"The astrophysical whodunit of the decade—is it too early to say that?"
January 8, 2020 12:06 PM   Subscribe

A team of astronomers described the shape of a star-forming wave of gas 9,000 light years in length in the sun’s neighborhood in the galaxy, which the solar system passed through earlier in its history. Their findings were announced at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Hawai’i this Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020, and published in the journal Nature the same day. Oxford University astrophysicist and YouTuber Becky Smethurst posted a summary of the findings and chatted with three of the co-authors, João Alves, Catherine Zucker & Alyssa A. Goodman.

The article in Nature, paywalled except for the abstract.

Webpage from Harvard University with more information about this project. (Several of the co-authors work there.)

Becky Smethurst previously, and not long ago, on MetaFilter.
posted by nangar (4 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for posting this! Several people from my office are at AAS right now and I'm jealous of them. Also, I have a total friend-crush on Dr. Becky.
posted by capnsue at 12:43 PM on January 8



Webpage from Harvard University with more information about this project. (Several of the co-authors work there.)


The structure is being called the Radcliffe wave as the authors are at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which is part of Harvard University.
posted by vacapinta at 12:48 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


This is so cool. I totally host a mirror of GaiaDR2 at my work! You can query it RIGHT NOW if you want! (the worldwide telescope view is way more fun than running sql queries though, probably)
posted by capnsue at 1:15 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Absolutely stunning.
posted by odinsdream at 5:46 AM on January 9


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