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The symmetry of the universe
on Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:23:23 EDT:
Why did anti-matter disappear almost completely from our universe, whereas matter did not? Scientists are attempting to solve this mystery at the European research institute at CERN. Now they published the most precise measurement of the properties of light atomic nuclei and anti-nuclei ever made.
Cosmic recycling: Hot bright young stars born within a nebula
on Wed, 02 Sep 2015 08:29:25 EDT:
Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later returned to the stellar nursery when the aging stars either expel their material into space or eject it as supernova explosions. This image was taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope in Chile.
Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own
on Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:03:17 EDT:
As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. New work demonstrates that different magnesium compounds could be abundant inside other planets as compared to Earth.
Tiny drops of 'perfect' fluid existed in the early universe
on Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:57:24 EDT:
Surprisingly, smaller particles colliding with large nuclei appear to produce tiny droplets of quark-gluon plasma. Recent results show that the tiny droplets behave like a liquid not the expected gas. The results support the case that these small particles produce tiny drops of the primordial soup.
Up and down quarks favored over strange ones
on Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:57:22 EDT:
A suppression of strange quark production relative to up and down quark production had previously been noted; for the first time, the result has been verified when a single pair is produced.
Astrophysicist find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth
on Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:45:03 EDT:
Astrophysicists have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth. The discovery of two supermassive black holes -- one larger one and a second, smaller one -- are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive black holes assemble their masses through violent mergers.
Interstellar seeds could create oases of life
on Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:16:52 EDT:
Astrophysicists now show that if life can travel between the stars (a process called panspermia), it would spread in a characteristic pattern that we could potentially identify.
Discovering dust-obscured active galaxies as they grow
on Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:35:36 EDT:
Astronomers have performed an extensive search for Dust Obscured Galaxies (DOGs). The research group discovered 48 DOGs, and has measured how common they are. Since DOGs are thought to harbor a rapidly growing black hole in their centers, these results give us clues for understanding the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes.
Astronomers unravel the history of galaxies for the first time
on Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:35:34 EDT:
A team of international scientists has shown for the first time that galaxies can change their structure over the course of their lifetime.
New theory leads to 'radiationless revolution'
on Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:34:17 EDT:
Physicists have found a radical new way confine electromagnetic energy without it leaking away, akin to throwing a pebble into a pond with no splash.The theory could have broad ranging applications from explaining dark matter to combating energy losses in future technologies.
Self-healing material could plug life-threatening holes in spacecraft
on Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:36:21 EDT:
For astronauts living in space with objects zooming around them at 22,000 miles per hour like rogue super-bullets, it's good to have a backup plan. Although shields and fancy maneuvers could help protect space structures, scientists have to prepare for the possibility that debris could pierce a vessel. One team reports on a new material that heals itself within seconds and could prevent structural penetration from being catastrophic.
Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos
on Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:36:15 EDT:
New research predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.
Twin Jet Nebula: The wings of the butterfly
on Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:20:36 EDT:
The shimmering colours visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula's shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometers per hour.
Earth's extremes point the way to extraterrestrial life
on Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:16:56 EDT:
Astrobiologists draw upon what is known about Earth's most extreme lifeforms and the environments of Mars and Titan, Saturn's moon, to paint a clearer picture of what life on other planets could be like.
Dying star suffers 'irregular heartbeats'
on Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:21:50 EDT:
Some dying stars suffer from ‘irregular heartbeats.' The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their life cycles.
Research may solve ancient lunar fire fountain mystery
on Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:42:43 EDT:
Scientists have found traces of carbon in volcanic glass collected from the Apollo missions to the Moon. The finding may not only explain the driving force behind ancient 'fire fountain' eruptions on the Moon but also suggest that some volatile elements on the Moon and Earth have a common origin.
Mystery of coronal heating problem: Magnetically driven resonance helps heat sun's atmosphere
on Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:47:42 EDT:
Solar physicists have captured the first direct observational signatures of resonant absorption, thought to play an important role in solving the 'coronal heating problem' which has defied explanation for over 70 years. An international research team combined high resolution observations from JAXA's Hinode and NASA's IRIS mission, together with state-of-the-art numerical simulations and modeling from NAOJ's ATERUI supercomputer. In the combined data, they were able to detect and identify the observational signatures of resonant absorption.
Solving mysteries of the interstellar medium
on Fri, 21 Aug 2015 08:34:21 EDT:
It is one of the most intriguing questions in astrochemistry: the mystery of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), a collection of about 400 absorption bands that show up in spectra of light that reaches the earth after having traversed the interstellar medium. Despite intense research efforts over the last few decades, an assignment of the DIBs has remained elusive, although indications exist that they may arise from the presence of large hydrocarbon molecules in interstellar space. Recent experiments lend novel credibility to this hypothesis.
Origin of Saturn’s F ring and its shepherd satellites revealed
on Fri, 21 Aug 2015 08:34:12 EDT:
Scientists have revealed that Saturn's F ring and its shepherd satellites are natural outcome of the final stage of formation of Saturn's satellite system.
A detector shines in search for dark matter
on Thu, 20 Aug 2015 14:48:42 EDT:
Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter. The team of international scientists involved in the project demonstrated the sensitivity of their detector and recorded results that challenge several dark matter models and a longstanding claim of dark matter detection.
Experiment attempts to snare a dark energy 'chameleon'
on Thu, 20 Aug 2015 14:47:19 EDT:
Is dark energy hard to detect because it's hiding from us? According to a recent theory, hypothetical particles called chameleons vary in mass depending on nearby matter: in the vacuum of space, they have a small mass and large reach, pushing space apart. In the lab, surrounded by matter, they have a large mass and small reach, making them difficult to detect. A new experiment seeks to find chameleons by lessening the screening.
New data from Antarctic detector firms up cosmic neutrino sighting
on Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:57:23 EDT:
Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful new evidence in support of 2013 observations confirming the existence of cosmic neutrinos.
NASA: There is no asteroid threatening Earth
on Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:38:11 EDT:
Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between Sept. 15 and 28, 2015. However, NASA experts say that there is no scientific basis that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates.
New theory: If we want to detect dark matter we might need a different approach
on Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:25:08 EDT:
Physicists suggest a new way to look for dark matter: They beleive that dark matter particles annihilate into so-called dark radiation when they collide. If true, then we should be able to detect the signals from this radiation.
Detection of gamma rays from a newly discovered dwarf galaxy may point to dark matter
on Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:36:56 EDT:
A newly discovered dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way has offered up a surprise -- it appears to be radiating gamma rays, according to an analysis by physicists. The exact source of this high-energy light is uncertain at this point, but it just might be a signal of dark matter lurking at the galaxy's center.
Mystery of exploding stars yields to astrophysicists
on Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:36:04 EDT:
By combining theory and observation, astrophysicists may have solved one of the ultimate mysteries about stars: what causes Type 1a supernovae, stellar explosions that can outshine whole galaxies. Several of the researchers behind the discovery discuss why understanding the mechanics of these cosmic blasts is so important.
Comet impacts may have led to life on Earth -- and perhaps elsewhere
on Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:33:26 EDT:
Comet impact on Earth are synonymous with great extinctions, but now research shows that early comet impact would have become a driving force to cause substantial synthesis of peptides -- the first building blocks of life. This may have implications for the genesis of life on other worlds.
Sibling stars in a rich star cluster
on Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:31:34 EDT:
Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures. Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how stars evolve and die.
Solar System formation don't mean a thing without that spin
on Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:17:49 EDT:
New work provides surprising new details about the trigger that may have started the earliest phases of planet formation in our solar system.
NASA's LADEE spacecraft finds neon in lunar atmosphere
on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:13:23 EDT:
The moon's thin atmosphere contains neon, a gas commonly used in electric signs on Earth because of its intense glow.
Dark Energy Survey finds more celestial neighbors
on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 13:25:05 EDT:
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, using one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, have discovered eight more faint celestial objects hovering near our Milky Way galaxy.
Equatorial regions prone to disruptive space weather
on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:06:40 EDT:
Disruptive space weather sweeps across the globe's equatorial regions, bearing currents that can disrupt power grids in locations where electricity distribution systems were previously considered safe, new research shows.
Celestial firework marks nearest galaxy collision
on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:00:56 EDT:
A spectacular galaxy collision has been discovered lurking behind the Milky Way. The closest such system ever found, the galaxy is only 30 million light years away. It has been dubbed "Kathryn's Wheel" both after the famous firework that it resembles. Such systems are very rare and arise from "bulls-eye" collisions between two galaxies of similar mass. Shockwaves from the collision compress reservoirs of gas in each galaxy and trigger the formation of new stars. This creates a spectacular ring of intense emission, and lights up the system like a Catherine wheel firework on bonfire night.
Supernovae discovered in 'wrong place at wrong time'
on Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:06:53 EDT:
Several exploding stars have been found outside the cozy confines of galaxies, where most stars reside. These wayward supernovae are also weird because they exploded billions of years before their predicted detonations. Using archived observations from several telescopes, astronomers have developed a theory for where these doomed stars come from and how they arrived at their current homes.
Astronomers discover 'young Jupiter' exoplanet
on Thu, 13 Aug 2015 14:25:32 EDT:
One of the best ways to learn how our solar system evolved is to look to younger star systems in the early stages of development. Now, a team of astronomers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young system that could serve as a decoder ring for understanding how planets formed around our sun. The first planet detected by the Gemini Planet Imager is 100 light-years away but shares many of the characteristics of an early Jupiter.
MicroBooNE Experiment Sees First Cosmic Muons
on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 17:00:47 EDT:
A school bus-sized detector packed with 170 tons of liquid argon has seen its first particle footprints. On Aug. 6, MicroBooNE, a liquid-argon time projection chamber recorded images of the tracks of cosmic muons, particles that shower down on Earth when cosmic rays collide with nuclei in our atmosphere.
Protons and antiprotons appear to be true mirror images
on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:42:49 EDT:
In a stringent test of a fundamental property of the standard model of particle physics, known as CPT symmetry, researchers have made the most precise measurements so far of the charge-to-mass ratio of protons and their antimatter counterparts, antiprotons. The work was carried out using CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator, a device that provides low-energy antiprotons for antimatter studies. 
New tools for predicting arrival, impact of solar storms
on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 13:28:33 EDT:
When the sun hurls a billion tons of high-energy particles and magnetic fields into space at speeds of more than a million miles per hour and the 'space weather' conditions are right, the resulting geomagnetic storm at Earth can wreak havoc on communication and navigation systems, electrical power grids, and pose radiation hazards to astronauts and airline passengers and crew.
Scientists study nitrogen provision for Pluto's atmosphere
on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 13:25:50 EDT:
Data from the NASA New Horizons Mission hint that Pluto may still be geologically active, a theory that could explain how Pluto's escaping atmosphere remains flush with nitrogen.
Why the Greenwich prime meridian shifted a few hundred feet
on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 09:17:54 EDT:
The prime meridian has shifted a few hundred feet. An astronomer helped figure out why.
Charting the slow death of the universe
on Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:25:11 EDT:
Astronomers studying more than 200,000 galaxies have measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before. This represents the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe. They confirm that the energy produced in a section of the Universe today is only about half what it was two billion years ago and find that this fading is occurring across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared. The Universe is slowly dying.
Astronomers discover new planet orbiting two stars
on Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:20:49 EDT:
Astronomers have found a new planet orbiting in the 'habitable zone' of two stars, the 10th 'circumbinary' located by NASA's Kepler Mission. The planet, named Kepler-453b, is roughly 60 percent larger than Neptune and takes 240 days to orbit. Its erratic orbit, which limits the amount of times it transits directly between its stars and the Earth, means the next chance to discover it would not have come until 2066.
Big data analytical advances from academia, business are enhancing exploration of universe
on Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:06:24 EDT:
Statisticians have combined state-of-the-art analytical techniques from the academic and business worlds to tackle the Big Data challenges confronting astrophysicists and astronomers as they explore the mysteries of our universe.
Salt flat indicates some of the last vestiges of Martian surface water
on Fri, 07 Aug 2015 11:07:38 EDT:
Mars turned cold and dry long ago, but researchers have discovered evidence of an ancient lake that likely represents some of the last potentially habitable surface water ever to exist on the Red Planet.
Perseid meteors to light up summer skies
on Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:26:02 EDT:
The evening of Wednesday 12 August into the morning of Thursday 13 August sees the annual maximum of the Perseid meteor shower. This year, a new moon makes prospects for watching this natural firework display particularly good.
Galaxy star birth regulated by black-hole fountain
on Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:46:57 EDT:
Astronomers have uncovered a unique process for how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth. Hubble Space Telescope's exquisite high resolution and ultraviolet-light sensitivity allowed the astronomers to see brilliant knots of hot, blue stars forming along the jets of active black holes found in the centers of giant elliptical galaxies.
Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests
on Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:45:57 EDT:
Astronomers have produced the best constraint ever of the gravitational constant measured outside of our Solar System.
Searching for life in the Alpha Centauri system
on Thu, 06 Aug 2015 09:13:31 EDT:
Biopigments of plants, so-called biological photosynthetic pigments, leave behind unique traces in the light they reflect, an international team has discovered. The scientists studied these biosignatures with the help of polarization filters: If biopigments were present as a sign of life on a planet, they would leave behind a detectable polarized signature in the reflected light.
From a million miles away, NASA camera shows moon crossing face of Earth
on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 19:17:32 EDT:
A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated 'dark side' of the moon that is never visible from Earth.
Astronomers unveil a distant protogalaxy connected to the cosmic web
on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:20:43 EDT:
Astronomers have discovered a giant swirling disk of gas 10 billion light-years away -- a galaxy-in-the-making that is actively being fed cool primordial gas tracing back to the Big Bang. The finding provides the strongest observational support yet for what is known as the cold-flow model of galaxy formation.
Milky Way-like galaxies may have existed in the early universe
on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:48:34 EDT:
A new, large-scale computer simulation has shown for the first time that large disk galaxies, much like our own Milky Way, may have existed in the early days of the universe. The simulation shows that the early universe -- a mere 500 million years after the Big Bang -- might have had more order and structure than previously thought.
Spaceflight may increase susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease
on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:02:00 EDT:
Prolonged spaceflight may give you a nasty case of diarrhea, new research suggests. Specifically, when mice were subjected to simulated spaceflight conditions, the balance of bacteria and the function of immune cells in the gut changed, leading to increased bowel inflammation.
Lost lithium destroyed by ancient stars
on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:57:44 EDT:
Lithium, the lightest metal, used in batteries and mood-stabilising drugs, is rarer than it should be. Models of the period after the Big Bang explain how it, hydrogen and helium were synthesised in nuclear reactions, before the universe cooled enough for the stars and planets that we see today to come into being. Astronomers though think that about three times as much lithium was produced in that earliest epoch than remains today in the oldest stars in the galaxy, and the difference has proved hard to explain.
Scientists solve planetary ring riddle: Universal particle distribution of Saturn's rings
on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:57:42 EDT:
In a breakthrough study, an international team of scientists has solved an age-old scientific riddle by discovering that planetary rings, such as those orbiting Saturn, have a universally similar particle distribution.
Ghostly remnants of galaxy interactions uncovered in a nearby galaxy group
on Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:08:36 EDT:
Astronomers have observed the nearby large spiral galaxy M81, together with its two brightest neighbors. The team obtained deep and super wide-field images of the galaxies and discovered that the spatial distribution of the young stars around these galaxies follows very closely that of their distribution of neutral hydrogen. This is the first endeavor beyond the Local Group of galaxies to demonstrate the hierarchical galaxy assembly process on galactic scales.
Five billion light years across: The largest feature in the universe
on Tue, 04 Aug 2015 07:40:39 EDT:
Astronomers have found what appears to be the largest feature in the observable universe: a ring of nine gamma ray bursts -- and hence galaxies - 5 billion light years across.
Super star takes on black holes in jet contest
on Tue, 04 Aug 2015 07:39:40 EDT:
A super-dense star formed in the aftermath of a supernova explosion is shooting out powerful jets of material into space, research suggests. It was previously thought that the only objects in the Universe capable of forming such powerful jets were black holes.
Lab experiment mimics early-stage planetary formation process
on Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:55:56 EDT:
Physicists have directly observed, for the first time, how highly charged dust-sized particles attract and capture others to build up clusters particle by particle. This process can lead to the formation of "granular molecules" whose configurations resemble those of simple chemical molecules.
Weather reports on the sun could lead to safer space travel
on Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:54:37 EDT:
Astronauts could one day tune in to the morning’s space weather report to see whether they should take that trip to Mars. New research has revealed for the first time that magnetic waves travelling across the Sun’s surface can accelerate solar winds.
Scientists study ‘peanut-shaped’ asteroid near earth
on Mon, 03 Aug 2015 10:31:15 EDT:
A mile-long asteroid that raced past Earth July 25 at about 45,000 miles per hour – at a safe distance of 4.5 million miles – was imaged by radar telescopes so that astronomers could discern its precise orbit and physical shape.