First-ever picture of a black hole

this image is the first direct visual evidence of a black hole. This particularly massive specimen is at the centre of the massive galaxy Messier 87 and was recorded with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight ground-based radio telescopes distributed around the globe. © EHT Collaboration

Observations challenge cosmological theories

Recent observations create a puzzle for astrophysicists: since the big bang, less galaxy clusters have formed over time than was actually expected. Physicists from the university of Bonn have now confirmed this phenomenon. For the next three years, the researchers will analyze their data in even greater detail. This will put them in a position to confirm whether the theories considered valid today need to be reworked. The study is part of a series of 20 publications which appear in the professional journal «Astronomy and Astrophysics».

Unstoppable Monster in the Early Universe

Astronomers obtained the most detailed anatomy chart of a monster galaxy located 12.4 billion light-years away. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the team revealed that the molecular clouds in the galaxy are highly unstable, which leads to runaway star formation. Monster galaxies are thought to be the ancestors of the huge elliptical galaxies in today’s Universe, therefore these findings pave the way to understand the formation and evolution of such galaxies._ALMA

A surprising chill before the cosmic dawn

An experiment to estimate when stars began to form in the Universe suggests that gas temperatures just before stars appeared had fallen well below predicted limits, and that dark matter is not as shadowy as was thought._ Nature 555, 38-39 (2018)

Gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger observed by LIGO and Virgo

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo collaboration report the first joint detection of gravitational waves with both the LIGO and Virgo detectors. This is the fourth announced detection of a binary black hole system and the first significant gravitational-wave signal recorded by the Virgo detector, and highlights the scientific potential of a three-detector network of gravitational-wave detectors._ LIGO Caltech

ESA’s Star Mapper visualisation

In 1989, ESA launched the first space mission dedicated to astrometry – the science of charting the sky. The satellite was named Hipparcos, echoing the name of ancient Greek astronomer, Hipparchus, who compiled the oldest known stellar catalogue in the second century BC. _ESA

Great Red Spot on Jupiter

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot – the largest and longest-persisting storm in the solar system – may provide the energy required to heat the planet’s upper atmosphere to the unusually high values observed. So says an international team of astronomers, who believe they have found that the atmosphere above the storm is hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet._Tushna Commissariat,

Meteor shower to shine in late July

Meteors will shine their way across the Southern Hemisphere’s twilight skies towards the end of this month._Jared Richards, Australian Geographic

Hubble Directly Measures Rotation of Cloudy ‘Super-Jupiter’

Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have been able to pick up the faint infrared glow of a giant planet located 170 light-years away from Earth. Not only is it glowing, but also rhythmically flickering as the planet spins on its axis like a top._HUBBLESITE

Gravitational waves

One hundred years after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, scientists have finally spotted these elusive ripples in space-time. In a highly anticipated announcement, physicists with the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) revealed on 11 February that their twin detectors have heard the gravitational ‘ringing’ produced by the collision of two black holes about 400 megaparsecs (1.3 billion light-years) from Earth._nature

Why there is so little breathable oxygen in space?

Μπορεί να το αναπνέουμε κάθε λεπτό, αλλά στο διάστημα δεν βρίσκεται σχεδόν καθόλου μοριακό οξυγόνο. Το 1998, η NASA εκτόξευσε δορυφόρο με την προσδοκία ότι θα έβρισκε αρκετή ποσότητα οξυγόνου, κάτι το οποίο δεν συνέβει και οι επιστήμονες θεωρώντας ότι είχε υποστεί βλάβη στα όργανα μέτρησης, τον κατεύθυναν πίσω στην γή.