- Highest-resolution measurements of asteroid surface temperatures ever obtained from Earthon August 5, 2021 at 10:07 pm
A close examination of the millimeter-wavelength emissions from the asteroid Psyche, which NASA intends to visit in 2026, has produced the first temperature map of the object, providing new insight into its surface properties. The findings are a step toward resolving the mystery of the origin of this unusual object, which has been thought by some to be a chunk of the core of an ill-fated protoplanet.
- Lunar samples solve mystery of the moon’s supposed magnetic shieldon August 5, 2021 at 6:11 pm
Tests of glass samples gathered on Apollo missions show magnetization may result from impacts of objects like meteors, not as a result of magnetization from the presence of a magnetic shield.
- NASA’s TESS tunes into an all-sky ‘symphony’ of red giant starson August 5, 2021 at 6:11 pm
Using observations from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), astronomers have identified an unprecedented collection of pulsating red giant stars all across the sky. These stars, whose rhythms arise from internal sound waves, provide the opening chords of a symphonic exploration of our galactic neighborhood.
- Solving solar puzzle could help save Earth from planet-wide blackoutson August 5, 2021 at 3:55 pm
Understanding the Sun’s magnetic dynamo could help predict solar weather, such as potentially dangerous geothermal storms, solar flares and sunspots. Mathematicians have proposed a new model of the Sun that matches observed data.
- Ocean world: Rocky exoplanet has just half the mass of Venuson August 5, 2021 at 1:08 pm
A team of astronomers have shed new light on planets around a nearby star, L 98-59, that resemble those in the inner Solar System. Amongst the findings are a planet with half the mass of Venus — the lightest exoplanet ever to be measured using the radial velocity technique — an ocean world, and a possible planet in the habitable zone.
- Space scientists reveal secret behind Jupiter’s ‘energy crisis’on August 4, 2021 at 4:33 pm
New research has revealed the solution to Jupiter’s ‘energy crisis’, which has puzzled astronomers for decades. Astronomers have created a detailed global map of the gas giant’s upper atmosphere, confirming that Jupiter’s powerful aurorae are responsible for delivering planet-wide heating.
- Nearby star resembles ours in its youthon August 4, 2021 at 4:30 pm
New research provides a closer look at a nearby star thought to resemble our young Sun. The work allows scientists to better understand what our Sun may have been like when it was young, and how it may have shaped the atmosphere of our planet and the development of life on Earth.
- Microwave-powered rocket propulsion gets a booston August 3, 2021 at 2:55 pm
Researchers found that power could be sent to a free-flying drone via a beam of microwave radiation. The team estimated the efficiency of this process and compared it with that for a fixed-position drone. The results have implications for the possibility of using such microwave power transmission to launch aircraft, spacecraft, and rockets and avoid the high onboard-fuel requirements of commonly used propulsion approaches.
- Why is this weird, metallic star hurtling out of the Milky Way?on August 2, 2021 at 8:06 pm
About 2,000 light-years away from Earth, there is a star catapulting toward the edge of the Milky Way. This particular star is one of a unique breed of fast-moving stars — remnant pieces of massive white dwarf stars — that have survived in chunks after a gigantic stellar explosion.
- Finding the cause of a fatal problem in rocket engine combustorson August 2, 2021 at 6:01 pm
A vital piece of gas engines, combustors — the chambers in which the combustion powering the engine occurs — have the problem of breaking down due to fatal high-frequency oscillations during the combustion process. Now, through advanced time-series analyses based on complex systems, researchers have found what causes them, opening up novel paths to solving the problem.
- Astronomers probe layer-cake structure of brown dwarf’s atmosphereon July 30, 2021 at 8:54 pm
Astronomers have developed a new way to capture all the exquisite ‘layer-cake’ details of a brown dwarf’s cloud structure. Because brown dwarfs are similar to super-Jupiters, this innovative technique can help deepen scientists’ understanding of the atmospheres of giant alien worlds that are more massive than Jupiter.
- HR 8799 super-Jupiters’ days measured for the first time, gives a new spin on unraveling planet formation mysteryon July 29, 2021 at 10:35 pm
Astronomers have captured the first-ever spin measurements of HR 8799, the famed system that made history as the very first exoplanetary system to have its image taken.
- Astronomers discover how to feed a black holeon July 29, 2021 at 6:34 pm
Researchers have discovered long narrow dust filaments which surround and feed black holes in the centers of galaxies, and which could be the natural cause of the darkening of the centers of many galaxies when their nuclear black holes are active.
- Planetary scientist puts Mars lake theory on ice with new study that offers alternate explanationon July 29, 2021 at 6:34 pm
For years scientists have been debating what might lay under the Martian planet’s south polar cap after bright radar reflections were discovered and initially attributed to water. But now, a new study puts that theory to rest and demonstrates for the first time that another material is most likely the answer.
- Earthly rocks point way to water hidden on Marson July 29, 2021 at 4:21 pm
A combination of a once-debunked 19th-century identification of a water-carrying iron mineral and the fact that these rocks are extremely common on Earth, suggests the existence of a substantial water reservoir on Mars, according to a team of geoscientists.
- Scientists observe gas re-accretion in dying galaxies for the first timeon July 29, 2021 at 1:52 pm
A new study suggests that previously displaced gases can re-accrete onto galaxies, potentially slowing down the process of galaxy death caused by ram pressure stripping, and creating unique structures more resistant to its effects.
- Water as a metalon July 28, 2021 at 4:43 pm
Under normal conditions, pure water is an almost perfect insulator. Water only develops metallic properties under extreme pressure, such as exists deep inside of large planets. Now, an international collaboration has used a completely different approach to produce metallic water and documented the phase transition at BESSY II.
- Scientists capture most-detailed radio image of Andromeda galaxy to dateon July 28, 2021 at 3:13 pm
Scientists have published a new, detailed radio image of the Andromeda galaxy — the Milky Way’s sister galaxy — which will allow them to identify and study the regions of Andromeda where new stars are born.
- First detection of light from behind a black holeon July 28, 2021 at 3:12 pm
Fulfilling a prediction of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, researchers report the first-ever recordings of X-ray emissions from the far side of a black hole.
- Magnetic fields implicated in the mysterious midlife crisis of starson July 28, 2021 at 2:57 pm
Middle-aged stars can experience their own kind of midlife crisis, experiencing dramatic breaks in their activity and rotation rates at about the same age as our Sun, according to new research. The study provides a new theoretical underpinning for the unexplained breakdown of established techniques for measuring ages of stars past their middle age, and the transition of solar-like stars to a magnetically inactive future.
- Magnetic ‘balding’ of black holes saves general relativity predictionon July 27, 2021 at 9:16 pm
Magnetic fields around black holes decay quickly, researchers report. This finding backs up the so-called ‘no-hair conjecture’ predicted by Einstein’s general relativity.
- On the hunt for ‘hierarchical’ black holeson July 27, 2021 at 5:14 pm
Black holes, detected by their gravitational wave signal as they collide with other black holes, could be the product of much earlier parent collisions. Such an event has only been hinted at so far, but scientists believe we are getting close to tracking down the first of these so-called ‘hierarchical’ black holes.
- Three dwarf spheroidal galaxies found to rotateon July 27, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Astrophysicists have discovered the presence of transverse rotation (in the plane of the sky) in three dwarf spheroidal galaxies, a very faint type of galaxies and difficult to observe, which are orbiting round the Milky Way; this helps to trace their evolutionary history.
- Supernova’s ‘fizzled’ gamma-ray burston July 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm
On Aug. 26, 2020, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a pulse of high-energy radiation that had been racing toward Earth for nearly half the present age of the universe. Lasting only about a second, it turned out to be one for the record books — the shortest gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the death of a massive star ever seen.
- Hubble finds evidence of water vapor at Jupiter’s moon Ganymedeon July 26, 2021 at 5:21 pm
Astronomers have uncovered evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. This water vapor forms when ice from the moon’s surface sublimates — that is, turns from solid to gas. Astronomers re-examined Hubble observations from the last two decades to find this evidence of water vapor.
- Martian global dust storm ended winter early in the southon July 22, 2021 at 11:50 pm
A dust storm that engulfed Mars in 2018 destroyed a vortex of cold air around the planet’s south pole and brought an early spring to the hemisphere. By contrast, the storm caused only minor distortions to the polar vortex in the northern hemisphere and no dramatic seasonal changes.
- Meet the Martian meteorite hunterson July 22, 2021 at 11:50 pm
A team is paving the way for future rovers to search for meteorites on Mars. The scientists are using an extensive meteorite collection to test the spectral instruments destined for the ExoMars rover Rosalind Franklin, and develop tools to identify meteorites on the surface of the red planet.
- Anatomy of the red planet: Mars-quakes reveal interioron July 22, 2021 at 8:30 pm
Researchers have been able to use seismic data to look inside Mars for the first time. They measured the crust, mantle and core and narrowed down their composition.
- Unravelling the knotty problem of the Sun’s activityon July 22, 2021 at 8:30 pm
A new approach to analysing the development of magnetic tangles on the Sun has led to a breakthrough in a longstanding debate about how solar energy is injected into the solar atmosphere before being released into space, causing space weather events. The first direct evidence that field lines become knotted before they emerge at the visible surface of the Sun has implications for our ability to predict the behavior of active regions and the nature of the solar interior.
- Astrophysicist outlines plans for the gravitational wave observatory on the moonon July 22, 2021 at 8:29 pm
Not a moonshot: Astronomers explore possibility of lunar observatory to better understand fundamental physics, astronomy and cosmology.
- Planetary shields will buckle under stellar winds from their dying starson July 22, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Any life identified on planets orbiting white dwarf stars almost certainly evolved after the star’s death, says a new study that reveals the consequences of the intense and furious stellar winds that will batter a planet as its star is dying.
- Antimatter from laser pincerson July 22, 2021 at 3:30 pm
An international physics team has proposed a new concept that may allow selected cosmic extreme processes to be studied in the laboratory in the future. A special setup of two high-intensity laser beams could create conditions similar to those found near neutron stars, for example. An antimatter jet is generated and accelerated very efficiently, as the experts report.
- Spotted: An exoplanet with the potential to form moonson July 22, 2021 at 3:29 pm
New high-resolution observations clearly show a moon-forming region around exoplanet PDS 70c. The observations have allowed astronomers to determine the ring-shaped region’s size and mass for the first time.
- New study reveals previously unseen star formation in Milky Wayon July 22, 2021 at 3:28 pm
A new survey of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, combines the capabilities of the Very Large Array and the Effelsberg telescope in Germany to provide astronomers with valuable new insights into how stars much more massive than the Sun are formed.
- A large tidal stream observed in the Sombrero galaxyon July 21, 2021 at 4:07 pm
Astronomers have made detailed observations of a large tidal flow around the Sombrero galaxy, whose strange morphology has still not been definitively explained.
- The weather forecast for Venuson July 21, 2021 at 4:07 pm
Little is known about the weather at night on Venus as the absence of sunlight makes imaging difficult. Now, researchers have devised a way to use infrared sensors on board the Venus orbiter Akatsuki to reveal the first details of the nighttime weather of our nearest neighbor. Their analytical methods could be used to study other planets including Mars and gas giants as well.
- SuperBIT: A low-cost balloon-borne telescope to rival Hubbleon July 21, 2021 at 2:24 pm
Astronomersand engineers are building a new kind of astronomical telescope. SuperBIT flies above 99.5% of the Earth’s atmosphere, carried by a helium balloon the size of a football stadium. The telescope will make its operational debut next April and when deployed should obtain high-resolution images rivaling those of the Hubble Space Telescope.
- Long-period oscillations of Sun discoveredon July 20, 2021 at 3:44 pm
A team of solar physicists has reported the discovery of global oscillations of the Sun with very long periods, comparable to the 27-day solar rotation period. The oscillations manifest themselves at the solar surface as swirling motions with speeds on the order of 5 kilometers per hour.
- Earth’s magnetosphere: The origin of bifurcated current sheets explainedon July 20, 2021 at 3:43 pm
A research team has identified the origin of bifurcated current sheets, considered one of the most unsolved mysteries in the Earth’s magnetosphere and in magnetized plasma physics.
- Capturing electrons in spaceon July 20, 2021 at 3:42 pm
Linear molecules can capture and bind free electrons through the permanent dipole moment interaction. Physicists have achieved laboratory confirmation of the existence of dipole-bound states. Such states can form an intermediate step in the creation of negatively charged molecules and explain the existence of negative ions in interstellar clouds in space.
- Supermassive black holes put a brake on stellar birthson July 19, 2021 at 11:16 pm
Black holes with masses equivalent to millions of suns do put a brake on the birth of new stars, say astronomers. Using machine learning and three state of the art simulations to back up results from a large sky survey, the researchers resolve a 20-year long debate on the formation of stars.
- Tail without a comet: the dusty remains of Comet ATLASon July 19, 2021 at 4:03 pm
A serendipitous flythrough of the tail of a disintegrated comet has offered scientists a unique opportunity to study these remarkable structures.
- Dark heart of the nearest radio galaxyon July 19, 2021 at 3:05 pm
Astronomers have imaged the heart of the nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A in unprecedented detail.
- Cosmic rays help supernovae explosions pack a bigger punchon July 19, 2021 at 3:05 pm
The final stage of cataclysmic explosions of dying massive stars, called supernovae, could pack an up to six times bigger punch on the surrounding interstellar gas with the help of cosmic rays, according to a new study.
- Millimeter-tall ‘mountains’ on neutron starson July 18, 2021 at 11:14 pm
New models of neutron stars show that their tallest mountains may be only fractions of millimeters high, due to the huge gravity on the ultra-dense objects.
- Galactic fireworks: New ESO images reveal stunning features of nearby galaxieson July 16, 2021 at 1:10 pm
A team of astronomers has released new observations of nearby galaxies that resemble colourful cosmic fireworks. The images, obtained with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), show different components of the galaxies in distinct colours, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the locations of young stars and the gas they warm up around them.
- Physicists more fully describe sun’s electric fieldon July 14, 2021 at 3:04 pm
Physicists have described in fuller detail the sun’s electric field. The researchers measured the flow of electrons streaming from the sun as the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft made its closest approach to date to our home star.
- Galactic gamma ray bursts predicted last year show up right on scheduleon July 13, 2021 at 8:52 pm
Astronomers see many periodic emissions from space, typically caused by rotation of stars and often very regular. Astrophysicists noticed a unique periodicity in the soft gamma ray emissions from a magnetar located in our galaxy. The soft gamma repeater SGR1935+2154 appears to emit bursts only within regularly spaced windows, and is inactive in between. Based on their analysis, they predicted a resumption of bursts last month; so far, a dozen have been detected.
- Trace gas phosphine points to volcanic activity on Venus, scientists sayon July 12, 2021 at 7:19 pm
Last autumn, researchers reported finding the gas phosphine in trace amounts in Venus’ upper atmosphere, raising the slim possibility of a biological signature. Now scientists say that the phosphine’s chemical fingerprints support a different find: evidence of explosive volcanoes.
- Teardrop star reveals hidden supernova doomon July 12, 2021 at 4:22 pm
Astronomers have made the rare sighting of two stars spiralling to their doom by spotting the tell-tale signs of a teardrop-shaped star.
- Haziness of exoplanet atmospheres depends on properties of aerosol particleson July 12, 2021 at 4:21 pm
Many exoplanets have opaque atmospheres, obscured by clouds or hazes that make it hard for astronomers to characterize their chemical compositions. A new study shows that haze particles produced under different conditions have a wide range of properties that can determine how clear or hazy a planet’s atmosphere is likely to be.
- How the universe is reflected near black holeson July 12, 2021 at 4:21 pm
In the vicinity of black holes, space is so warped that even light rays may curve around them several times. This phenomenon may enable us to see multiple versions of the same thing. While this has been known for decades, only now do we have an exact, mathematical expression.
- Scientists solve 40-year mystery over Jupiter’s X-ray auroraon July 9, 2021 at 11:36 pm
Researchers combined close-up observations of Jupiter’s environment by NASA’s satellite Juno, which is currently orbiting the planet, with simultaneous X-ray measurements from the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton observatory (which is in Earth’s own orbit). The X-rays are part of Jupiter’s aurora — bursts of visible and invisible light that occur when charged particles interact with the planet’s atmosphere. A similar phenomenon occurs on Earth, creating the northern lights, but Jupiter’s is much more powerful, releasing hundreds of gigawatts of energy, enough to briefly power all of human civilization.
- Icequakes likely rumble along geyser-spitting fractures in Saturn’s icy moon Enceladuson July 8, 2021 at 5:53 pm
Tidal stresses may be causing constant icequakes on Saturn’s sixth largest moon Enceladus, a world of interest in the search for life beyond Earth, according to a new study.
- New radio receiver opens wider window to radio universeon July 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm
Researchers have used the latest wireless technology to develop a new radio receiver for astronomy. The receiver is capable of capturing radio waves at frequencies over a range several times wider than conventional ones, and can detect radio waves emitted by many types of molecules in space at once. This is expected to enable significant progresses in the study of the evolution of the Universe and the mechanisms of star and planet formation.
- An antioxidative stress regulator protects muscle tissue in space, mouse study showson July 8, 2021 at 3:14 pm
Researchers have found that nuclear factor E2-related factor 2, a master regulator of the oxidative stress response, affects muscle composition in microgravity. Targeting this protein could help protect against muscle changes during space flight, and could also have implications for muscle wasting in conditions such as cancer and aging.
- Nova explosions alone cannot explain amount of lithium in current universeon July 7, 2021 at 3:24 pm
A new study of lithium production in a classical nova found a production rate of only a couple of percent that seen in other examples. This shows that there is a large diversity within classical novae and implies that nova explosions alone cannot explain the amount of lithium seen in the current Universe. This is an important result for understanding both the explosion mechanism of classical novae and the overall chemical evolution of the Universe.
- Methane in plumes of Saturn’s moon Enceladus: Possible signs of life?on July 6, 2021 at 10:09 pm
A study concludes that known geochemical processes can’t explain the levels of methane measured by the Cassini spacecraft on Saturn’s icy moon. While the paper by no means suggests that life exists on Enceladus, the results would be consistent with microbial activity similar to that known to occur at hydrothermal vents in Earth’s oceans.
- Satellite galaxies can carry on forming stars when they pass close to their parent galaxieson July 6, 2021 at 5:31 pm
Using sophisticated simulations of the whole of the Local Group of galaxies, including the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy and their respective satellite galaxies, researchers have shown that the satellites not only can retain their gas but can also experience many new episodes of star formation just after passing close to the pericenter of their parent galaxy.
- Kepler telescope glimpses population of free-floating planetson July 6, 2021 at 3:54 pm
Tantalizing evidence has been uncovered for a mysterious population of ‘free-floating’ planets, planets that may be alone in deep space, unbound to any host star. The results include four new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to Earth.