More mysteries investigated with APEX

Today we are proud to highlight two recent discoveries based on data taken with APEX. Both appeared in the media in different press releases over the last weeks.

New molecular wind in our Galaxy

Cold gas in the Milky Way’s nuclear wind

Enrico Di Teodoro, N.M. McClure-Griffiths, Felix J. Lockman, Lucia Armillotta, 2020, Nature, Vol 584, 364.

Enrico Di Teodoro and his collaborators used the PI230 heterodyne receiver in 2019 to observe two outflowing Hydrogen clouds, which seem to be part of a nuclear wind originating at the centre of the Milky Way. The authors confirmed with their APEX observations the presence of molecular gas in these clouds, which opens the question about the origin of this wind and adds up yet another mystery to the complex phenomena in the centre of our own Galaxy.

You can find more details in the press release by the Australian National University.

Dimming of Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse Fainter in the Sub-millimetre Too: An Analysis of JCMT and APEX Monitoring during the Recent Optical Minimum

Thavisha E. Dharmawardena, Steve Mairs, Peter Scicluna, Graham Bell, Iain McDonald, Karl Menten, Axel Weiss, and Albert Zijlstra, 2020, ApJL Vol 897, L9.

Thavisha Dharmawardena and her collaborators evaluated new and archival data from APEX and the JCMT telescopes and determined that gigantic star spots are probably the reason for the recent drop in brightness of the red giant star. The authors have used in this work APEX historical data from the LABOCA instrument to assess the sub-mm light curve of this giant star.

You can see more details in the MPIA press release.