Subaru Telescope Detects Rare Form of Nitrogen in Comet ISON
Feburary 19, 2014
A team of astronomers used the Subaru Telescope's High Dispersion Spectrograph to detect two forms of nitrogen in Comet ISON in November 2013. This is the first time that astronomers have reported a clear detection of the relatively rare isotope 15NH2 in a single comet and also measured the relative abundance of two different forms of nitrogen of cometary ammonia (NH3) The results indicate that there may have been two distinct reservoirs of nitrogen in the massive, dense cloud from which our Solar System possibly evolved...
Active Supermassive Black Holes Revealed in Merging Galaxies
January 27, 2014
A team of astronomers has conducted infrared observations of luminous, gas-rich, merging galaxies with the Subaru Telescope to study active, mass-accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs). They found that at least one SMBH almost always becomes active and luminous by accreting a large amount of material. However, only a small fraction of the observed merging galaxies show multiple, active SMBHs. These results suggest that local physical conditions near SMBHs rather than general properties of galaxies primarily determine the activation of SMBHs...