- Repurposing tabletop sensors to search for dark matteron May 5, 2021 at 6:55 pm
Researchers across the dark matter community that have begun to wonder if they are looking for the right type of dark matter. They have proposed a new way to look for the particles that might make up dark matter by repurposing existing tabletop sensor technology.
- Scientists model Saturn’s interior, explain planet’s unique magnetic fieldon May 5, 2021 at 5:05 pm
New simulations offer an intriguing look into Saturn’s interior, suggesting that a thick layer of helium rain influences the planet’s magnetic field.
- ‘Oddball supernova’ appears strangely cool before explodingon May 5, 2021 at 1:44 pm
Astronomers examined a massive star two-and-a-half years before it exploded into a supernova. At the end of their lives, cool, yellow stars are typically shrouded in hydrogen, which conceals the star’s hot, blue interior. But this yellow star, located 35 million light-years from Earth in the Virgo galaxy cluster, was mysteriously lacking this crucial hydrogen layer at the time of its explosion.
- New application of AI just removed one of the biggest roadblocks in astrophysicson May 4, 2021 at 11:16 pm
Using neural networks, researchers simulated vast, complex universes in a fraction of the time it takes with conventional methods.
- New lunar map to help guide future exploration missionson May 4, 2021 at 3:26 pm
A new map of the Schrodinger basin of the moon could help guide future exploration missions.
- Geology helps astronomers find habitable planetson May 4, 2021 at 3:25 pm
Astronomers have identified more than 4,000, and counting, confirmed exoplanets — planets orbiting stars other than the sun — but only a fraction have the potential to sustain life. Now, new research is using the geology of early planet formation to help identify those that may be capable of supporting life.
- Not just for finding planets: Exoplanet-hunter TESS telescope spots bright gamma-ray burston April 30, 2021 at 5:54 pm
NASA has a long tradition of unexpected discoveries, and the space program’s TESS mission is no different. Astrophysicists have discovered a particularly bright gamma-ray burst using a NASA telescope designed to find exoplanets – those occurring outside our solar system – particularly those that might be able to support life. It’s the first time a gamma-ray burst has been found this way.
- Small galaxies likely played important role in evolution of the Universeon April 30, 2021 at 1:31 pm
A study found evidence of a galaxy in a ‘blow-away’ state, which could give more insight into the Universe’s early stages.
- Hubble watches how a giant planet growson April 29, 2021 at 5:53 pm
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is giving astronomers a rare look at a Jupiter-sized, still-forming planet that is feeding off material surrounding a young star.
- Meteorite amino acids derived from substrates more widely available in the early solar systemon April 29, 2021 at 1:02 pm
Scientists have recreated the reaction by which carbon isotopes made their way into different organic compounds, challenging the notion that organic compounds, such as amino acids, were formed by isotopically enriched substrates. Their discovery suggests that the building blocks of life in meteorites were derived from widely available substrates in the early solar system.
- Using cosmic-ray neutron bursts to understand gamma-ray bursts from lightningon April 28, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Analysis of data from a lightning mapper and a small, hand-held radiation detector has unexpectedly shed light on what a gamma-ray burst from lightning might look like – by observing neutrons generated from soil by very large cosmic-ray showers.
- Measuring the Moon’s nano dust is no small matteron April 28, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Researchers are now measuring tinier moon dust particles than ever before, a step toward more precisely explaining the Moon’s apparent color and brightness. This in turn might help improve tracking of weather patterns and other phenomena by satellite cameras that use the Moon as a calibration source.
- Black hole-neutron star collisions may help settle dispute over Universe’s expansionon April 28, 2021 at 2:24 pm
A new study simulated 25,000 scenarios of black holes and neutron stars colliding, aiming to see how many would likely be detected by instruments on Earth in the mid- to late-2020s. The researchers found that, by 2030, instruments on Earth could sense ripples in space-time caused by up to 3,000 such collisions, and that for around 100 of these events, telescopes would also see accompanying explosions of light.
- Astronomers detect hydroxyl molecule signature in an exoplanet atmosphereon April 27, 2021 at 3:06 pm
Astronomers have detected a new chemical signature in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet (a planet that orbits a star other than our Sun). The hydroxyl radical (OH) was found on the dayside of the exoplanet WASP-33b — a so-called ‘ultra-hot Jupiter’, a gas-giant planet orbiting its host star much closer than Mercury orbits the Sun and therefore reaching atmospheric temperatures of more than 2,500° C.
- Icy clouds could have kept early Mars warm enough for rivers and lakeson April 26, 2021 at 7:48 pm
A new study led by a planetary scientist uses a computer model of Mars to put forth a promising explanation onto how Mars once contained rivers and lakes: Mars could have had a thin layer of icy, high-altitude clouds that caused a greenhouse effect.
- Asteroid that hit Botswana in 2018 likely came from Vesta, scientists sayon April 26, 2021 at 6:09 pm
An international team of researchers searched for pieces of a small asteroid tracked in space and then observed to impact Botswana on June 2, 2018.
- A breakthrough astrophysics code rapidly models stellar collisionson April 23, 2021 at 8:28 pm
A new breakthrough astrophysics code, named Octo-Tiger, simulates the evolution of self-gravitating and rotating systems of arbitrary geometry using adaptive mesh refinement and a new method to parallelize the code to achieve superior speeds. This new code to model stellar collisions is more expeditious than the established code used for numerical simulations.
- Hubble captures giant star on the edge of destructionon April 23, 2021 at 5:01 pm
In celebration of the 31st anniversary of the launching of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers aimed the renowned observatory at a brilliant ‘celebrity star,’ one of the brightest stars seen in our galaxy, surrounded by a glowing halo of gas and dust.
- Seismicity on Mars full of surprises, in first continuous year of dataon April 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The SEIS seismometer package from the Mars InSight lander has collected its first continuous Martian year of data, revealing some surprises among the more than 500 marsquakes detected so far.
- Radar satellites can better protect against bushfires and floodson April 23, 2021 at 12:57 pm
New research has revealed how radar satellites can improve the ability to detect, monitor, prepare for and withstand natural disasters in Australia including bushfires, floods and earthquakes.
- Mars has right ingredients for present-day microbial life beneath its surface, study findson April 22, 2021 at 7:04 pm
New research suggests that rocks in the Martian crust could produce the same kind of chemical energy that supports microbial life deep beneath Earth’s surface.
- The science of spin: Asteroseismologists confirm older stars rotate faster than expectedon April 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm
Stars spin faster than expected as they age according to a new study which uses asteroseismology to shed new light on this emerging theory.
- Using exoplanets as dark matter detectorson April 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm
In the continuing search for dark matter in our universe, scientists believe they have found a unique and powerful detector: exoplanets. Astrophysicists suggest dark matter could be detected by measuring the effect it has on the temperature of exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system.
- Mars’ changing habitability recorded by ancient dune fields in Gale crateron April 22, 2021 at 2:29 pm
An international team has found evidence of ancient dunes on Mars that could help explain ancient surface conditions.
- ALMA discovers rotating infant galaxy with help of natural cosmic telescopeon April 22, 2021 at 1:38 pm
Using ALMA, astronomers found a rotating baby galaxy 1/100th the size of the Milky Way at a time when the Universe was only seven percent of its present age. Thanks to assistance by the gravitational lens effect, the team was able to explore for the first time the nature of small and dark ‘normal galaxies’ in the early Universe, which greatly advances our understanding of the initial phase of galaxy evolution.
- Astronomers release new all-sky map of Milky Way’s outer reacheson April 22, 2021 at 2:22 am
The highlight of the new chart is a wake of stars, stirred up by a small galaxy set to collide with the Milky Way. The map could also offer a new test of dark matter theories.
- NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover extracts first oxygen from Red Planeton April 21, 2021 at 7:49 pm
The milestone, which the MOXIE instrument achieved by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, points the way to future human exploration of the Red Planet.
- Carbon dioxide-rich liquid water in ancient meteoriteon April 21, 2021 at 7:12 pm
Scientists detect small pockets of carbon dioxide-rich liquid water in a meteorite dating from the early solar system.
- Bubble with titanium trigger titanic explosionson April 21, 2021 at 4:45 pm
Scientists have found fragments of titanium blasting out of a famous supernova. This discovery, made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, could be a major step in pinpointing exactly how some giant stars explode.
- Enormous flare from sun’s nearest neighbor breaks recordson April 21, 2021 at 4:45 pm
On May 1, 2019, researchers observed a record-setting flare from the star Proxima Centauri — a burst of energy roughly 100 times more powerful than any similar event seen from Earth’s sun.
- Beyond space-age tech: Hybrid material moves next-generation transport fuel cells closeron April 21, 2021 at 1:38 pm
Protons are the next big thing when it comes to fuel cell technology. The subatomic exchange produces power on a scale that challenges contemporary solid-state fuel cell technology, used to help power space shuttles. To realize the proton-based technology sooner, an international team of researchers have developed a hybrid material that effectively transports protons at high temperatures and humidity — two major challenges in past attempts.
- Outback radio telescope discovers dense, spinning, dead staron April 21, 2021 at 1:25 pm
Astronomers have discovered a pulsar — a dense and rapidly spinning neutron star sending radio waves into the cosmos — using a low-frequency radio telescope in outback Australia. The new pulsar is located more than 3,000 light-years from Earth and spins about once every second. Pulsars are used by astronomers for applications including testing the laws of physics under extreme conditions.
- Astronauts’ mental health risks tested in the Antarcticon April 20, 2021 at 4:15 pm
Astronauts who spend prolonged time alone in space face mental health stressors like loneliness, isolation and more. A psychologist developed the Mental Health Checklist, a self-reporting instrument for detecting mental health changes in isolated, confined, extreme environments. She’s reporting results that show significant declines in positive emotions.
- Stone skipping techniques can improve reentry of space vehicleson April 20, 2021 at 4:15 pm
Scientists reveal several key factors that influence the number of bounces a skipping stone will undergo when hitting the water. The study involved theoretical modeling and an experimental setup using a model stone to gather data in real time and that allowed a motor to apply a controlled spin to the disk prior to launch. The investigators found that vertical acceleration and the spin direction influence the result.
- NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter succeeds in historic first flighton April 19, 2021 at 2:01 pm
The small rotorcraft made history, hovering above Jezero Crater, demonstrating that powered, controlled flight on another planet is possible.
- Scientists may detect signs of extraterrestrial life in the next 5 to 10 yearson April 16, 2021 at 11:49 pm
Research shows that a new telescope could detect a potential signature of life on other planets in as little as 60 hours.
- On the pulse of pulsars and polar lighton April 16, 2021 at 7:50 pm
Faced with the tragic loss of the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and the often prohibitive cost of satellite missions, astronomers are searching for savvy alternatives to continue answering fundamental questions in physics.
- A new super-Earth detected orbiting a red dwarf staron April 16, 2021 at 5:19 pm
Researchers report the discovery of a super-Earth orbiting the star GJ 740, a red dwarf star situated some 36 light years from Earth.
- Fast radio bursts shown to include lower frequency radio waves than previously detectedon April 16, 2021 at 4:01 pm
A team of researchers has established that fast radio bursts (FRBs) include radio waves at frequencies lower than ever detected before, a discovery that redraws the boundaries for theoretical astrophysicists trying to put their finger on the source of FRBs.
- Surprise twist suggests stars grow competitivelyon April 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm
A survey of star formation activity in the Orion Nebula Cluster found similar mass distributions for newborn stars and dense gas cores, which may evolve into stars. Counterintuitively, this means that the amount of gas a core accretes as it develops, and not the initial mass of the core, is the key factor in deciding the final mass of the produced star.
- The light-bending dance of binary black holeson April 15, 2021 at 9:07 pm
A pair of orbiting black holes millions of times the Sun’s mass perform a hypnotic pas de deux in a new NASA visualization. The movie traces how the black holes distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas — called an accretion disk — that surrounds each one.
- AI pinpoints local pollution hotspots using satellite imageson April 15, 2021 at 9:07 pm
Researchers have developed a method that uses machine learning, satellite imagery and weather data to autonomously find hotspots of heavy air pollution, city block by city block. The technique could be a boon for finding and mitigating sources of hazardous aerosols, studying the effects of air pollution on human health, and making better informed, socially just public policy decisions.
- Baked meteorites yield clues to planetary atmosphereson April 15, 2021 at 3:41 pm
In a novel laboratory investigation of the initial atmospheres of Earth-like rocky planets, researchers heated pristine meteorite samples in a high-temperature furnace and analyzed the gases released. Their results suggest that the initial atmospheres of terrestrial planets may differ significantly from many of the common assumptions used in theoretical models of planetary atmospheres.
- Satellite map of human pressure on land provides insight on sustainable developmenton April 15, 2021 at 12:24 am
The map shows a near-present snapshot of effects from deforestation, mining, expanding road networks, urbanization and increasing agriculture.
- Fast-spinning black holes narrow the search for dark matter particleson April 14, 2021 at 5:20 pm
An MIT study narrows the search for particles called ultralight bosons, which, if they exist, could be an important component of dark matter. Certain ultralight bosons would be expected to put the brakes on the spin of black holes, but the new results show no such slowdown.
- Telescopes unite in unprecedented observations of famous black holeon April 14, 2021 at 2:01 pm
In April 2019, scientists released the first image of a black hole in galaxy M87 using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). However, that remarkable achievement was just the beginning of the science story to be told.
- Stellar feedback and an airborne observatory; scientists determine a nebula younger than believedon April 13, 2021 at 9:07 pm
Researchers studied RCW 120 to analyze the effects of stellar feedback, and found that RCW 120 must be less than 150,000 years old, which is very young for such a nebula.
- Study warns of ‘oxygen false positives’ in search for signs of life on other planetson April 13, 2021 at 4:43 pm
In the search for life on other planets, the presence of oxygen in a planet’s atmosphere is one potential sign of biological activity that might be detected by future telescopes. A new study, however, describes several scenarios in which a lifeless rocky planet around a sun-like star could evolve to have oxygen in its atmosphere.
- New approach to centuries-old ‘three-body problem’on April 13, 2021 at 3:41 pm
The “three-body problem,” the term coined for predicting the motion of three gravitating bodies in space, is essential for understanding a variety of astrophysical processes as well as a large class of mechanical problems, and has occupied some of the world’s best physicists, astronomers and mathematicians for over three centuries. Their attempts have led to the discovery of several important fields of science; yet its solution remained a mystery.
- Atom interferometry demonstrated in spaceon April 13, 2021 at 3:40 pm
A team of scientists has managed to successfully perform atom interferometry in space – on board a sounding rocket.
- Ocean bacteria release carbon into the atmosphereon April 12, 2021 at 11:42 pm
Researchers have discovered that deep-sea bacteria dissolve carbon-containing rocks, releasing excess carbon into the ocean and atmosphere. The findings will allow scientists to better estimate the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, a main driver of global warming.
- Spotting cows from spaceon April 12, 2021 at 11:42 pm
Cows don’t seem to have a whole lot going on most of the time. They’re raised to spend their days grazing in the field, raised for the purpose of providing milk or meat, or producing more cows. So when students in an ecologist’s lab found themselves staring intently at satellite image upon image of bovine herds at Point Reyes National Seashore, it was funny, in a ‘Far Side’ kind of way.
- Search for sterile neutrinos: It’s all about a bend in the curveon April 12, 2021 at 2:19 pm
KATRIN experiment succeeds in strongly narrowing the search elusive particles.
- Life on Venus? First we need to know more about molecules in the atmosphereon April 12, 2021 at 2:18 pm
To confirm life on other planets, we need to detect far more molecules in their atmospheres than we currently do to rule out non-biological chemical processes.
- New research reveals secret to Jupiter’s curious aurora activityon April 10, 2021 at 2:49 pm
Jupiter’s polar cap is threaded in part with closed magnetic field lines rather than entirely with open magnetic field lines, new research finds.
- Amounts of organic molecules in planetary systems differ from early onon April 9, 2021 at 2:44 pm
An international group of scientists have studied the chemical composition of 50 protoplanetary-disk forming regions in the Perseus Molecular Cloud, and found that despite being in the same cloud, the amounts of complex organic molecules they contain are quite different.
- Discovery of rare ‘quadruply imaged quasars’ can help solve cosmological puzzleson April 8, 2021 at 7:23 pm
With the help of machine-learning techniques, a team of astronomers has discovered a dozen quasars that have been warped by a naturally occurring cosmic ‘lens’ and split into four similar images. Quasars are extremely luminous cores of distant galaxies that are powered by supermassive black holes.
- Caught speeding: Clocking the fastest-spinning brown dwarfson April 8, 2021 at 7:23 pm
Astronomers have discovered the most rapidly rotating brown dwarfs known. They found three brown dwarfs that each complete a full rotation roughly once every hour. That rate is so extreme that if these ‘failed stars’ rotated any faster, they could come close to tearing themselves apart. Identified by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the brown dwarfs were then studied by ground-based telescopes including Gemini North, which confirmed their surprisingly speedy rotation.
- Curiosity rover explores stratigraphy of Gale crateron April 8, 2021 at 7:22 pm
Gale Crater’s central sedimentary mound (Aeolis Mons or, informally, Mount Sharp) is a 5.5-km-tall remnant of the infilling and erosion of this ancient impact crater. Given its thickness and age, Mount Sharp preserves one of the best records of early Martian climatic, hydrological, and sedimentary history.
- NASA’s NICER finds X-ray boosts in the Crab Pulsar’s radio burstson April 8, 2021 at 7:22 pm
A global science collaboration using data from NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescope on the International Space Station has discovered X-ray surges accompanying radio bursts from the pulsar in the Crab Nebula. The finding shows that these bursts, called giant radio pulses, release far more energy than previously suspected.