Nearly every organism that’s ever lived and died (certainly every person you’ve ever met) owes their continued existence to the steady flow of charged, particulate energy that originates from the thermonuclear fusion of our star. It is the most perfectly spherical object ever observed in nature. The Earth, by comparison is lumpy and bulging, not a sphere, but an oblate spheroid (flat at its poles, bulbous around its equatorial regions). Once thought of as average and relatively banal........ Read more »
Charles J. Lada. (2006) Stellar Multiplicity and the IMF: Most Stars Are Single. Astrophys.J. 640 (2006) L63-L66. arXiv: astro-ph/0601375v2
As long as humans have been human, we have been fascinated by cosmic questions. How did the universe begin? Where did we come from? Are we alone? Attempting to answer these questions may not produce a better toaster or a faster airplane, but it is nothing short of remarkable that modern science is revealing facets of our universe that are changing our perspectives on such foundational cosmic questions.... Read more »
LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS. (2013) Front Row at the Dawn of Time. The International Herald Tribune. info:/
NASA’s Kepler space telescope has witnessed the effects of a dead star bending the light of its companion star. The findings are among the first detections of this phenomenon — a result of Einstein’s general theory of relativity — in binary, or double, star systems.... Read more »
Whitney Clavin. (2013) Gravity-Bending Find Leads to Kepler Meeting Einstein. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech. info:/
Artist depiction of the white dwarf with the red star (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Researchers found that the dead star, also called as the white dwarf, changed the path of the light of the companion red star.
This discovery is among the first findings of this bending of light that was initially predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity in binary star systems. Researchers used Cornell-led ultraviolet measur........ Read more »
Muirhead, P., Vanderburg, A., Shporer, A., Becker, J., Swift, J., Lloyd, J., Fuller, J., Zhao, M., Hinkley, S., Pineda, J.... (2013) CHARACTERIZING THE COOL KOIs. V. KOI-256: A MUTUALLY ECLIPSING POST-COMMON ENVELOPE BINARY. The Astrophysical Journal, 767(2), 111. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/767/2/111
In March 2012, Joseph Polchinski began to contemplate suicide — at least in mathematical form. A string theorist at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, Polchinski was pondering what would happen to an astronaut who dived into a black hole. Obviously, he would die. But how?... Read more »
This first batch of AMS results, published April 3 in Physical Review Letters, encompasses about 25 billion particles detected over the course of a year and a half, including 6.8 million measurements of the electrons and positrons that could come from dark matter. AMS improved the precision of earlier data, detected particles at higher energies than previous instruments and found that the particles arrive in equal amounts from all directions.... Read more »
Andrew Grant. (2013) Cosmic ray detector confirms hints of dark matter. ScienceNews. info:/
The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors. Even though it is a small, or so-called dwarf galaxy, the SMC is so bright that it is visible to the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere and near the equator. Many navigators, including Ferdinand Magellan who lends his name to the SMC, used it to help find their way across the oceans.
Modern astronomers are also interested in studying the SMC (and its cousin, the Large Magellanic Cloud), but for ........ Read more »
J.D. Harrington, Janet Anderson, & Megan Watzke. (2013) Stars in NGC 602a. NASA News. info:/
Astronomers have taken the highest resolution radio images of the expanding supernova 1987A remnant at millimeter wavelengths with the help of Australia Telescope Compact Array, CSIRO radio telescope in northern New South Wales.
"Imaging distant astronomical objects like this at wavelengths less than 1 centimetre demands the most stable atmospheric conditions. For this telescope these are usually only possible during c........ Read more »
Giovanna Zanardo, L. Staveley-Smith, C. -Y. Ng, B. M. Gaensler, T. M. Potter, R. N. Manchester, & A. K. Tzioumis. (2013) High-resolution radio observations of SNR 1987A at high frequencies. Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1301.6527v1
In a recent paper published in Solar System Research (Ksanfomality, 2012), revered senior statesman of Russian planetary science Leonid Ksanfomality reported the detection of possible life forms on Venus.Using modern image enhancement techniques to re-analyze the panoramic images captured by Veneras 9 and 13 (in 1975 and 1982, respectively), Ksanfomality discovered objects that he observed moving, "Scorpion" appeared in image V-13-1-6 BW at the90th minute after landing of Venera 13. I........ Read more »
Ksanfomality, L. (2012) Venus as a natural laboratory for search of life in high temperature conditions: Events on the planet on March 1, 1982. Solar System Research, 46(1), 41-53. DOI: 10.1134/S0038094612010042
This morning, scientists on the Planck space mission released the most detailed map yet of the afterglow of the big bang. It reveals that our universe is about 100 million years older, is expanding slower and contains less dark energy and more matter—both normal and dark—than previously thought.... Read more »
Kelen Tuttle. (2013) Planck reveals new insight into universe. Symmetry Magazine. info:/
Scientists have found water vapor and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-size extrasolar planet, dubbed as HR 8799c orbiting a star known as HR 8799.
Artist's depiction of the planetary system of HR 8799 with HR 8799c and disk of gas and dust (Credit: Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics; Mediafarm)
HR 8799c is a gas-giant and has about seven times the mass of Jupiter. This planet is rotating around its ........ Read more »
Konopacky, Q., Barman, T., Macintosh, B., & Marois, C. (2013) Detection of Carbon Monoxide and Water Absorption Lines in an Exoplanet Atmosphere. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1232003
I would like to discuss one method used for estimate thickness of Antarctic ice, which could be easily adopted for space exploration and could be used to estimate the thickness of ice mantle on extraterrestrial planets, on Ceres and other bodies in the main asteroid belt, and on Jovian moons.... Read more »
Miller, T., Schaefer, R., & Brian Sequeira, H. (2012) PRIDE (Passive Radio [frequency] Ice Depth Experiment): An instrument to passively measure ice depth from a Europan orbiter using neutrinos. Icarus, 220(2), 877-888. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.05.028
Martian exploration is unquestionably a hot topic right now. Mainstream media outlets have largely focused on the most visible efforts of the Curiosity mission, and that’s a good thing. While people might be thrilled with the photographs that they have an opportunity to view on their screens however, they may be less familiar with the [...]... Read more »
Peters, G., Smith, J., Mungas, G., Bearman, G., Shiraishi, L., & Beegle, L. (2008) RASP-based sample acquisition of analogue Martian permafrost samples: Implications for NASA's Phoenix scout mission. Planetary and Space Science, 56(3-4), 303-309. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2007.10.001
Amato P, Doyle SM, Battista JR, & Christner BC. (2010) Implications of subzero metabolic activity on long-term microbial survival in terrestrial and extraterrestrial permafrost. Astrobiology, 10(8), 789-98. PMID: 21087159
Predicted system configuration for the Pluto–Charon system (Credit: Kenyon)
Main Points: Pluto may have 10 or more moons that are still undiscovered according to the new simulations. These undiscovered moons would pose some problems to the planned flyby of the spacecraft in 2015.
Journal: The Astronomical Journal
Team behind the NASA’s New Horizons mission planned to take close-ups of the Pluto system in July 2015 but this new finding could cause the team t........ Read more »
Snapshot from the video showing two particles colliding and forming black holes (Credit: Matt Choptuik, Will East, Frans Pretorius)
Main Points: Scientists have reported that less energy is required than previous estimations in the development of mini black holes utilizing particle accelerators on Earth. Moreover, the development of such black holes with such energies could prove the presence of higher dimensions in the universe.
Journal: Physical Review Letters
On lar........ Read more »
BLACKSBURG, Va., March 11, 2013 – Physicists at Virginia Tech, as part of a collaboration with U.S. and Chinese researchers, took part in one of 2012’s top scientific breakthroughs according to Science Magazine. It’s a breakthrough that could have a significant impact on physics and the universe as we understand it.... Read more »
Rosaire Bushey. (2013) Top scientific breakthrough opens door to understanding universe. Virginia Tech News. info:/
The city of Chelyabinsk was once a secret Soviet weapons centre, then a poor Siberian backwater. But a few minutes after sunrise on 15 February, the largest meteor blast in more than 100 years lifted the region from obscurity. Since then, scientists have been scrutinizing fragments of the meteorite and studying videos of its final moments to pin down its origin and how it got to Earth.... Read more »
Scientists have found that a surprising cold layer between the hot layers of the atmosphere of not only Sun but also the nearest twin star, Alpha Centauri A, which is about the same mass, temperature, chemical composition and age as Sun.
The journal Astronomy & Astrophysics published the finding.
Scientists were already astonished by the paradoxical temperatures of the Sun’s layers that show the temperature of millions of degrees in the outer atmosphere or corona but only thousan........ Read more »
Liseau, R., Montesinos, B., Olofsson, G., Bryden, G., Marshall, J., Ardila, D., Bayo Aran, A., Danchi, W., del Burgo, C., Eiroa, C.... (2013) α Centauri A in the far infrared: First measurement of the temperature minimum of a star other than the Sun. Astronomy . DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201220776
Scientists have found a baby planet in another star system that is about 335 light years away from us.
Astrophysical Journal Letters published the discovery.
That planet would be a gas giant similar to the Jupiter, and the finding would mark the first time formation relating to the time and place of birth.
“So far, planet formation has mostly been a topic tackled by computer simulations,” Sascha Quanz , research team leader. “If our discovery is indeed a forming plan........ Read more »
Quanz, S., Avenhaus, H., Buenzli, E., Garufi, A., Schmid, H., & Wolf, S. (2013) GAPS IN THE HD 169142 PROTOPLANETARY DISK REVEALED BY POLARIMETRIC IMAGING: SIGNS OF ONGOING PLANET FORMATION?. The Astrophysical Journal, 766(1). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/766/1/L2
On Earth, scientists can observe weather patterns, and more importantly can predict them, through the use of tens of thousands of weather observatories scattered around the globe. Up in the space surrounding Earth — a space that seethes with its own space weather made of speeding charged particles and constantly changing magnetic fields that can impact satellites – there are only a handful of spacecraft to watch for solar and magnetic storms. The number of observatories has been grow........ Read more »
Karen C. Fox. (2013) Six Years in Space for THEMIS: Understanding the Magnetosphere Better Than Ever. NASA. info:/
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