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Scientists measure the evolving energy of a solar flare's explosive first minutes
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

In 2017, a massive new region of magnetic field erupted on the sun's surface next to an existing sunspot. The powerful collision of magnetic energy produced a series of solar flares, causing turbulent space weather conditions at Earth. Scientists have now pinpointed for the first time exactly when and where the explosion released the energy that heated spewing plasma to energies equivalent to 1 billion degrees in temperature.

The core of massive dying galaxies already formed 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

The most distant dying galaxy discovered so far, more massive than our Milky Way -- with more than a trillion stars -- has revealed that the 'cores' of these systems had formed already 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, about 1 billion years earlier than previous measurements revealed. The discovery will add to our knowledge on the formation of the Universe more generally, and may cause the computer models astronomers use, one of the most fundamental tools, to be revised.

Here and gone: Outbound comets are likely of alien origin
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

Astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) have analyzed the paths of two objects heading out of the Solar System forever and determined that they also most likely originated from outside of the Solar System. These results improve our understanding of the outer Solar System and beyond.

Taking the temperature of dark matter
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Warm, cold, just right? Physicists are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.

Astronomers discover class of strange objects near our galaxy's enormous black hole
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Astronomers have discovered a new class of bizarre objects at the center of our galaxy, not far from the supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*.

When the Milky Way collided with dwarf galaxy Gaia-Enceladus
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

A single star has provided information about the collision of the Milky Way with the dwarf galaxy Gaia-Enceladus. The event likely took place approximately 11.5 billion years ago.

Active asteroid unveils fireball identity
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

At around 1 a.m. local standard time on April 29, 2017, a fireball flew over Kyoto, Japan. Compared to other fireballs spotted from Earth, it was relatively bright and slow. Now, scientists have determined not only what the fireball was, but also where it came from.

Astronomers reveal interstellar thread of one of life's building blocks
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Phosphorus is an essential element for life as we know it. But how it arrived on the early Earth is something of a mystery. Astronomers have now traced the journey of phosphorus from star-forming regions to comets using the combined powers of ALMA and the European Space Agency's probe Rosetta. Their research shows where molecules containing phosphorus form, how this element is carried in comets, and how a particular molecule may have played a crucial role in starting life on Earth.

Galactic gamma-ray sources reveal birthplaces of high-energy particles
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Nine sources of extremely high-energy gamma rays comprise a new catalog compiled by researchers with the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory. All produce gamma rays with energies over 56 trillion electron volts (TeV) and three emit gamma rays extending to 100 TeV and beyond, making these the highest-energy sources ever observed in our galaxy. The catalog helps to explain where the particles originate and how they are accelerated to such extremes.

X-rays and gravitational waves will combine to illuminate massive black hole collisions
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

A new study has found that collisions of supermassive black holes may be simultaneously observable in both gravitational waves and X-rays at the beginning of the next decade.

'Cold Neptune' and two temperate super-Earths found orbiting nearby stars
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

A 'cold Neptune' and two potentially habitable worlds are part of a cache of five newly discovered exoplanets and eight exoplanet candidates found orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. The two potentially habitable planets are among the nearest stars to our own Sun, making them prime targets for observations by next-generation space- and land-based telescopes.

Connecting the dots in the sky could shed new light on dark matter
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Astrophysicists have come a step closer to understanding the origin of a faint glow of gamma rays covering the night sky. They found that this light is brighter in regions that contain a lot of matter and dimmer where matter is sparser -- a correlation that could help them narrow down the properties of exotic astrophysical objects and invisible dark matter.

Meteorite contains the oldest material on Earth: 7-billion-year-old stardust
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Scientists have discovered the oldest solid material on Earth: 7-billion-year-old stardust trapped inside a meteorite. This stardust provides evidence for a 'baby boom' of new stars that formed 7 billion years ago, contrary to thinking that star formation happens at a steady, constant rate.

How the solar system got its 'Great Divide,' and why it matters for life on Earth
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Scientists have finally scaled the solar system's equivalent of the Rocky Mountain range.

TESS dates an ancient collision with our galaxy
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

A single bright star in the constellation of Indus, visible from the southern hemisphere, has revealed new insights on an ancient collision that our galaxy the Milky Way underwent with another smaller galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus early in its history.

Stars need a partner to spin universe's brightest explosions
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

When it comes to the biggest and brightest explosions seen in the universe, astronomers have found that it takes two stars to make a gamma-ray burst.

Shocked meteorites provide clues to Earth's lower mantle
Posted on Friday January 10, 2020

An international team of scientists have completed a complex analysis of a ''shocked meteorite'' and gained new insight into Earth's lower mantle.

SuperTIGER on its second prowl -- 130,000 feet above Antarctica
Posted on Friday January 10, 2020

A balloon-borne scientific instrument designed to study the origin of cosmic rays is taking its second turn high above the continent of Antarctica three and a half weeks after its launch.

A stripped helium star solves the massive black hole mystery
Posted on Friday January 10, 2020

Recently, a Chinese team of astronomers claimed to have discovered a black hole as massive as 70 solar masses, which, if confirmed, would severely challenge the current view of stellar evolution. Among those to take a closer look at the object were astronomers from the Universities of Erlangen-Nürnberg and Potsdam. They discovered that it may not necessarily be a black hole at all, but possibly a massive neutron star or even an 'ordinary' star.

Experiment on beta-decay sheds light on fate of intermediate-mass stars
Posted on Friday January 10, 2020

A group of scientists succeeded to experimentally determine characteristics of nuclear processes in matter ten million times denser and 25 times hotter than the center of our sun. A result of the measurement is that intermediate-mass stars are very likely to explode, and not, as assumed until now, collapse.

Satellite constellations harvest energy for near-total global coverage
Posted on Friday January 10, 2020

Scientists have discovered the right combination of factors to make a four-satellite constellation possible, which could drive advances in telecommunication, navigation and remote sensing.

Mars: Water could disappear faster than expected
Posted on Thursday January 09, 2020

The small red planet is losing water more quickly than what theory as well as past observations would suggest. An international research team has just revealed that water vapor is accumulating in large quantities and unexpected proportions at an altitude of over 80 km in the Martian atmosphere. The capacity of water to escape would greatly increase during certain seasons.

Planet WASP-12b is on a death spiral, say scientists
Posted on Wednesday January 08, 2020

Astrophysicists have shown that exoplanet WASP-12b, located 600 light-years away, is spiraling in toward certain destruction in about 3 million years.

Cosmic bubbles reveal the first stars
Posted on Wednesday January 08, 2020

Astronomers have identified several overlapping bubbles of hydrogen gas ionized by the stars in early galaxies, a mere 680 million years after the Big Bang. This is the earliest direct evidence from the period when the first generation of stars formed and began reionizing the hydrogen gas that permeated the Universe.

Surprise! TESS shows ancient north star undergoes eclipses
Posted on Tuesday January 07, 2020

NASA's TESS satellite has shown that the bright star Alpha Draconis and its fainter, previously known companion actually undergo mutual eclipses: a complete surprise.

NASA's TESS mission uncovers its first world with two stars
Posted on Tuesday January 07, 2020

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has found its first circumbinary planet, a world orbiting two stars. Called TOI 1338 b, the planet lies 1,300 light-years away and is 6.9 times larger than Earth.

Binary star V Sagittae will explode as a very bright 'nova' by century's end
Posted on Tuesday January 07, 2020

The faint star V Sagittae, V Sge, in the constellation Sagitta, is barely visible, even in mid-sized telescopes. However, around the year 2083, this innocent star will explode, becoming as bright as Sirius, the brightest star visible in the night sky. During this time of eruption, V Sge will be the most luminous star in the Milky Way galaxy. This prediction was presented for the first time at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu.

NASA planet hunter finds Earth-size habitable-zone world
Posted on Tuesday January 07, 2020

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface.

NASA's Hubble surveys gigantic galaxy
Posted on Monday January 06, 2020

A Hubble Space Telescope photograph showcases the majestic spiral galaxy UGC 2885, located 232 million light-years away in the northern constellation Perseus.

A fast radio burst tracked down to a nearby galaxy
Posted on Monday January 06, 2020

Astronomers have pinpointed the location of a repeating fast radio burst. The breakthrough is only the second time that scientists have determined the precise location of a repeating source of these millisecond bursts of radio waves from space.

Astronomers spot distant galaxy group driving ancient cosmic makeover
Posted on Monday January 06, 2020

Astronomers have found the farthest galaxy group identified to date. Called EGS77, the trio of galaxies dates to a time when the universe was only 680 million years old, or less than 5% of its current age of 13.8 billion years.

Scientists develop new method to detect oxygen on exoplanets
Posted on Monday January 06, 2020

Scientists have developed a new method for detecting oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres that may accelerate the search for life. The new technique detects the signal that oxygen molecules produce when they collide. This signal could help scientists distinguish between planets with and without life.

Astronomers find wandering massive black holes in dwarf galaxies
Posted on Monday January 06, 2020

Studies with the VLA indicate that roughly half of the massive black holes in dwarf galaxies are not in the centers of those galaxies. This gives astronomers new insights into the conditions in which similar black holes formed and grew in the early history of the universe.

Ultimate Telemedicine: Expert helps treat astronaut's blood clot during NASA mission
Posted on Thursday January 02, 2020

An astronaut aboard the ISS had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) -- or blood clot -- in the jugular vein of the neck and had it treated while on the mission.

New nano-barrier for composites could strengthen spacecraft payloads
Posted on Monday December 23, 2019

Researchers developed a robust multi-layered nano-barrier for ultra-lightweight and stable carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) that could be used to build high precision instrument structures for future space missions.

Massive gas disk raises questions about planet formation theory
Posted on Monday December 23, 2019

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found a young star surrounded by an astonishing mass of gas. The star, called 49 Ceti, is 40 million years old and conventional theories of planet formation predict that the gas should have disappeared by that age. The enigmatically large amount of gas requests a reconsideration of our current understanding of planet formation.

Nightside barrier gently brakes 'bursty' plasma bubbles
Posted on Friday December 20, 2019

Space plasma physicists develop algorithms to measure the buoyancy waves that appear in thin filaments of magnetic flux on Earth's nightside.

Nearby pulsar's gamma-ray 'halo' linked to antimatter puzzle
Posted on Thursday December 19, 2019

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a faint but sprawling glow of high-energy light around a nearby pulsar. If visible to the human eye, this gamma-ray 'halo' would appear about 40 times bigger in the sky than a full Moon.

Fireballs: mail from space
Posted on Thursday December 19, 2019

The analysis of fireball observations in large datasets can be made much quicker with the help of a neat mathematical formula.

The 'cores' of massive galaxies had already formed 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang
Posted on Thursday December 19, 2019

A distant galaxy more massive than our Milky Way -- with more than a trillion stars - has revealed that the 'cores' of massive galaxies in the Universe had already formed 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, about 1 billion years earlier than previous measurements revealed.

Ultrashort x-ray technique will probe conditions found at the heart of planets
Posted on Thursday December 19, 2019

Combining powerful lasers and bright x-rays, researchers have demonstrated a technique that will allow new extreme experiments.

ESO observations reveal black holes' breakfast at the cosmic dawn
Posted on Thursday December 19, 2019

Astronomers have observed reservoirs of cool gas around some of the earliest galaxies in the universe. These gas halos are the perfect food for supermassive black holes at the center of these galaxies, which are now seen as they were over 12.5 billion years ago. This food storage might explain how these cosmic monsters grew so fast during a period in the universe's history known as the Cosmic Dawn.

NASA maps inner Milky Way, sees cosmic 'candy cane'
Posted on Wednesday December 18, 2019

A feature resembling a candy cane highlights this colorful composite image of our Milky Way galaxy's central zone. But this is no cosmic confection. It's part of a set of radio-emitting filaments extending 190 light-years.

Pulsars observed for the first time from South America
Posted on Tuesday December 17, 2019

A team has upgraded two radio telescopes in Argentina that lay dormant for 15 years in order to study pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars with intense magnetic fields that emit notably in radio wavelengths.

Distant Milky Way-like galaxies reveal star formation history of the universe
Posted on Tuesday December 17, 2019

Thousands of galaxies are visible in a new radio image of an area in the Southern Sky, made with the MeerKAT telescope. The numerous faint dots are distant galaxies like our own Milky Way, that have never been observed in radio light before.

Would a deep-Earth water cycle change our understanding of planetary evolution?
Posted on Monday December 16, 2019

Every school child learns about the water cycle -- evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. But what if there were a deep Earth component of this process happening on geologic timescales that makes our planet ideal for sustaining life as we know it?

ESO telescope images stunning central region of Milky Way, finds ancient star burst
Posted on Monday December 16, 2019

ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has observed the central part of the Milky Way with spectacular resolution and uncovered new details about the history of star birth in our galaxy. Thanks to the new observations, astronomers have found evidence for a dramatic event in the life of the Milky Way: a burst of star formation so intense that it resulted in over a 100,000 supernova explosions.

Carbon cocoons surround growing galaxies
Posted on Monday December 16, 2019

Researchers have discovered gigantic clouds of gaseous carbon spanning more than a radius of 30,000 light-years around young galaxies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). This is the first confirmation that carbon atoms produced inside of stars in the early Universe have spread beyond galaxies. No theoretical studies have predicted such huge carbon cocoons around growing galaxies, which raises questions about our current understanding of cosmic evolution.

Exoplanets can be made less habitable by stars' flares
Posted on Sunday December 15, 2019

Astronomers found that not all exoplanets in habitable zones will be able to maintain hospitable conditions for life. Exoplanets in close proximity to stars are subject to radiation bursts which can disrupt habitable conditions unless the exoplanet has significant atmospheric or magnetic shielding.

Finding a killer electron hot spot in Earth's Van Allen radiation belts
Posted on Friday December 13, 2019

JAXA and NASA satellite observations show where killer electrons are generated in the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding Earth.

First identified comet to visit our solar system from another star
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

Comet 2I/Borisov is a mysterious visitor from the depths of space -- the first identified comet to arrive here from another star. Hubble images capture the comet streaking though our solar system and on its way back to interstellar space. It's only the second interstellar object known to have passed through the solar system.

Scientists map a planet's global wind patterns for the first time, and it's not Earth
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

A new article documents the global wind patterns on any planet for the first time. Remote repogramming of the MAVEN spacecraft and its NGIMS instrument enabled the data collection. The results reveal seasonal stability in circulation patterns on Mars, but high short-term volatility in wind direction and speed. The data also allow researchers to infer the topography below based on waves created by the air mass flowing over features like mountains and canyons.

Newfound Martian aurora actually the most common; sheds light on Mars' changing climate
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

A type of Martian aurora first identified by NASA's MAVEN spacecraft in 2016 is actually the most common form of aurora occurring on the Red Planet, according to new results from the mission. The aurora is known as a proton aurora and can help scientists track water loss from Mars' atmosphere.

Short-lived light sources discovered in the sky
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

Roughly a hundred of very red, star-like sources that have appeared and vanished in short period of time have been discovered by a team of researchers when reviewing catalogue data, according to a new article. While most likely to be natural astrophysical sources the researchers are also taking extra-terrestrial sources into account.

Planet-mass objects in extragalactic systems
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

A research group is reporting the detection of extragalactic planet-mass objects in a second and third galaxy beyond the Milky Way after the first detection in 2018. With the existing observational resources, it is impossible to directly detect planet-mass objects beyond the Milky Way and to measure its rogue planetary population.

ALMA spots most distant dusty galaxy hidden in plain sight
Posted on Wednesday December 11, 2019

Astronomers have spotted the light of a massive galaxy seen only 970 million years after the Big Bang. This galaxy, called MAMBO-9, is the most distant dusty star-forming galaxy that has ever been observed without the help of a gravitational lens.

Water common -- yet scarce -- in exoplanets
Posted on Wednesday December 11, 2019

The most extensive survey of atmospheric chemical compositions of exoplanets to date has revealed trends that challenge current theories of planet formation and has implications for the search for water in the solar system and beyond.

Ice in motion: Satellites capture decades of change
Posted on Tuesday December 10, 2019

New time-lapse videos of Earth's glaciers and ice sheets as seen from space -- some spanning nearly 50 years -- are providing scientists with new insights into how the planet's frozen regions are changing.

No 'clouded' judgments: Geostationary satellite an alternative to monitor land surfaces
Posted on Tuesday December 10, 2019

Environmental scientists are always in search of new tools that can better characterize the Earth's surface. Researchers have now reported that Himawari-8, a new-generation geostationary satellite, was able to acquire cloud-free observations every 4 days and capture the seasonal changes of vegetation more accurately than before.

Stardust from red giants
Posted on Tuesday December 10, 2019

Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants. Astronomers can also explain why the Earth contains more of this stardust than the asteroids or the planet Mars, which are farther from the sun.







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