AstroTalk Episode May 31, 2018

Relativistic Particles in the Van Allen Radiation Belts. A Distant and Lonely Neutron Star. Ultraviolet Light Survey of Nearby Galaxies.

2:01pm - 3:00pm

Intro Einstein and his super large enormous brain, and how he figured out all of these difficult theories. Astronomers have determined why relativistic particles are flying through the Van Allen Radiation Belts. Electromagnetic waves, called chorus waves, speed up particles, just like an adult's hand would when speeding up a child on a swing, by pushing the swing. The chorus waves are thought to continuously push the particles to relativistic speeds. Astronomers would like to know the cause of the acceleration of the particles so they can learn more about the radiation in the Van Allen Belts, something which is hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts which pass through the belts. A lonely neutron star has been found in the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 200,00 light years from us. Images are shown in X-ray, from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and visible light from Hubble nd the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The debris around the corpse neutron star is rich in oxygen, and scientists are studying E0102 because they want to learn more about how massive stars fuse lighter elements into heavier ones before they explode. Seen up to a few thousand years after the original explosion, oxygen-rich remnants contain the debris ejected from the dead star’s interior. Also, astronomers have released the most completer survey of nearby stars and galaxies. The stars studied are all bigger than the sun, and are from 11 - 58 million light years from us. The galaxies were chosen for study based on their mass, star-formation rate, and abundances of elements that are heavier than hydrogen and helium. The data provide detailed information on young, massive stars and star clusters, and how their environment affects their development. from among 500 galaxies, compiled in ground-based surveys, located between 11 million and 58 million light-years from Earth. Team members chose the galaxies based on their mass, star-formation rate, and abundances of elements that are heavier than hydrogen and helium. The star cluster catalogs contain about 8,000 young clusters whose ages range from 1 million to roughly 500 million years old. These stellar groupings are as much as 10 times more massive than the largest clusters seen in our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers hope to form the most complete catalog of star clusters and a stellar catalog in ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is a major tracer of the youngest and hottest star populations, which astronomers need to derive the ages of stars and get a complete stellar history. The synergy of the two catalogs combined offers an unprecedented potential for understanding star formation.