Universe Today 26 Mar 2021, 15:43 UTC We thought we understood how stars are formed. It turns out, we don’t. Not completely, anyway. A new study, recently conducted using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, is sending astronomers back to the drawing board to rewrite the accepted model of stellar formation.
New Scientist 26 Mar 2021, 08:00 UTC Mercury is a mysterious little world. Many features on its surface show evidence that since its formation, cooling of its core has caused the entire planet to shrink by between about 5 and 10 kilometres in radius, but for that shrinking to occur, heat must have somehow escaped. A series of simulations now show that it may have travelled from Mercury’s core through its mantle via heat pipes.
Many Worlds 25 Mar 2021, 14:25 UTC For all the excitement surrounding the search for distant exoplanets in recent years, the 4,000-plus planets confirmed so far have been unseen actors on the cosmic stage. Except for a handful of very large bodies imaged by ground-based telescopes, virtually all exoplanets have been detected only when they briefly dim the light coming from their host stars or when their gravity causes the star to wobble in a distinctive way. Observing these patterns and using a few other methods, scientists can determine an exoplanet’s orbit, radius, mass, and sometimes density—but not much else. The planets remain, in the words of one researcher in the field, “small black shadows.”
Bad Astronomy 25 Mar 2021, 13:00 UTC Was the Earth's surface once inundated with water?
The Arecibo Observatory Blogs 24 Mar 2021, 19:11 UTC “Black widows” and “redbacks” were among the eight binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs) “spiders” discovered during a sensitive search using the Arecibo Observatory (AO), as reported in The Astrophysical Journal in March, 2021.
Universe Today 24 Mar 2021, 17:39 UTC As Carl Sagan once said, “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.” And our first emissaries to the stars will be robotic probes. These interstellar probes will be largely autonomous, but we will want to communicate with them. At the very least we will want them to phone home and tell us what they’ve discovered. The stars are distant, so the probes will need to make a very long-distance call.
Bad Astronomy 24 Mar 2021, 14:00 UTC In 2019, astronomers stunned the world, releasing an epic image of material swirling around the supermassive black hole in the core of the galaxy M87 55 million light years from Earth. They connected radio telescopes from around the planet to create the Event Horizon Telescope, a virtual telescope mimicking the power of a telescope the size of our planet, to achieve this amazing observation.
EarthSky Blog 24 Mar 2021, 10:43 UTC Astronauts on long space missions might experience a cognitive decline that causes them to be slower to read the emotions on other people’s faces and and more likely to perceive facial expressions as angry.
Universe Today 23 Mar 2021, 20:24 UTC Perseverance has already made its mark on scientific history by taking the first audio recording ever on Mars. But the instrument with the microphone, known as the SuperCam, wasn’t done there. It has plenty of other science to do, and recently it started running through some more preliminary tests. One of those tests happened to involve blasting a rock with a laser – while taking an audio recording of it.