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10 Sep 2020, 18:00 UTC
Science Release: New Hubble Data Suggests There is an Ingredient Missing from Current Dark Matter TheoriesNext Previous
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18 Aug 2020, 18:22 UTC Using a NASA-designed software program, members of the public helped identify a cache of brown dwarfs - sometimes called failed stars - lurking in our cosmic neighborhood. Next Previous
13 Aug 2020, 15:00 UTC Next Previous
12 Aug 2020, 15:00 UTC With the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is involved, astronomers have discovered an extremely distant and therefore very young galaxy that looks surprisingly similar to our Milky Way. The galaxy is so far away that it took its light more than 12 billion years to reach us: we see it as it was when the universe was just 1.4 billion years old. It is also surprisingly less chaotic and contradicts the theories that all galaxies in the early universe were turbulent and unstable. This unexpected discovery challenges our understanding of how galaxies are formed and gives us new insights into the past of our universe. Next Previous
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 21 Sep 2020, 15:00 UTC In an interplanetary faux pas, it appears some pieces of asteroid Vesta ended up on asteroid Bennu, according to observations from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The new result sheds light on the intricate orbital dance of asteroids and on the violent origin of Bennu, which is a “rubble pile” asteroid that coalesced from the fragments of a massive collision.
MIT 21 Sep 2020, 04:00 UTC In a delightful alignment of astronomy and mathematics, scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a “pi Earth” — an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 18 Sep 2020, 12:24 UTC The twisting patterns created by the multiple spiral arms of NGC 2835 create the illusion of an eye. This is a fitting description, as this magnificent galaxy resides near the head of the southern constellation of Hydra, the water snake. This stunning barred spiral galaxy, with a width of just over half that of the Milky Way, is brilliantly featured in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Although it cannot be seen in this image, a supermassive black hole with a mass millions of times that of our Sun is known to nestle in the very center of NGC 2835.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 17 Sep 2020, 18:10 UTC Following extensive observations of stellar winds around cool evolved stars scientists have figured out how planetary nebulae get their mesmerizing shapes. The findings, published in Science, contradict common consensus, and show that not only are stellar winds aspherical, but they also share similarities with planetary nebulae.
ESA Top News 17 Sep 2020, 06:35 UTC This prototype 2.6-m diameter metal-mesh antenna reflector represents a big step forward for the European space sector: versions can be manufactured to reproduce any surface pattern that antenna designers wish, something that was previously possible only with traditional solid antennas.
Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation 16 Sep 2020, 13:09 UTC The most massive gravitational-wave source yet has been detected – a binary black hole merger, which produced a blast equal to the energy of eight Suns, sending shockwaves through the universe. Gravitational waves are produced when an extreme cosmic event occurs somewhere in the universe and, like dropping a rock in a pond, these events ripple across the cosmos, bending and stretching the fabric of space-time itself.
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Machine-learning study of metallic hydrogen provides clues about Jupiter’s interior - Astronomy and space – Physics World22 Sep 2020, 15:59 UTC Deep within the interiors of gas-giant planets like Jupiter, materials can be subjected to millions of atmospheres of pressure. In the most extreme conditions, even hydrogen no longer exists in its usual molecular form. Instead, its covalent bonds break down and the material is believed to become a metallic solid. As astronomers seek to understand the physical structures of gas giants, a detailed knowledge of this metallization process is crucial.
Sky and Telescope 22 Sep 2020, 09:19 UTC There comes a time in every star’s evolution when the hydrogen in their cores runs out. This explosive midlife crisis is disruptive to local planetary systems, obliterating inner worlds and tossing outer ones into the void of deep space. When our own Sun expands into a red giant and then collapses into a white dwarf, Mercury, Venus, and perhaps even Earth will be destroyed. Observations of white dwarf systems show the celestial wreckage such dying stars leave behind: massive debris fields and planets literally ripped to pieces.
Centauri Dreams 21 Sep 2020, 15:26 UTC So often a discovery sets off a follow-up study that strikes me as even more significant in practical terms. This is not for a moment to downplay the accomplishment of Andrew Vanderburg (University of Wisconsin – Madison) and team that discovered a planet in close orbit around a white dwarf. This is the first time we’ve found a planet that has survived its star’s red giant phase and remains in orbit around the remnant, and quite a tight orbit at that. Previously, we’ve had good evidence only of atmospheric pollution in such stars, indicating infalling material from possible asteroids or other objects during the primary’s cataclysmic re-configuration.
Parabolic Arc 21 Sep 2020, 14:30 UTC SAN FRANCISCO (Breakthrough Initiatives PR) – Breakthrough Initiatives, the privately-funded space science programs founded by science and technology investor and philanthropist Yuri Milner, are funding a research study into the possibility of primitive life in the clouds of Venus. The study is inspired by the discovery, announced yesterday, of the gas phosphine, considered a potential biosignature, in the planet’s atmosphere.
Universe Today 21 Sep 2020, 03:11 UTC Last week, an incredible announcement was made about the search for extraterrestrial life: Phosphine gas detected in the clouds of Venus – a potential indicator of life or “biosignature.” Now some gases might be a false positive for biosignatures because they can be created by other chemical processes on a planet like photochemical processes in the atmosphere or geological processes beneath the surface that create a given gas. For example, methane can also be a biosignature, and we’ve been hunting it down on Mars, but we know that methane can also be created geologically. Finding phosphine in Venusian clouds is truly remarkable because we don’t presently know of any way to create phosphine abiotically or without life being a part of the equation. Question is – how much life??
SciTech Daily 21 Sep 2020, 02:16 UTC A Southwest Research Institute scientist has identified stellar phosphorus as a probable marker in narrowing the search for life in the cosmos. She has developed techniques to identify stars likely to host exoplanets, based on the composition of stars known to have planets, and proposes that upcoming studies target stellar phosphorus to find systems with the greatest probability for hosting life as we know it.