Earlier today, the European Southern Observatory released a magnificent image of Barnard’s Galaxy. Remember that our own Milky Way Galaxy is part of what we call the Local Group. The best known galaxy outside of our own in the Local Group is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 3 million light years distant and a spiral galaxy. Barnard’s Galaxy is about 1.6 million light years distant and it is a dwarf galaxy, as are most of the remaining members of our Local Group. Learn more about Barnard’s Galaxy and this latest image here.
In a paper to be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, available online now here, astronomers provide an understanding of what has been observed regarding the orbits of gas giant exoplanets. As the authors note, “Recent surveys have revealed a lack of close-in planets around evolved stars more massive than 1.2″ times the mass of the Sun. Using their tidal interaction model in the formation of stellar systems, these authors believe they can “explain the observed semi-major axis distribution of planets around evolved stars with masses larger than 1.5″ times the mass of the Sun.
Often scientists spend time trying to validate some hypothesis and the results don’t support the hypothesis. This is part of the scientific process. In a paper submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, a large team of astronomers searched for expected fluctuations in the solar neutrino count at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and did not find any such fluctuations. Although a null result, it is important to understand that this null result is a major contribution to the understanding of the workings of the Sun. Read more about the neutrino astronomy experiments here.