Bad Astronomy 30 Dec 2020, 14:00 UTC It's possible that dark matter is made of tiny black holes created at the very beginning of time by nucleation from bubbles of false vacuum that created baby universes containing sub-lunar masses of matter during an infinitesimally brief period of cosmic hyperinflation. If so, a team of scientists think, this could solve several nagging puzzles about the Universe, including dark matter, gravitational wave sources, and an odd observation made of the Andromeda Galaxy.
Universe Today 30 Dec 2020, 06:09 UTC The field of exoplanet photography is just getting underway, with astronomers around the world striving to capture clear images of the more than 4000 exoplanets discovered to date. Some of these exoplanets are more interesting to image and research than others. That is certainly the case for a type of exoplanet called a brown dwarf. And now scientists have captured the first ever image of exactly that type of exoplanet.
Bad Astronomy 29 Dec 2020, 14:00 UTC For many years, planetary scientists have been tracking a Martian ghost: methane gas. It was first seen by ground-based observations of Mars back in the 2000s, then subsequently by spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet. But these observations barely detected it, and have been called into question time and again. There's been much debate, and some of the claims have been contradictory. No truly convincing observation of it has been made.
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.