The team of astronomers, led by Miguel Santander-García (Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, Spain, has discovered a close pair of white dwarf stars -- tiny, extremely dense stellar remnants -- that have a total mass of about 1.8 times that of the Sun. This is the most massive such pair yet found and when these two stars merge in the future they will create a runaway thermonuclear explosion leading to a Type Ia supernova.
"We know that dark matter is needed in our Galaxy to keep the stars and gas rotating at their observed speeds," says Dr. Miguel Pato, at Technische Universität München. "However, we still do not know what dark matter is composed of. This is one of the most important science questions of our times."
A team of 21st-century explorers working for the Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) project, based at Harvard University, are searching for exomoons using data from NASA’s Kepler mission and the Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
"Deep-seafloor volcanism, which is sort of out of sight, out of mind, may have a long-term feedback into our whole climate system," says Maya Tolstoy, an associate professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. "If we are going to protect Earth we have to understand how the planet functions as a whole."
In November of 2013, astronomers using the combined power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile and NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes announced the discovery of a far-flung trio of primitive galaxies nestled inside an enormous blob of primordial gas nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth. It's possible the trio will eventually merge into a single galaxy similar to our own Milky Way.
"These young stars are likely the signature of this predicted galaxy," said Chakrabarti, assistant professor in RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy. "They can't be part of our galaxy because the disk of the Milky Way terminates at 48,000 light years" referring to a cluster of young, pulsating stars discovered in the far side of the Milky Way may mark the location of a previously unseen dark-matter dominated dwarf galaxy hidden behind clouds of dust.