Press Release

2012

Spiral Structure of Disk May Reveal Planets
Spiral Structure of Disk May Reveal Planets December 19, 2012

An international team of astronomers has used HiCIAO mounted on the Subaru Telescope to capture detailed images of the disk around the young star SAO 206462. On the basis of their observations and modeling according to spiral density wave theory, the team suspects that dynamic processes, possibly resulting from planets in the disk, may be responsible for its spiral structure.

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Dust Grains Highlight the Path to Planet Formation
Dust Grains Highlight the Path to Planet Formation
November 27, 2012

An international research team used the Subaru Telescope to capture a clear image of the protoplanetary disk of the star UX Tauri A. Their study of the disk's characteristics suggests that its dust particles are large in size and non-spherical in shape. This exciting result shows that these dust grains are colliding with and adhering to each other, a process that will lead to their eventual formation into planets.

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Direct Imaging of a Super-Jupiter Around a Massive Star
Direct Imaging of a Super-Jupiter Around a Massive Star
November 19, 2012

An international team of astronomers has discovered a "super-Jupiter" orbiting the massive star Kappa Andromedae. Using the High Contrast Instrument for the Subaru Next Generation Adaptive Optics and the Infrared Camera and Spectrograph mounted on the Subaru Telescope, the team was able to directly image the new exoplanet, a gas giant with a mass about 13 times that of Jupiter and an orbit somewhat larger than Neptune's. Its central star is the highest mass star to ever host a directly imaged planet.

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Discovery of a Giant Gap in the Disk of a Sun-like Star
May Indicate Multiple Planets
Discovery of a Giant Gap in the Disk of a Sun-like Star May Indicate Multiple Planets
November 8, 2012

Using HiCIAO on the Subaru Telescope, an international research team conducted observations that reveal a giant gap in the protoplanetary disk around PDS 70, a young Sun-like star only about 10 million years old. The gravitational force from a number of newborn planets might explain the presence of this gap.

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Time-Traveling with One Method Illuminates the Evolution of Star Formation in the Universe
Time-Traveling with One Method Illuminates the Evolution of Star Formation in the Universe
November 5, 2012

For the first time, an international team of astronomers has applied a single method to track and study galaxies over the past 11 billion years. Using a powerful combination of the Subaru Telescope, the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, and the Very Large Telescope, the team took precise snapshots of the Universe when it was 2, 4, 6, and 9 billion years old. Their results revealed a very clear and continuous decline in the rate of star formation activity in the Universe.

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Astronomers Study Dark Matter Filament in 3D
Astronomers Study Dark Matter Filament in 3D
October 24, 2012

Using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Subaru Telescope, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), the Gemini North Telescope, and the W.M. Keck Observatory, an international team of astronomers has studied a giant filament of dark matter in 3D. Extending 60 million light-years from one of the most massive galaxy clusters known, the filament is part of the cosmic web that constitutes the large-scale structure of the Universe, and is a leftover of the very first moments after the Big Bang.

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Multiple Observations Reveal Unprecedented Changes on Jupiter
Multiple Observations Reveal Unprecedented Changes on Jupiter
October 17, 2012

Data from an international team of astronomers show Jupiter undergoing dramatic changes: continual peppering with small space rocks, wide belts of color change in its atmosphere, vanishing and reappearing hotspots, and clouds gathering over one area while dissipating over another. A comparison of images in the optical and infrared wavelengths from 2009 to 2012 shows these global variations.

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Discovery of an Ancient Celestial City Undergoing Rapid Growth:
A Young Protocluster of Active Star-Forming Galaxies
Discovery of an Ancient Celestial City Undergoing Rapid Growth: A Young Protocluster of Active Star-Forming Galaxies
September 21, 2012

A team of astronomers has discovered an ancient protocluster of galaxies in the midst of a vigorous process of formation. It is the densest and most active protocluster ever identified at so great a distance, 11 billion light years away from Earth. This is a region where the progenitors of present-day clusters of elliptical galaxies were just forming and undergoing rapid growth. The swift construction of this young protocluster helps us to understand the early growth of clusters and the effects of a dense environment on the formation and evolution of galaxies.

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Subaru Telescope Reveals 3D Structure of Supernovae
Subaru Telescope Reveals 3D Structure of Supernovae
August 2, 2012

A research group used the Subaru Telescope to conduct observations that revealed a clumpy 3D structure of supernovae. This finding supports a clumpy 3D scenario of supernovae explosions rather than the widely accepted bipolar explosion scenario. It advances our understanding of how supernovae explode, a process that has remained a persistent mystery.

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Multiple Mergers Generate Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy
Multiple Mergers Generate Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy
June 21, 2012

A team of astronomers has concluded that the ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) Arp 220 developed from a multiple merger among four or more galaxies. The team's new imaging data from the Subaru Telescope and optical spectroscopy from the W. M. Keck Observatory revealed two tidal tails that facilitated their analysis of Arp 220's development. Because Arp 220 is an archetypal or representative ULIRG, the team's findings facilitate the understanding of ULIRG development in general.

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How the Universe Escaped its "Dark Ages"
How the Universe Escaped its Dark Ages
June 12, 2012

An international team of astronomers has uncovered an important clue about how the Universe emerged from its "dark ages" some 13 billion years ago. By looking at nearby galaxies with the Subaru and Keck Telescopes, the team inferred what may have happened to the first galaxies of our Universe. By looking for signs of reionization in nearby galaxies, they found evidence that dense hydrogen "fog" burned off first in isolated, low-density regions of the Universe and that reionization took place in the dense, crowded regions of the Universe a few million years later.

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Discovery of the Most Distant Galaxy in the Cosmic Dawn
Discovery of the Most Distant Galaxy in the Cosmic Dawn
June 3, 2012

A team of astronomers has used the Subaru and Keck Telescopes to discover the most distant galaxy ever found, SXDF-NB1006-2, at a distance of 12.91 billion light years from the Earth. The team's research also verified that the proportion of neutral hydrogen gas in the 750-million-year-old early Universe was higher than it is today. These findings help us to understand the nature of the early Universe during the "cosmic dawn", when the light of ancient celestial objects and structures appeared from obscurity.

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Subaru Telescope Discovers the Most Distant Protocluster of Galaxies
Subaru Telescope Discovers the Most Distant Protocluster of Galaxies
May 4, 2012

Using the Subaru Telescope, a team of astronomers led has discovered the most distant protocluster of galaxies ever found—one that existed less than one billion years after the Big Bang. This discovery of a protocluster in the early Universe advances our understanding of how large-scale structures form and how galaxies evolve.

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Mapping Galaxy Formation in Dual Mode
Mapping Galaxy Formation in Dual Mode
March 27, 2012

A team of astronomers has explored the synergies between the Subaru Telescope and the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope (UKIRT) to locate numerous distant galaxies in the ancient universe and investigate their star formation activity. By combining narrow-band filter observations from both the Subaru Telescope and the UKIRT, the team has been able to obtain clean panoramic maps of parts of the distant universe about 9 billion years ago. This dual mode of surveying faint galaxies provides a powerful technique for selecting and studying star-forming galaxies during their formation and evolution.

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Surprising Discovery of a Rare "Emerald-Cut" Galaxy
Surprising Discovery of a Rare 'Emerald-Cut' Galaxy
March 19, 2012

An international team of astronomers has discovered a rare, rectangular-shaped galaxy that has a striking resemblance to an emerald-cut diamond. While using the Subaru Prime Focus Camera to look for globular clusters of stars swarming around NGC 1407, a bright, giant galaxy in the Constellation Eridanus, the researchers discovered an unusually shaped dwarf galaxy toward the edge of their image. The lead author of the paper describing the research, Professor Alister Graham, said, "It's one of those things that just makes you smile because it shouldn't exist, or rather, you don't expect it to exist." Its discovery allows astronomers to obtain useful information for modeling other galaxies.

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Subaru Telescope Captures Images of the "Stealth Merger" of Dwarf Galaxies
Subaru Telescope Captures Images of the Stealth Merger of Dwarf Galaxies
February 8, 2012

Research by an international team of scientists has revealed a "stealth merger" of dwarf galaxies, where an in-falling satellite galaxy is nearly undetectable by conventional means yet has a substantial influence on its host galaxy. The Subaru Telescope captured high-resolution images of individual stars in a dense stream of stars in the outer regions of a nearby dwarf galaxy (NGC 4449); these outlying stars are the remains of an even smaller companion galaxy in the process of merging with its host.

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Precise Measurement of Dark Matter Distribution with Strong and Weak Gravitational Lensing
Precise Measurement of Dark Matter Distribution with Strong and Weak Gravitational Lensing
January 19, 2012

An international research group led by Masamune Oguri, an assistant professor at IPMU, has made a precise measurement of dark matter distribution in galaxy clusters by analyzing both 'strong' and 'weak' gravitational lensing phenomena observed in images of 28 galaxy clusters taken at the Subaru 8.2-meter telescope. The result settles a long-standing controversy about the central concentration of dark matter distribution.

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