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Scientists discover a ‘dark’ milky way
on Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:42:06 EDT:
Using the world's most powerful telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found a massive galaxy that consists almost entirely of dark matter.
Unexpected trove of gas discovered around larger stars
on Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:23:22 EDT:
Astronomers using ALMA surveyed dozens of young stars -- some Sun-like and others approximately double that size -- and discovered that the larger variety have surprisingly rich reservoirs of carbon monoxide gas in their debris disks. In contrast, the lower-mass, Sun-like stars have debris disks that are virtually gas-free.
Can one cosmic enigma help solve another?
on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:02:55 EDT:
Astrophysicists have proposed a clever new way to shed light on the mystery of dark matter, believed to make up most of the universe. The irony is they want to try to pin down the nature of this unexplained phenomenon by using another, an obscure cosmic emanation known as 'fast radio bursts.'
35 years on, Voyager's legacy continues at Saturn
on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:40:27 EDT:
Saturn, with its alluring rings and numerous moons, has long fascinated stargazers and scientists. After an initial flyby of Pioneer 11 in 1979, humanity got a second, much closer look at this complex planetary system in the early 1980s through the eyes of NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft.
NASA's WISE, Fermi missions reveal a surprising blazar connection
on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:00:53 EDT:
Astronomers using observations from NASA's WISE and Fermi missions have confirmed a connection between the infrared and gamma-ray light emitted by blazars, a class of distant galaxies powered by monster black holes.
A better way to learn if alien planets have the right stuff
on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:57:52 EDT:
A new method for analyzing the chemical composition of stars may help scientists winnow the search for Earth 2.0. Researchers describe a computational modeling technique that gives a clearer sense of the chemistry of stars, revealing the conditions present when their planets formed.
Cosmic neighbors inhibit star formation, even in the early universe
on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:55:21 EDT:
Researchers have discovered four of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, as they appeared when the universe was only 4 billion years old. This sample is now providing the best measurement yet of when and how fast galaxy clusters stop forming stars in the early universe.
Planet found in habitable zone around nearest star
on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:04:53 EDT:
Astronomers have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us -- and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System.
Test for damp ground at Mars' seasonal streaks finds none
on Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:55:22 EDT:
Seasonal dark streaks on Mars that have become one of the hottest topics in interplanetary research don't hold much water, according to the latest findings from a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars.
NASA establishes contact with STEREO mission
on Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:24:18 EDT:
NASA has reestablished contact with its STEREO-B spacecraft, after communications were lost on Oct. 1, 2014. Over 22 months, the STEREO team has worked to attempt contact with the spacecraft. Most recently, they have attempted a monthly recovery operation using NASA's Deep Space Network, which tracks and communicates with missions throughout space.
Fossilized rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars
on Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:51:35 EDT:
Extensive systems of fossilized riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about 4 billion years ago, according to new research.
Meteorological impact of 2015 solar eclipse
on Sun, 21 Aug 2016 22:42:06 EDT:
A pioneering study has revealed the meteorological impact of the 2015 UK solar eclipse across three countries.
Young heavyweight star discovered in the Milky Way
on Sun, 21 Aug 2016 22:05:48 EDT:
A young star over 30 times more massive than the sun could help us understand how the most extreme stars in the universe are born.
The comet that disappeared: What happened to Ison?
on Fri, 19 Aug 2016 16:23:58 EDT:
Comet ISON, a bright ball of frozen matter from the earliest days of the universe, was inbound from the Oort Cloud at the edge of the solar system and expected to pierce the Sun's corona on November 28. Scientists were expecting quite a show. A new study suggests the comet actually broke up before reaching the sun.
A new Goldilocks for habitable planets
on Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:30:32 EDT:
The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second 'Goldilocks,' according to a researcher. A new study suggests that simply being in the habitable zone isn't sufficient to support life. A planet also must start with an internal temperature that is just right.
SPIES tool aims to support solar park developments
on Thu, 18 Aug 2016 11:15:57 EDT:
A ‘go-to’ guide for the UK’s solar park community has been planned, allowing researchers to qualify and, where possible, quantify and value the ecosystem services of current and planned parks.
Venus-like exoplanet might have oxygen atmosphere, but not life
on Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:26:08 EDT:
The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But would that atmosphere be thick and soupy or thin and wispy? New research suggests the latter is much more likely.
NASA prepares to launch first U.S. Asteroid sample return mission
on Wed, 17 Aug 2016 19:10:03 EDT:
NASA is preparing to launch its first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth. The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.
NASA asteroid redirect mission completes design milestone
on Wed, 17 Aug 2016 19:06:43 EDT:
Following a key program review, NASA approved the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) to proceed to the next phase of design and development for the mission's robotic segment. ARM is a two-part mission that will integrate robotic and crewed spacecraft operations in the proving ground of deep space to demonstrate key capabilities needed for NASA's journey to Mars.
Astronomy shown to be set in standing stone
on Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:17:09 EDT:
Research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain, the great circles, were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the Sun and Moon, 5000 years ago.
How we escaped the Big Bang: New theory on moving through time
on Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:15:28 EDT:
A physicist is challenging the conventional view of space and time to show how the world advances through time. In her new research, she argues that T violation, or a violation of time reversal (T) symmetry, is forcing the universe and us in it, into the future.
An ancient Mayan Copernicus
on Tue, 16 Aug 2016 13:40:24 EDT:
Ancient hieroglyphic texts reveal Mayans made major discovery in math and astronomy, a researcher suggests. This study blends the study of Mayan hieroglyphics (epigraphy), archaeology and astronomy to present a new interpretation of the Venus Table, which tracks the observable phases of the second planet from the Sun.
Fifth force of nature? Light particle may be key to understanding dark matter in universe
on Mon, 15 Aug 2016 18:58:30 EDT:
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according to new research by theoretical physicists.
Van Allen probes catch rare glimpse of supercharged radiation belt
on Mon, 15 Aug 2016 18:58:26 EDT:
An interplanetary shock struck the outermost of Earth's Van Allen radiation belts on March 17, 2015, resulting in the greatest geomagnetic storm of the past 10 years.
Brown dwarfs reveal exoplanets' secrets
on Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:49:51 EDT:
Brown dwarfs are smaller than stars, but more massive than giant planets. As such, they provide a natural link between astronomy and planetary science. However, they also show incredible variation when it comes to size, temperature, chemistry, and more, which makes them difficult to understand, too. New work surveyed various properties of 152 suspected young brown dwarfs in order to categorize their diversity and found that atmospheric properties may be behind much of their differences.
New worlds new horizons: A midterm assessment
on Mon, 15 Aug 2016 11:49:35 EDT:
While scientists have made remarkable advancements in astronomy and astrophysics since the beginning of this decade -- notably the first detection of gravitational waves and the discovery of distant Earth-like planets -- unforeseen constraints have slowed progress toward reaching some of the priorities and goals outlined in the Academies' 2010 decadal survey of these disciplines, says a new report.
NASA's Fermi mission expands its search for dark matter
on Fri, 12 Aug 2016 16:04:22 EDT:
Dark matter, the mysterious stuff that makes up most of the material universe, continues to vex scientists, but three creative studies using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have helped whittle down some possibilities.
Ten trillionths of your suntan comes from beyond our galaxy
on Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:07:51 EDT:
Astronomers have accurately measured the light hitting the Earth from outside our galaxy and determined that 10 trillionths of your suntan comes from beyond our galaxy.
Hubble uncovers a galaxy pair coming in from the wilderness
on Thu, 11 Aug 2016 14:26:37 EDT:
Two tiny dwarf galaxies have been observed that have wandered from a vast cosmic wilderness into a nearby 'big city' packed with galaxies. After being quiescent for billions of years, they are ready to party by starting a firestorm of star birth.
Much ado about nothing: Astronomers use empty space to study the universe
on Thu, 11 Aug 2016 14:26:34 EDT:
An international team of astronomers reports that they were able to achieve four times better precision in measurements of how the universe's visible matter is clustered together by studying the empty spaces in between.
Venus may have been habitable, NASA climate modeling suggests
on Thu, 11 Aug 2016 12:04:05 EDT:
Venus may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and habitable surface temperatures for up to two billion years of its early history, according to NASA computer modeling of the planet's ancient climate.
Mars gullies likely not formed by liquid water
on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 17:44:11 EDT:
New findings using data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) show that gullies on modern Mars are most likely not being formed by flowing liquid water. This new evidence will allow researchers to further narrow theories as to the mechanisms behind the formation of gullies on Mars, and help reveal more details about Mars' recent geologic processes.
Cassini finds flooded canyons on Saturn's moon Titan
on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 15:00:10 EDT:
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found deep, steep-sided canyons on Saturn's moon Titan that are flooded with liquid hydrocarbons. The finding represents the first direct evidence of the presence of liquid-filled channels on Titan, as well as the first observation of canyons hundreds of meters deep.
Earth interacted with supernova remnants for 1 million years
on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:44:12 EDT:
Physicists have succeeded in detecting a time-resolved supernova signal in the Earth's microfossil record. As the group shows, the supernova signal was first detectable at a time starting about 2.7 million years ago. According to the researcher's analyses, our solar system spent one million years to transit trough the remnants of a supernova.
Getting to know more about sun storms
on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:58:22 EDT:
A violent solar eruption can disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, which in turn can interfere with power grids. Electrical power sector experts around the world are making contingency plans.
Stellar lab in Sagittarius
on Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:46:22 EDT:
The small smattering of bright blue stars in a new ESO image is the perfect cosmic laboratory in which to study the life and death of stars. Known as Messier 18 this star cluster contains stars that formed together from the same massive cloud of gas and dust.
1967 solar storm nearly took US to brink of war
on Tue, 09 Aug 2016 14:51:23 EDT:
A solar storm that jammed radar and radio communications at the height of the Cold War could have led to a disastrous military conflict if not for the US Air Force's budding efforts to monitor the sun's activity, a new study finds.
Perseid meteors could see 'surge in activity' on Aug. 11-12
on Tue, 09 Aug 2016 12:21:06 EDT:
Friday, Aug. 12, sees the annual maximum of the Perseid meteor shower. This year, as well as the normal peak on the night of Aug. 12-13, meteor scientists are predicting additional enhanced activity in the shower the night before, as Earth passes through a dense clump of cometary debris.
Watch a tiny space rocket work
on Mon, 08 Aug 2016 15:19:10 EDT:
Moving a nanosatellite around in space takes only a tiny amount of thrust. Engineers teamed up, put a nanoscale rocket under a microscope, and watched what happened.
Evidence of Martian life could be hard to find in some meteorite blast sites
on Mon, 08 Aug 2016 09:12:50 EDT:
Signs of life from under Mars’ surface may not survive in rocks excavated by some meteorite impacts, scientists suggest at the point of preliminary study findings.
Insight into why the universe is dominated by matter and why we exist
on Sun, 07 Aug 2016 08:41:01 EDT:
New findings reveal why the universe is dominated by matter and why we exist and how matter and antimatter are different.
Most volcanic activity on Mercury stopped about 3.5 billion years ago
on Fri, 05 Aug 2016 15:51:32 EDT:
New research finds that major volcanic activity on the planet Mercury most likely ended about 3.5 billion years ago. These findings add insight into the geological evolution of Mercury in particular, and what happens when rocky planets cool and contract in general.
Veins on Mars were formed by evaporating ancient lakes
on Fri, 05 Aug 2016 08:57:49 EDT:
Mineral veins found in Mars's Gale Crater were formed by the evaporation of ancient Martian lakes, a new study has shown.
Do black holes have a back door?
on Fri, 05 Aug 2016 08:57:47 EDT:
One of the biggest problems when studying black holes is that the laws of physics as we know them cease to apply in their deepest regions. Large quantities of matter and energy concentrate in an infinitely small space, the gravitational singularity, where space-time curves towards infinity and all matter is destroyed. Or is it? A recent study suggests that matter might in fact survive its foray into these space objects and come out the other side.
'GPS in space': Bringing autonomous interplanetary travel closer to reality
on Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:23:18 EDT:
An accurate method for spacecraft navigation takes a leap forward today as new research reveals that a spacecraft's position in space in the direction of a particular pulsar can be calculated autonomously, using a small X-ray telescope on board the craft, to an accuracy of 2 kilometers.
Astronomers make first accurate measurement of oxygen in distant galaxy
on Wed, 03 Aug 2016 15:11:27 EDT:
Astronomers have made the first accurate measurement of the abundance of oxygen in a distant galaxy, essentially looking back in time at this galaxy as it appeared 12 billion years ago.
Lasers melt rocks to reveal development of super-Earths and how giant impacts make magma
on Wed, 03 Aug 2016 14:31:17 EDT:
New experiments provide insight into how Earth-type planets form when giant asteroids or planetesimals collide and how the interiors of such planets develop.
Demonstrating strong electric fields in liquid helium for tests of matter-antimatter symmetry
on Wed, 03 Aug 2016 12:49:41 EDT:
Physicists and engineers demonstrated that it is possible to use liquid helium to apply an electric field several times larger than that used in previous neutron electric dipole moment experiments, which provides insights into the nature of the universe.
Laser nudges may help destroy space debris threatening communications, navigation on Earth
on Wed, 03 Aug 2016 09:52:16 EDT:
Human-made debris from inactive satellites and obsolete space missions pose ongoing threats to active communication and navigation satellites -- and the humans on Earth who depend upon them. In a new article describes simulations showing a new way to use laser-induced energy in the weightlessness of space to nudge debris into the atmosphere where it will be destroyed.
Most likely Earth-like exoplanets cataloged
on Wed, 03 Aug 2016 09:52:04 EDT:
An international team of researchers has pinpointed which of the more than 4,000 exoplanets discovered by NASA's Kepler mission are most likely to be similar to Earth. The research outlines 216 Kepler planets located within the 'habitable zone' -- the area around a star in which a planet's surface could hold liquid water. Of those they list 20 that are the best candidates to be habitable rocky planets like Earth.
Physicist trio amplifies research on mysterious forms of matter
on Tue, 02 Aug 2016 13:39:23 EDT:
All material things appear to be made of elementary particles that are held together by fundamental forces. But what are their exact properties? Questions with cosmic implications like these drive many of the scientific efforts. Three distinguished particle physicists have joined the lab over the past months to pursue research on two particularly mysterious forms of matter: neutrinos and dark matter.
Space scientists observe Io's atmospheric collapse during eclipse
on Tue, 02 Aug 2016 13:37:01 EDT:
Astronomers have documented atmospheric changes on Io, Jupiter's volcanically active satellite, as the giant planet casts its shadow over the moon's surface during daily eclipses.
Mapping the exotic matter inside neutron stars
on Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:35:39 EDT:
Scientists performed the first accurate determination of the thermodynamic properties of dense quark matter under violent conditions that occur during neutron star mergers, and suggest a step towards distinguishing between neutron and quark matter cores in neutron stars.
Faintest hisses from space reveal famous star's past life
on Mon, 01 Aug 2016 21:03:57 EDT:
Using a telescope in remote outback Australia, astronomers have peered into the past of a nearby star millions of years before its famous explosion.The research paints a picture of the star's life long before its death in what was the closest and brightest supernova seen from Earth, now known as supernova remnant 1987A, which collapsed spectacularly almost 30 years ago.
A giant stellar void in the Milky Way
on Mon, 01 Aug 2016 21:03:54 EDT:
A major revision is required in our understanding of our Milky Way Galaxy according to an international team. Astronomers have found that there is a huge region around the center of our own galaxy, which is devoid of young stars.
Is Earthly life premature from a cosmic perspective?
on Mon, 01 Aug 2016 11:39:59 EDT:
The universe is 13.8 billion years old, while our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago. Some scientists think this time gap means that life on other planets could be billions of years older than ours. However, new theoretical work suggests that present-day life is actually premature from a cosmic perspective.
Quantum theory and Einstein's special relativity applied to plasma physics issues
on Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:01:49 EDT:
Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars -- collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky. Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma that surrounds these pulsars, which can be millions of times greater than the density of plasma in stars like the sun. Researchers have developed a theory of plasma waves that can infer these properties in greater detail than in standard approaches.
Chorus of black holes radiates X-rays
on Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:36:12 EDT:
The NuSTAR mission is identifying which black holes erupt with the highest-energy X-rays, report scientists. The results will ultimately help astronomers understand how the growth patterns of supermassive black holes change over time, a key factor in the development of black holes and the galaxies that host them.
Mulching plus remediation corrects contaminated lawns
on Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:35:21 EDT:
A study compared the effectiveness of combining mulching with remediation for reseeding lawns damaged by diesel and hydraulic fluid spills. Reseeding perennial ryegrass and mulching with peat pellets after remediation with either humic amendment or activated charcoal resulted in acceptable turf quality six weeks after fluid spills. The method was determined effective and recommended for use with other cool-season turfgrasses.
Apollo astronauts experiencing higher rates of cardiovascular-related deaths
on Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:22:06 EDT:
Members of the successful Apollo space program are experiencing higher rates of cardiovascular problems that are thought to be caused by their exposure to deep space radiation, according to a new study.