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27 Oct 2021, 14:45 UTC
NASA’s Webb Will Join Forces with the Event Horizon Telescope to Reveal the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black HoleNext Previous
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25 Oct 2021, 04:00 UTC Most elements lighter than iron are forged in the cores of stars. A star’s white-hot center fuels the fusion of protons, squeezing them together to build progressively heavier elements. But beyond iron, scientists have puzzled over what could give rise to gold, platinum, and the rest of the universe’s heavy elements, whose formation requires more energy than a star can muster. A new study by researchers at MIT and the University of New Hampshire finds that of two long-suspected sources of heavy metals, one is more of a goldmine than the other. The study, published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters, reports that in the last 2.5 billion years, more heavy metals were produced in binary neutron star mergers, or collisions between two neutron stars, than in mergers between a neutron star and a black hole. The study is the first to compare the two merger types in terms of their heavy metal output, and suggests that binary neutron stars are a likely cosmic source for the gold, platinum, and other heavy metals we see today. The findings could also help scientists determine the rate at which heavy metals are produced across the universe. “What we find exciting about our result ... Next Previous
14 Oct 2021, 15:00 UTC Next Previous
MIT Kavli Institute 23 Nov 2021, 10:00 UTC The hunt for planets beyond our solar system has turned up more than 4,000 far-flung worlds, orbiting stars thousands of light years from Earth. These extrasolar planets are a veritable menagerie, from rocky super-Earths and miniature Neptunes to colossal gas giants.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 22 Nov 2021, 19:05 UTC Scientists have added a whopping 301 newly confirmed exoplanets to the total exoplanet tally.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 16 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC Stars are born from turbulent clouds of gas and dust that collapse under their own gravitational attraction. As the cloud collapses, a dense, hot core forms and begins gathering dust and gas, creating a protostar. This star-forming nebula in the constellation Aquila, G035.20-0.74, is known for producing a particular kind of massive star known as a B-Type star. These stars are hot, young, blue stars up to five times hotter than our Sun.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 15 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC This Hubble image captures a portion of a dark nebula in the constellation Cepheus. LDN 1165 is part of a collection called Lynds’ Catalog of Dark Nebulae, originally published in 1962. Dark nebulae – also called absorption nebulae – are clouds of gas and dust that neither emit nor reflect light, instead blocking light coming from behind them. These nebulae tend to contain large amounts of dust, which allows them to absorb visible light from stars or nebulae beyond them. Dark nebulae are so dark that they’ve been referred to as “holes in the sky,” but in reality they may be full of activity, with stars sometimes forming inside their dense clouds.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 12 Nov 2021, 14:00 UTC This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a portion of the reflection nebula IC 2631 that contains a protostar, the hot, dense core of a forming star that is accumulating gas and dust. Eventually the protostar may gravitationally gather enough matter to begin nuclear fusion and emit its own energy and starlight.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 9 Nov 2021, 15:00 UTC A team of scientists has forecast the scientific impact of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s High Latitude Wide Area Survey on critical questions in cosmology. This observation program will consist of both imaging, which reveals the locations, shapes, sizes, and colors of objects like distant galaxies, and spectroscopy, which involves measuring the intensity of light from those objects at different wavelengths, across the same enormous swath of the universe. Scientists will be able to harness the power of a variety of cross-checking techniques using this rich data set, which promises an unprecedented look into some of cosmology’s most vexing problems.
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Cosmic Log 24 Nov 2021, 07:51 UTC A space probe the size of a school bus is on its way to smash into an asteroid the size of Egypt’s Great Pyramid, directed by thruster systems built by Aerojet Rocketdyne in Redmond, Wash.This is no “Armageddon,” and there’s no need for Bruce Willis to ride to the rescue. But the experiment is expected to help scientists figure out how to divert a dangerous asteroid heading for Earth should the need arise. That’s one giant leap for planetary defense — and for Aerojet Rocketdyne, whose made-in-Redmond thrusters have been used on dozens of space missions.“We’ve been to every planet in the solar system,” said Joseph Cassady, Aerojet’s executive director for space. “But this is the first time we’ve ever done something that’s really truly planned as a defense against threats to life on Earth. The test we’re going to do here is really the first step in getting ourselves ready as a species to react and respond if we ever are threatened in that way.”NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, or DART, got off to a showy start with tonight’s launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Liftoff occurred at 10:21 p.m. ...