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    Confirming Transiting Exoplanets

    The figure shown to the left is from a recent publication in the Astronomical Journal (Oberst, Thomas E., et al., 2017, AJ, 153, 97) that confirms the discovery of a highly irradiated, ultra-short period hot Jupiter in orbit around a distant star. The newly discovered planet has been designated as KELT–16b. The long time series run in the left hand panel that is labeled "Pratt" is from a team of students led by Dr. Denise Stephens using the BYU campus Orson Pratt Observatory. The four multi-color data sets that follow were secured a couple of days later by students under the direction of Dr. Michael Joner at the BYU West Mountain Observatory. These and the other data presented in the paper confirm the sub-stellar mass and other properties of KELT-16b.

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    At the Edge of NGC 891

    This sharp cosmic portrait features NGC 891. The spiral galaxy spans about 100 thousand light-years and is seen almost exactly edge-on from our perspective. In fact, about 30 million light-years distant in the constellation Andromeda, NGC 891 looks a lot like our Milky Way. At first glance, it has a flat, thin, galactic disk and a central bulge cut along the middle by regions of dark obscuring dust. The combined image data also reveal the galaxy's young blue star clusters and telltale pinkish star forming regions. And remarkably apparent in NGC 891's edge-on presentation are filaments of dust that extend hundreds of light-years above and below the center line. The dust has likely been blown out of the disk by supernova explosions or intense star formation activity. Faint neighboring galaxies can also be seen near this galaxy's disk. This is the first BYU image to be selected as the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. This image and description were featured as the May 26, 2012 APOD. Credit: Composite Image Data - Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Legacy Archive, Michael Joner, David Laney (West Mountain Observatory, BYU); Processing - Robert Gendler

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    A Twisting Jet from a Galaxy Nucleus

    The galaxy CTA 102 is famous for having an energetic jet blasting ionized hydrogen into space. The jet originates from material accreting around a supermassive black hole. Being very distant, this jet appears as a point in the sky. It has never been imaged by any telescope and probably never will be. To understand its structure, astronomers world-wide monitor the brightness of this point to see if it changes in accordance with models. At the end of 2016, CTA 102 became 100 times brighter, furnishing copious data to use in testing these models. In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Nature, it is asserted that this jet snakes outward in a twisting motion that causes it to brighten and dim in a semi-regular manner. The picture above shows the jet model with the brightness data from 2015 to 2017. J. Moody contributed to this research.

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    174th Acoustical Society of America

    Seven students, one postdoc, and four faculty attended the 174th Meeting of the ASA in New Orleans, LA from Dec. 4-8, 2017, including chairing 4 sessions and presenting 12 talks.

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    West Mountain, Moon, Venus, and Stars

    This image was secured just after the end of evening twilight on a clear April night from the West Mountain Observatory. The view is looking west past the domes housing the two smaller research telescopes at the observatory. The thin crescent Moon is also illuminated by reflected light from the Earth that is known as earthshine. Higher in the sky, the bright 'star' is actually the planet Venus. In between the two, the 'V' shaped group of stars in the constellation of Taurus is in reality the nearby open cluster known as the Hyades. Photo credit: Dr. Michael D. Joner

Calendar

20 Oct, Today

Sunset
6:41 PM

21 Oct, Sunday

Sunrise
7:43 AM

22 Oct, Monday

Colloquium: Z. Johnson
4:00 PM

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Recently Published Research

Aaron Vaughn, Traci Neilsen, Kent Gee, and Alan Wall et al. recently published an article titled "Broadband shock-associated noise from a high-performance military aircraft" in Journal of The Acoustical Society of America. Click on the image above to read it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Summer to Winter Milky Way: Taken near local midnight, this autumn night's panorama follows the arch of the Milky Way across the northern horizon from the High Fens, Eifel Nature Park at the border of Belgium and Germany....

This photograph and Description come from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.

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