Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mar 24 Recap

This week's meeting was hosted by Laura Chajet. Some topics we talked about were:

1. Astronomers use APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) telescope have been able to study the size and brightness of regions of star-birth in a very distant (z~2.3) galaxy via a cosmic "gravitational lens". Read the news release at ESO here, and the Nature paper here.

2. "Imaging the surface of massive stars", Andrea Chiavassa leads a group of internatinal astronomers study the surface of red supergiants using both 3-D simulation and interferometric observations with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Read more here.

3. The Corot satellite found a gas giant planet that may resembles the interior of Jupiter and Saturn. Is is the first transiting planets to have both a longer period and a near-circular orbit. Its temperature is between 250K and 430K. Read the ESA news here, or read the Nature letter here.

4. "Dust-free quasars in the early Universe", two hot-dust-free quasars (at z~6) are believed to be first generate quasars born in dust-free environments and are too young to have formed a detectable amount of hot dust around them. Read the Nature letter here.

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