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‘Radio phoenix’ rises from the ashes of galaxy cluster collision

28 August 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers have found evidence for a faded electron cloud “coming back to life,” much like the mythical phoenix, after two galaxy clusters collided. This “radio phoenix,” so-called because the high-energy electrons radiate primarily at radio frequencies, is found in Abell 1033. This galaxy cluster collision is located about 1.6 billion light-years from Earth.

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Tiny supermassive black hole discovered in dwarf disc galaxy

12 August 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-metre Clay Telescope in Chile have identified the smallest supermassive black hole ever detected in the centre of a galaxy. This oxymoronic object could provide clues to how larger black holes formed along with their host galaxies 13 billion years or more in the past.

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Pulsar punches hole in stellar disc

23 July 2015 Astronomy Now

A fast-moving pulsar appears to have punched a hole in a disc of gas around its companion star and launched a fragment of the disc outward at a speed of about 4 million miles per hour. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is tracking this cosmic clump, which appears to be picking up speed as it moves out.

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Dark matter even darker than once thought

28 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. The results show that dark matter interacts with itself even less than previously thought, and narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.