News 2018

February 2018

The very first moments of a star explosion
An unprecedented observation of a supernova, an explosion of a massive star, was captured in its early days by an amateur astronomer, at the exact moment when the supernova became visible in the sky. These early data and additional observations obtained by a battery of telescopes enabled a team of researchers from several institutes of CONICET [1], in Argentina, and the Astrophysics Department-AIM Laboratory (CEA-CNRS-University Paris Diderot) in France, to test for the first time theoretical predictions about the ... More »
A theoretical breakthrough paves the way for anticipation of solar storms
A single phenomenon could control all solar flares. This is what researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA-Irfu and Inria have just proposed in an article in the front page of the journal Nature on February 8, 2018. They highlighted the presence of a reinforced "cage" in which a "magnetic cord" develops, an entanglement of twisted magnetic lines of force at the origin of the solar flares. It is the resistance of this cage to the onslaught of the rope that determines the power and type of ... More »
A galactic cohabitation more hectic than expected
The MegaCam camera developed at CEA-Irfu has revealed previously unsuspected structures within the famous Stephan Quintet, a spectacular combination of five galaxies. The discovery of a very large red halo, consisting of old stars, centered on one of the elliptical galaxies, NGC 7317, shows that the group of galaxies is still in very strong interaction, an aspect totally ignored in previous studies. This interaction shows that Stephan's Quintet is still the scene of generalized galactic cannibalism, in ... More »

January 2018

Giant galaxies that no longer form stars have 100 times more gas than expected.
By succeeding for the first time to analyze the light of nearly 1000 very distant elliptical galaxies, more than 10 billions light-years away, a team of researchers including three astrophysicists from the Astrophysics Department of CEA-Irfu has just revealed that these galaxies of the beginning of the universe contain a lot of gas but do not form stars. A real enigma that challenges our understanding of the evolution of these giant galaxies. These results are published in the journal Nature Astronomy of January 16, ... More »
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