astrobites 29 Dec 2020, 02:06 UTC Shortly after the Big Bang, the ionized plasma that made up the Universe cooled down, allowing the electrons and protons to (re)combine into neutral hydrogen. Eventually, after the formation of luminous sources, radiation started to ionize the neutral hydrogen again – a period of time known as the epoch of reionization. One of the sources thought to have helped re-ionize the Universe are a type of active galactic nuclei known as quasars. Quasars are some of the brightest objects in the Universe, allowing us to observe them even at redshifts z > 6.5, before re-ionization was complete. Although only about 50 have been discovered at such high redshifts, quasars are some of the most useful tools to study the epoch of re-ionization.
New Data Supports the Modified Gravity Explanation for Dark Matter, Much to the Surprise of the Researchers28 Dec 2020, 16:31 UTC Dark matter is an extremely good theory. It’s supported by a wealth of observational and computational data, which is why it’s part of the standard model of cosmology. But dark matter hasn’t been directly observed, so sometimes even strong supporters of dark matter are motivated to look at the alternatives.
Bad Astronomy 23 Dec 2020, 14:00 UTC Astronomers have found what may be a very weird case of a young star and planet forming in a dense cloud of gas and dust about 500 light years away. The young system is forming in a disk, which is common enough, but in this case the disk itself appears to still be forming from gas falling into it from the surrounding nebula!
SPACE.com 23 Dec 2020, 10:07 UTC Icy worlds speckle our solar system — from Jupiter's moon Europa to Saturn's moon Enceladus, scientists have been investigating these alien worlds, discovering subsurface oceans hidden under their icy crusts. Now, researchers have turned their gaze to the moons orbiting Uranus, searching for secret oceans.
Starts With a Bang! 22 Dec 2020, 15:02 UTC And what can it teach us about our Solar System’s earliest days?
Universe Today 21 Dec 2020, 20:51 UTC In less than four years, NASA will be sending the “first woman and next man” to the Moon as part of the Artemis III mission. This will be the first time that astronauts have landed on the lunar surface since the final mission of the Apollo Program, which was Apollo 17 in 1972. After careful consideration, NASA has announced the names of the 18 astronauts that make up the Artemis Team.
Starts With a Bang! 21 Dec 2020, 15:02 UTC If you only view the Sun's light, you'll miss this elusive info.
EarthSky Blog 21 Dec 2020, 11:14 UTC A severe climate change event on Venus may have transformed an Earth-like climate to the current uninhabitable-to-humans state. We can learn a lot about climate change from Venus, our sister planet. Venus currently has a surface temperature of 840 degrees F (450 degrees C) – the temperature of an oven’s self-cleaning cycle – and an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide (96%) with a density 90 times that of Earth’s.