Phys.org Astronomy & Space News Feeds

  • Gravitational self-lensing of massive black hole binaries
    on October 22, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    A “massive” black hole (MBH) is one whose mass is more than about one hundred thousand solar-masses. MBHs reside at the centers of most galaxies, and when they actively accrete gas and dust onto their surrounding hot disk environments they radiate across the electromagnetic spectrum and are classified as active galactic nuclei.

  • Male mice exposed to simulated deep space radiation experienced impaired spatial learning
    on October 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    A team of researchers working at multiple facilities in the San Francisco area has found that male mice exposed to radiation similar to that encountered by humans on long space missions experienced problems with spatial learning several months later. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their simulations, how it impacted the mice and the way they found to prevent adverse effects from happening.

  • Black hole thermodynamics: A history from Penrose to Hawking
    on October 22, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    In 1969, English physicist Roger Penrose discovered a property which would later allow for a long-awaited link between thermodynamics, and the far stranger mechanics of black holes. Through new analysis published in EPJ H, Carla Rodrigues Almeida, based at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, sheds new light on Penrose’s motivations and methods, and explores their historical influence on the groundbreaking discovery of Hawking radiation.

  • Seattle students virtually Zoom into space for a chat with astronaut Megan McArthur
    on October 22, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    The students gathered at the Museum of Flight in Seattle were ready to ask Megan McArthur questions, via video link, about life as an astronaut. She was about as far away as Walla Walla—but in outer space.

  • Examining the accelerating universe
    on October 22, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    A special edition of EPJST, edited by Balasubramanian Ananthanarayan, Centre for High Energy Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Subhendra Mohanty, Department of Theoretical Physics, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, brings together a collection of papers focusing improving our understanding of the accelerating expansion of the Universe and the nature of the dark energy that drives it.

  • Major step in UK contribution to space mission to study solar wind
    on October 22, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Space scientists from the University of Leicester have delivered a key component for a new mission to study the impact of the solar wind on Earth’s magnetic field.

  • Mini Earth-observer Proba-1’s 20 years in orbit
    on October 22, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    ESA’s Proba-1 minisatellite was launched into orbit two decades ago today. It remains fully operational, however, making it the Agency’s oldest serving Earth observing mission. Proba-1 is roughly the size of a hotel fridge but hosts two Earth-observing instruments along with numerous technological firsts.

  • Video: We asked a NASA scientist: What if an asteroid were going to hit Earth?
    on October 22, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    There are no known threats to Earth, but NASA asteroid expert Dr. Kelly Fast says it’s important to find the asteroids before they find us. That’s why NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps its eyes on the skies.

  • ESA moves forward with Destination Earth
    on October 22, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Earth observation provides a wealth of information to benefit our daily lives. As the demand for satellite data grows to address the challenges of climate change and a growing population, ESA, under the leadership of the European Commission, along with its key European partners, are developing high precision digital models of Earth to monitor and simulate both natural and human activity, to enable more sustainable development and support European environmental policies.

  • Hubble Space Telescope gives unprecedented, early view of a doomed star’s destruction
    on October 21, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Like a witness to a violent death, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently gave astronomers an unprecedented, comprehensive view of the first moments of a star’s cataclysmic demise. Hubble’s data, combined with other observations of the doomed star from space- and ground-based telescopes, may give astronomers an early warning system for other stars on the verge of blowing up.

  • Cyprus aims for Mars with X-Ray rock dating instrument
    on October 21, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Tiny Cyprus aims to join the global space exploration drive by developing a compact, X-Ray instrument capable of dating Martian soil and rock samples relatively accurately to potentially reveal more about the Red Planet’s geological history and offer a glimpse of Earth’s own future.

  • What happens when a meteor hits the atmosphere?
    on October 21, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    In the heavens above, it’s raining dirt.

  • Ten mysteries of Venus
    on October 21, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    The surface of Venus is completely inhospitable for life: barren, dry, crushed under an atmosphere about 90 times the pressure of Earth’s and roasted by temperatures two times hotter than an oven. But was it always that way? Could Venus once have been a twin of Earth—a habitable world with liquid water oceans? This is one of the many mysteries associated with our shrouded sister world.

  • A radical shift to link soot formation and interstellar evolution
    on October 21, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Unusual reaction pathways to hydrocarbon clusters could bring a paradigm shift to the understanding of soot and interstellar chemistry.

  • Astronomers provide ‘field guide’ to exoplanets known as hot Jupiters
    on October 21, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Hot Jupiters—giant gas planets that race around their host stars in extremely tight orbits—have become a little bit less mysterious thanks to a new study combining theoretical modeling with observations by the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • NEID spectrometer lights up path to exoplanet exploration
    on October 21, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    A new NASA instrument will look for planets by detecting subtle wobbles from their parent stars. To prepare, it will study the sun.

  • Researchers call for armchair astronomers to help find unknown hidden worlds
    on October 21, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Astronomers at the University of Warwick have joined partners around the world in launching a new online initiative, calling for volunteers to come forward and help to search for extrasolar planets.

  • Mining the moon’s water will require a massive infrastructure investment, but should we?
    on October 21, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    We live in a world in which momentous decisions are made by people often without forethought. But some things are predictable, including that if you continually consume a finite resource without recycling, it will eventually run out.

  • South Korea launches first domestic space rocket but mission fails
    on October 21, 2021 at 8:15 am

    South Korea launched its first domestically developed space rocket on Thursday but failed to put its dummy payload into orbit, a setback in the country’s attempts to join the ranks of advanced space-faring nations.

  • New galaxy images reveal a fitful start to the Universe
    on October 21, 2021 at 7:54 am

    New images have revealed detailed clues about how the first stars and structures were formed in the Universe and suggest the formation of the Galaxy got off to a fitful start.

  • NASA challenges K-12 students to design moon-digging robots
    on October 20, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    NASA seeks young engineers to help design a new robot concept for an excavation mission on the Moon. The Lunabotics Junior Contest is open to K-12 students in U.S. public and private schools, as well as home-schoolers.

  • Astronomers detect signs of an atmosphere stripped from a planet in a giant impact
    on October 20, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Young planetary systems generally experience extreme growing pains, as infant bodies collide and fuse to form progressively larger planets. In our own solar system, the Earth and moon are thought to be products of this type of giant impact. Astronomers surmise that such smashups should be commonplace in early systems, but they have been difficult to observe around other stars.

  • Astronomers discover twin sub-Neptune exoplanets orbiting nearby star
    on October 20, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    By analyzing the data from the TESS-Keck Survey (TKS), an international team of astronomers reports the detection of two almost identically sized sub-Neptune exoplanets orbiting a nearby star. The newly found alien worlds, designated HD 63935 b and HD 63935 c, are about three times larger than the Earth. The finding is detailed in a paper published October 13 on the arXiv pre-print server.

  • Image: Auroras viewed from orbit
    on October 20, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Auroras make for great Halloween décor over Earth, though ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet snapped these green smoky swirls of plasma from the International Space Station in August. Also pictured are the Soyuz MS-18 “Yuri Gagarin” (left) and the new Nauka module (right).

  • Studying the edge of the sun’s magnetic bubble
    on October 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Our corner of the universe, the solar system, is nestled inside the Milky Way galaxy, home to more than 100 billion stars. The solar system is encased in a bubble called the heliosphere, which separates us from the vast galaxy beyond—and some of its harsh space radiation.

  • New study probes X-ray bursts from low-mass X-ray binaries
    on October 20, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    An international research team has performed a new measurement of an important astrophysical reaction, 22Mg(α, p)25Al, providing essential experimental data for understanding the light curve of X-ray bursts and the astrophysical environment in low-mass X-ray binaries.

  • Boeing aims for unmanned Starliner test flight in first half of 2022
    on October 20, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Boeing is aiming for a test flight of its unmanned CST-100 Starliner capsule in the first half of next year and a potential launch of its crewed spacecraft at the end of 2022, company officials said Tuesday.

  • Simulating chaotic interactions of three black holes
    on October 20, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Dutch student Arend Moerman (Leiden University, the Netherlands) has defended his thesis research on the simulation of chaotic interactions of three black holes. The simulations, which he carried out together with researchers from Leiden and Oxford, show that lighter black holes tend to slingshot each other out into space, while heavier ones tend to merge. The research will be published in the leading journal Physical Review D.

  • Back to gravity: Russians talk about world’s 1st space movie
    on October 19, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    A Russian actor and a film director who spent 12 days in orbit making the world’s first movie in space said Tuesday they were so thrilled with their experience on the International Space Station that they felt sorry to leave.

  • Solar storm stirs stunning aurora
    on October 19, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    After the sun ejected a violent mass of fast-moving plasma into space on 9 October, ESA waited for the storm to strike. A few days later, the coronal mass ejection (CME) arrived at Earth, crashing into our planet’s magnetosphere, and lighting up the sky.