Death by spaghettification and a stellar peacock.
Telescopes at the European Southern Observatory and other organizations worldwide have spied a rare blast of light originating from a star as it was being ripped apart by a supermassive black hole.
Thousands of light years away, there’s a “space butterfly” colored with brilliant blues and clouds of purple and red. It’s an image we’ve never seen in this much detail before.
The universe contains somewhere in the ballpark of 100 billion and 200 billion galaxies. With numbers that large, you can bet that there are some real weirdos out there. Out beyond our Milky Way, there are galaxies shaped like jellyfish, galaxies that consume other galaxies, and galaxies that seem to lack the dark matter that pervades the rest of the universe.
Observations by ALMA and data from the MUSE spectrograph on ESO’s VLT have revealed a colossal fountain of molecular gas powered by a black hole in the brightest galaxy of the Abell 2597 cluster — the full galactic cycle of inflow and outflow powering this vast cosmic fountain has never before been observed in one system.
SPHERE, a planet-hunting instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has captured the first confirmed image of a planet caught in the act of forming in the dusty disc surrounding a young star. The young planet is carving a path through the primordial disc of gas and dust around the very young star PDS 70. The data suggest that the planet’s atmosphere is cloudy.
Astronomers have spotted a carbon-rich asteroid in the icy region beyond Neptune called the Kuiper Belt — the first such asteroid ever found exiled from the inner solar system.