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Neutron star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

19 January 2018 Astronomy Now

The afterglow from the distant neutron star merger detected last August has continued to brighten — much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light-years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the Universe.

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Dwarf dark galaxy hidden in ALMA gravitational lens image

14 April 2016 Astronomy Now

Subtle distortions hidden in a stunning Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) image of the gravitational lens SDP.81 are telltale signs that a dwarf dark galaxy is lurking in the halo of a much larger galaxy nearly 4 billion light-years away. This discovery could help astronomers address important questions on the nature of dark matter.

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Repeat fast radio bursts detected from same sky location

3 March 2016 Astronomy Now

Astronomers for the first time have detected repeating short bursts of radio waves from an enigmatic source that is likely located well beyond the edge of our Milky Way galaxy. The findings indicate that these “fast radio bursts” come from an extremely powerful object which occasionally produces multiple bursts in under a minute.

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Mysterious energy bursts provide new way to chart the cosmos in 3-D

20 September 2015 Astronomy Now

In deep space, some unknown astrophysical phenomenon is causing mysterious bursts of energy that appear as short flashes of radio waves. In a University of British Columbia study, researchers propose a new way to calculate cosmological distances using these fast radio bursts. The method allows researchers to position distant galaxies in three dimensions and map out the cosmos.

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Extreme starburst in the core of a gargantuan galaxy cluster

11 September 2015 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers has discovered a prodigious galaxy cluster with a core bursting with new stars — an incredibly rare find. This surprising new discovery, the result of collaborative synergy from ground- and space-based observations, is the first to show that gigantic galaxies at the centres of massive clusters can grow significantly by feeding off gas stolen from other galaxies.