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Black Holes and Dark Halos Growing Together

Wouldn’t it be cool is the super-massive black hole at the center of a huge galaxy was somehow related to the entire dark matter halo surrounding the system? Turns out it just might be. Continue reading

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Using the Moon as a scientific instrument

These authors use the surface of the Moon to distinguish between binary star systems separated by just thousandths of an arcsecond – far smaller than can be resolved by traditional imaging. Continue reading

Looking for Dark Matter that is Light

Astronomers find evidence for dark matter using the universe as their laboratory. How can we try to detect these particles on Earth? Continue reading

AAS #218: Boston or bust

Over the past three and a half days, I joined astronomers from all over the world for the 218th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The AAS holds two major meetings every year, one in the winter and one in the summer. This year’s summer conference in Boston just wrapped up and in this astrobite I’ll report on two of the talks I attended. Continue reading

Kepler-10c: A Newly Validated Kepler Planet in a Multiple System

Fressin et al. announce the exciting validation of another planet in the Kepler-10 system. Continue reading

Free-floating Planets Might Outnumber Stars?

A gravitational microlensing survey finds that there is a large population of planets unbound or far from a star. In fact, the authors of this paper find that there are ~1-3 times as many Jupiter-mass planets at least 10 AU from a main sequence star as there are stars in the galaxy. These objects could either be cold, distant objects in solar systems, or, the authors suggest, they could be free-floating planets, possibly ejected from solar systems after formation. Continue reading

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