5
Jan 11

January 4th Partial Solar Eclipse

Europe woke up on January 4th waiting for the announced total eclipse. Though some good images could be acquired by making pictures of the eclipse, in most of the places the Sun couldn't be seen due to clouds in the sky.

Here we present some images about the solar eclipse in different places around Europe.


The eclipse in Bucareste.
Image credit: Eugen Simion.

The eclipse in Slovakia.
Image credit: Eston.


the eclipse seen from Turku, Finland.
Image credit: Sakari Ekko.

The eclipse between clouds seen from the South of Portugal.
Image credit: Alexandre Costa and students.

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5
Jan 11

VISTA Stares Deeply into the Blue Lagoon

Source: ESO Photo Release


Messier 8, usually called the Lagoon Nebula, captured by the VISTA telescope.
Image credits: ESO/VVV. ESO's Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit.

This new infrared image of the Lagoon Nebula was captured as part of a five-year study of the Milky Way using ESO’s VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. This is a small piece of a much larger image of the region surrounding the nebula, which is, in turn, only one part of a huge survey.(read more)

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5
Jan 11

A high C/O ratio and weak thermal inversion in the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-12b

Source: Nature


Observations and model spectra for dayside thermal emission of WASP-12b.

Image credits: Nikku Madhusudhan, Joseph Harrington,Kevin B. Stevenson, Sarah Nymeyer, Christopher J. Campo, Peter J. Wheatley, Drake Deming,Jasmina Blecic, Ryan A. Hardy, Nate B. Lust, David R. Anderson, Andrew Collier-Cameron, Christopher B. T. Britt,William C. Bowman,Leslie Hebb, Coel Hellier, Pierre F. L. Maxted, Richard G. West, Don Pollacco

The carbon-to-oxygen ratio (C/O) in a planet provides critical information about its primordial origins and subsequent evolution. A primordial C/O greater than 0.8 causes a carbide-dominated interior, as opposed to the silicate-dominated composition found on Earth1; the atmosphere can also differ from those in the Solar System. The solar C/O is 0.54 . Here we report an analysis of dayside multi-wavelength photometry of the transiting hot-Jupiter WASP-12b that reveals C/O ≥ 1 in its atmosphere. The atmosphere is abundant in CO. It is depleted in water vapour and enhanced in methane, each by more than two orders of magnitude compared to a solar-abundance chemical-equilibrium model at the expected temperatures. We also find that the extremely irradiated atmosphere (T > 2,500 K) of WASP-12b lacks a prominent thermal inversion (or stratosphere) and has very efficient day–night energy circulation. The absence of a strong thermal inversion is in stark contrast to theoretical predictions for the most highly irradiated hot-Jupiter atmosphere. (read Nature)

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5
Jan 11

Andromeda’s once and future stars

Source: ESA/Space Science

Image credits: infrared: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J. Fritz, U. Gent; X-ray: ESA/XMM-Newton/EPIC/W. Pietsch, MPE; optical: R. Gendler

Two ESA observatories have combined forces to show the Andromeda Galaxy in a new light. Herschel sees rings of star formation in this, the most detailed image of the Andromeda Galaxy ever taken at infrared wavelengths, and XMM-Newton shows dying stars shining X-rays into space.(read more)

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5
Jan 11

Identity Parade Clears Cosmic Collisions of the Suspicion of Promoting Black Hole Growth

Source:ESA/Hubble


Image credits: NASA, ESA, M. Cisternas (Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy)

What happens when galaxies crash together? For years, these cosmic collisions have been blamed for triggering violent outbursts at the hearts of galaxies. Now, a remarkable piece of detective work has given a verdict: galactic mergers do not usually whet the appetite of the black holes that power these active galactic nuclei, meaning other, less dramatic phenomena are responsible.(read more)

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