Discovery of a super-Earth near to the habitable zone of a cool star, 30/05/2017
An international team led by researchers from the IAC, using the radial velocity method, have discovered a possibly rocky planet at the edge of the habitable zone of a red dwarf star. Only a few dozen planets of this kind are known and its detection was made possible with the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma.

màxim Astronomers map the Universe with the brightest objects in the sky, 18/05/2017
Astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have created the first map of the large-scale structure of the Universe based entirely on the positions of quasars. Quasars are the incredibly bright and distant points of light powered by supermassive black holes.

April 2017

màxim Will Earth-like planets be found to have Earth-like oceans?,, 21/04/2017
For a planetary surface to boast extensive areas of both land and water, a delicate balance must be struck between the volume of water it retains and the capacity of its oceanic basins. Each of these two quantities may vary substantially across the full spectrum of water-bearing worlds. Why the Earth’s values are so well balanced is an unresolved and long-standing conundrum. In a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Ed. Oxford University Press) the author, Fergus Simpson of the Institute of Cosmos Science at the University of Barcelona, has constructed a statistical model – based on Bayesian probability – to predict the division between land and water on habitable exoplanets.

màxim Asteroid 2014 JO25 will fly near Earth,, 10/04/2017
Next 19 April asteroid 2014 JO25, discovered on 2014, with a diametre of 650 metres, will fly safely past Earth at a distance of about 4,6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size.

February 2017

màxim Annular Eclipse of the Sun, 26/02/2017
In a narrow corridor cutting across the southern reaches of Chile and Argentina, and stretching across the Atlantic to Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia in Africa, the Moon crossed the sun dead-center. Yet it only covered 99% of the solar disk. ( A video illustration of the path of the eclipse)
Image taken by Enzo De Bernardini a Facundo, Chubut, Argentina.

màxim New data about two distant asteroids give a clue to the possible “Planet Nine”,, 22/02/2017
The dynamical properties of these asteroids, observed spectroscopiccally for the first time using the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, suggest a possible common origin and give a clue to the existence of a planet beyond Pluto, the so-called “Planet Nine”.

màxim New Light on Dark Matter Halos,, 14/02/2017
For the past twenty years observers have been trying to test the effects of the predicted dark matter halos on the bars in barred galaxies. The basic idea is that according to simulation models which include the halos, these should have acted as a gravitational brake and slowed down the rotation of the bars during the lifetimes of galaxy discs.

màxim Exhibitions to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11/02/2017

màxim "Mujeres con pasión por las estrellas", 11/02/2017
Cesca Figueras comments on the role of women in astronomy in the "ARA"

January 2017

màxim Waiting for the Solar Storm,l, 17/01/2017
Solar storms are now becoming a phenomenon of risk given the great social dependence of electricity and communications.

màxim New theory of the formatiopn of the Moon, 11/01/2017
A new theory has come out claiming that the origin for the Moon was a multiple-little-impact against the old theory of an only one giant-impact.

màxim Gaia tuns its eyes to asteroid hunting, 24/01/2017
Whilst best known for its surveys of the stars and mapping the Milky Way in three dimensions, ESA's Gaia has many more strings to its bow. Among them, its contribution to our understanding of the asteroids that litter the Solar System. Now, for the first time, Gaia is not only providing information crucial to understanding known asteroids, it has also started to look for new ones, previously unknown to astronomers.

màxim ALMA Starts Observing the Sun, 17/01/2017
New images taken with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have revealed otherwise invisible details of our Sun, including a new view of the dark, contorted centre of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth. The results are an important expansion of the range of observations that can be used to probe the physics of our nearest star.

màxim Hubble Detects 'Exocomets' Taking the Plunge into a Young Star,1 2/01/2017
Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging into the star HD 172555, which is a youthful 23 million years old and resides 95 light-years from Earth. The exocomets — comets outside our solar system — were not directly seen around the star, but their presence was inferred by detecting gas that is likely the vaporized remnants of their icy nuclei.

màxim VLT to Search for Planets in Alpha Centauri System, 09/01/2017
ESO has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives to adapt the Very Large Telescope instrumentation in Chile to conduct a search for planets in the nearby star system Alpha Centauri. Such planets could be the targets for an eventual launch of miniature space probes by the Breakthrough Starshot initiative.

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  3. Astronomy Now
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