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.

Simulations Find Mechanism of Brightest Flashes in Universe

Scientists have used simulations to show that the photons emitted by long gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful electromagnetic phenomena in the Universe, originate at the visible surface of high-speed jets emitted by exploding stars.

Fusion Science and Astronomy Collaboration Enables Investigation of the Origin of Heavy Elements

A team of experts in nuclear fusion and astronomy has computed high-accuracy atomic data for analyzing light from a kilonova, a birth place of heavy elements. They found that their new data set could predict kilonovae brightness with much better accuracy than before. This aids our understanding of the cosmic origins of heavy elements.

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)

Veiled Supernovae Provide Clue to Stellar Evolution


At the end of its life, a red supergiant star explodes in a hydrogen-rich supernova. By comparing observation results to simulation models, an international research team including Takashi Moriya at DTA/NAOJ found that in many cases this explosion takes place inside a thick cloud of circumstellar matter shrouding the star. This result completely changes our understanding of the last stage of stellar evolution. (September 4, 2018, press release)

New Mystery Discovered Regarding Active Asteroid Phaethon

Based on a new study of how near-Earth asteroid Phaethon reflects light at different angles, astronomers think that its surface may reflect less light than previously thought. This is an exciting mystery for the recently approved DESTINY+ mission to investigate when it flies past Phaethon.

Supercomputer Astronomy: The Next Generation

The supercomputer Cray XC50, nicknamed NS-05 “ATERUI II” started operation on June 1, 2018. With a theoretical peak performance of 3.087 petaflops, ATERUI II is the world’s fastest supercomputer for astrophysical simulations. ATERUI Ⅱsimulates a wide range of astronomical phenomena inaccessible to observational astronomy, allowing us to boldly go where no one has gone before, from the birth of the Universe itself to the interior of a dying star.


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