Starts With a Bang! 25 Apr 2017, 14:01 UTC In science, you don’t have to get everything right in order to get the most incredible things correct. Sometimes good ideas emerge from a failed paradigm. An excellent example of both is the groundbreaking stellar nucleosynthesis paper (creation of complex nuclei from simpler ones) paper, published in 1957, known simply as B2FH, after the initials of the four authors. For the first time, it offered a successful model of element formation. It was designed to avoid the need for a Big Bang, and to support an alternative explanation called Steady State theory. Today, while Steady State theory is a relic of the past, stellar nucleosynthesis complements the Big Bang theory in a successful, comprehensive explanation of how all of the elements in the universe were built from elementary particles.
New Scientist 25 Apr 2017, 11:21 UTC Mars has an asteroid entourage, with nine so-called Trojans trailing in its wake. Now it seems these travelling companions all had the same violent beginning: as the innards of a mini-planet, eviscerated in a violent collision. Some remnants may even have been incorporated into the material that became Mars. Trojans are distinct from the asteroids found in the asteroid belt, which begins about 101 million kilometres past Mars and stretches toward Jupiter. While Trojans orbit the sun, like the asteroid belt, they are trapped in gravitational sweet spots that ensure they will permanently trail or precede the planet in its trip around our star. These are known as Lagrange points.
Universe Today 25 Apr 2017, 03:03 UTC NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, currently living and working aboard the International Space Station, broke the record Monday for cumulative time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut – an occasion that was celebrated with a phone call from President Donald Trump, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and fellow astronaut Kate Rubins. Credits: NASA TV NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson set the endurance record for time in space by a U.S, astronaut today, Monday, April 24, during her current stint of living and working aboard the International Space Station (ISS) along with her multinational crew of five astronauts and cosmonauts. Furthermore Whitson received a long distance phone call of exuberant congratulations from President Donald Trump, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and fellow astronaut Kate Rubins direct from the Oval Office in the White House to celebrate the momentous occasion. “This is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight!” said President Trump during the live phone call to the ISS broadcast on NASA TV. As of today, Whitson exceeded 534 cumulative days in space by an American astronaut, breaking the record held by NASA astronaut Jeff Williams. “Today Commander Whitson you have broken the record for the most total time spent ...
SPACE.com 24 Apr 2017, 16:30 UTC Ever since enthusiasm started growing over the possibility that there could be a ninth major planet orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, astronomers have been busy hunting it. One group is investigating four new moving objects found by members of the public to see if they are potential new solar system discoveries. As exciting as this is, researchers are also making discoveries that question the entire prospect of a ninth planet.
Centauri Dreams 24 Apr 2017, 15:53 UTC Andrew Siemion (Berkeley SETI Research Center) presented results from the first year of the Breakthrough Listen initiative last Thursday at the Breakthrough Discuss meetings in Palo Alto. The data can be acquired here, with the caveat that file sizes can be gigantic and the data formats demand specialized software. Background information and details are available on this BSRC page. Working with the Parkes instrument in New South Wales as well as the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia and Lick Observatory’s Automated Planet Finder on Mt. Hamilton in California, the project is rapidly amassing petabytes of data.