Distant quasar J0439+1634 explored in X-rays

Using ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft, an international team of astronomers has conducted X-ray observations of the most distant known gravitationally lensed quasar—J0439+1634. Results of the study, published December 20 on ...

Quasars as the new cosmic standard candles

In 1929, Edwin Hubble published observations that galaxies' distances and velocities are correlated, with the distances determined using their Cepheid stars. Harvard astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt had discovered that a ...

Cold molecular clouds as cosmic ray detectors

The ionization of the neutral gas in an interstellar molecular cloud plays a key role in the cloud's evolution, helping to regulate the heating and cooling processes, the chemistry and molecule formation, and coupling the ...

Hot electrons send carbon dioxide back to the future

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of global warming, but this gas could also serve as a valuable resource. Researchers at KAUST have developed an efficient catalyst that uses light energy to convert CO2 and ...

The recipe for powerful quasar jets

Some supermassive black holes launch powerful beams of material, or jets, while others do not. Astronomers may now have identified why.

A new look at sunspots

NASA's extensive fleet of spacecraft allows scientists to study the Sun extremely close-up—one of the agency's spacecraft is even on its way to fly through the Sun's outer atmosphere. But sometimes taking a step back can ...

Invisible X-rays turn blue

A new reaction system can detect X-rays at the highest sensitivity ever recorded by using organic molecules. The system, developed by researchers at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), Ikoma, Japan; and Centre ...

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