Release

Large Simulation Finds New Origin of Supermassive Black Holes

Computer simulations conducted by astrophysicists at Tohoku University in Japan, have revealed a new theory for the origin of supermassive black holes. In this theory, the precursors of supermassive black holes grow by swallowing up not only interstellar gas, but also smaller stars as well. This helps to explain the large number of supermassive black holes observed today.

Safety Zone Saves Giant Moons from Fatal Plunge

Numerical simulations showed that the temperature gradient in the disk of gas around a young gas giant planet could play a critical role in the development of a satellite system dominated by a single large moon, similar to Titan around Saturn. Researchers found that dust in the circumplanetary disk can create a “safety zone,” which keeps the moon from falling into the planet as the system evolves.

Planets Around a Black Hole? ― Calculations Show Possibility of Bizarre Worlds

"I have seen the dark universe yawning,
Where the black planets roll without aim;
Where they roll in their horror unheeding, without knowledge or lustre or name."
--H.P. Lovecraft, Nemesis

Theoreticians in two different fields defied the common knowledge that planets orbit stars like the Sun. They proposed the possibility of thousands of planets around a supermassive black hole.

Planet-scale Telescope and Supercomputers Uncover a Black Hole

Capturing an image of a black hole has been one of the greatest missions of modern astronomy. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is an interferometer array of eight radio telescopes spread across the Earth, designed to obtain images of a black hole. The first results of the EHT observations in 2017 were released today.

Black Hole 'Donuts' are Actually 'Fountains'

Based on computer simulations by "ATERUI" and new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have found that the rings of gas surrounding active supermassive black holes are not simple donut shapes. Instead gas expelled from the center interacts with infalling gas to create a dynamic circulation pattern, similar to a water fountain in a city park. (November 30, 2018 press release)

Little Supernova is Big Discovery: the Origin of Binary Neutron Stars

An international research team including Takashi Moriya at DTA/NAOJ discovered the first recorded "ultra-stripped supernova," a rare, faint type of supernova that is believed to play a role in the formation of binary neutron star systems. These findings will advance our understanding of a wide variety of topics ranging from gravitational waves to the origin of precious metals like gold and platinum. This research was published in Science on October 12, 2018. (October 12, 2018 press release)