Monday, April 24, 2006


Suebsuwong et al. discuss the effects of light bending on the reflection spectrum from disks around black holes.

Jaffe et al. explore methods for fitting templates to CMB data.

Bock et al. is the final report of a DoE/NSF/NASA task force on the future of CMB measurements providing a roadmap for precision polarization measurements.

Stanek et al. observe that star formation occurs in galaxies with low O abundances and that long GRBs appear to correlate with star formation implying that the Milky Way is unlikely to have hosted a long GRB in the last few billion years.

LaRoque et al combine Chandra X-ray and OVRO/BIMA SZ measurements of 38 massive clusters. They find consistency with an isothermal model outside the cluster core and determine the gas mass fraction within r2500. Assuming this is constant with redshift the results are consistent with the standard LCDM cosmology.

Rodriguez et al. report the detection using VLBA of a SMBH binary with a separation of only 7.3 pc.

Loeb proposes searching for evidence of planets in nearby dwarf galaxies. Since these galaxies were formed at z~10 this would argue that planets can form when the Universe was 10^3 times as dense which would contradict the anthropic argument that a low cosmological constant is required for planet formation.

Brown et al. use HST to measure the size of UB313 and find it 5% larger than Pluto. The V band albedo is 86%.

Mahajan et al. point out that if the cosmological constant is surmised to be due the zero-point energy with a suitable ultraviolet cut-off scale to get the correct value then this is testable using observations of the Casimir effect. The constraint from observation requires a zero-point value 10^12 times larger than required for the cosmological constant.

Wilson et al. discuss their plan to use Spitzer surveys to find clusters in the 1 < z < 2 'desert'.

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