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Science Highlights 2022: Black Holes, Pulsars and Turbulence
Science Highlights 2022: Black Holes, Pulsars and Turbulence
January 27, 2023 at 9:26 am | News Feature

The Universe is a dynamic and exciting place, with stars, planets, and galaxies being born, dying, and undergoing dramatic changes. In 2022, the telescopes of the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) revealed fascinating new details about several of these processes, and we’re giving you a taste of the greatest radio astronomy moments of the year. 

ALMA Scientists Find Pair of Black Holes Dining Together in Nearby Galaxy Merger
ALMA Scientists Find Pair of Black Holes Dining Together in Nearby Galaxy Merger
January 9, 2023 at 5:15 pm | News Release

While studying a nearby pair of merging galaxies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)— an international observatory co-operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)— scientists discovered two supermassive black holes growing simultaneously near the center of the newly coalescing galaxy. These super-hungry giants are the closest together that scientists have ever observed in multiple wavelengths. What’s more, the new research reveals that binary black holes and the galaxy mergers that create them may be surprisingly commonplace in the Universe. The results of the new research were published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, and presented in a press conference at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington.

Hydrogen Masers Reveal New Secrets of a Massive Star to ALMA Scientists
Hydrogen Masers Reveal New Secrets of a Massive Star to ALMA Scientists
January 9, 2023 at 5:15 pm | News Release

While using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study the masers around oddball star MWC 349A scientists discovered something unexpected: a previously unseen jet of material launching from the star’s gas disk at impossibly high speeds. What’s more, they believe the jet is caused by strong magnetic forces surrounding the star. The discovery could help researchers to understand the nature and evolution of massive stars and how hydrogen masers are formed in space. The new observations were presented today in a press conference at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington.

ALMA and JWST Reveal Galactic Shock is Shaping Stephan’s Quintet in Mysterious Ways
ALMA and JWST Reveal Galactic Shock is Shaping Stephan’s Quintet in Mysterious Ways
January 9, 2023 at 1:15 pm | News Release

Shockwaves resulting from the violent collision between an intruder galaxy and Stephan’s Quintet are helping astronomers to understand how turbulence influences gas in the intergalactic medium. New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have revealed that a sonic boom several times the size of the Milky Way has kickstarted a recycling plant for warm and cold molecular hydrogen gas. What’s more, scientists uncovered the break-up of a giant cloud into a fog of warm gas, the possible collision of two clouds forming a splash of warm gas around them, and the formation of a new galaxy. The observations were presented today in a press conference at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington.

ALMA antennas at night
ALMA Has Successfully Restarted Observations
December 19, 2022 at 10:01 am | Announcement

Forty-eight days after suspending observations due to a cyberattack, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is observing the sky again. The computing staff has worked diligently to rebuild the affected JAO computer system servers and services. This is a crucial milestone in the recovery process. 

VLA and ALMA Study Jupiter and Io
VLA and ALMA Study Jupiter and Io
December 13, 2022 at 9:40 am | Tip Sheet

VLA teams up with Juno spacecraft to study Jupiter’s atmosphere, and ALMA reveals new details about Io’s volcanoes.

Update: ALMA’s Recovery from October 29 Cyberattack
Update: ALMA’s Recovery from October 29 Cyberattack
November 18, 2022 at 12:00 pm | Announcement

On October 29, 2022, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suffered a cyberattack. We are working hard to resume observations before the end of the year.

Baseline #13 – Sagittarius A*: Monster in the Milky Way
Baseline #13 – Sagittarius A*: Monster in the Milky Way
October 31, 2022 at 11:00 am | News Feature

In the center of the Milky Way there is a black hole more massive than 4 million Suns. It’s known as Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*, and it’s hidden behind the dust of our galactic center. So how can astronomers see it?

illustration of a spiral galaxy in pink, purple and white, showing material being stripped off into a tail shape
ALMA Witnesses Deadly Star-Slinging Tug-of-War Between Merging Galaxies
August 30, 2022 at 9:00 am | News Release

While observing a newly-dormant galaxy using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), scientists discovered that it had stopped forming stars not because it had used up all of its gas but because most of its star-forming fuel had been thrown out of the system as it merged with another galaxy. The result is a first for ALMA scientists. What’s more, if proven common, the results could change the way scientists think about galaxy mergers and deaths.

ALMA’s 2014 Ground-Breaking HL Tau Results Have Appeared in Over 1,000 Scientific Papers in Less Than a Decade
ALMA’s 2014 Ground-Breaking HL Tau Results Have Appeared in Over 1,000 Scientific Papers in Less Than a Decade
August 18, 2022 at 9:00 am | Announcement

Ground-breaking 2014 HL Tau observational data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has been cited in more than 1,000 scientific studies in the past 7.5 years, aiding in major breakthroughs in scientists’ understanding of planet formation. The milestone comes as engineers at the U.S. National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) embark on ambitious upgrades to the receivers responsible for the clarity of initial observations.

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