Sciencedaily Space & Time News Feeds

  • Astronomers probe layer-cake structure of brown dwarf’s atmosphere
    on 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 mystery
    on 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 hole
    on 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 explanation
    on 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 Mars
    on 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 time
    on 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 metal
    on 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 date
    on 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 hole
    on 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 stars
    on 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 prediction
    on 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 holes
    on 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 rotate
    on 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 burst
    on 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 Ganymede
    on 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 south
    on 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 hunters
    on 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 interior
    on 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 activity
    on 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 moon
    on 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 stars
    on 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 pincers
    on 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 moons
    on 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 Way
    on 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 galaxy
    on 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 Venus
    on 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 Hubble
    on 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 discovered
    on 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 explained
    on 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 space
    on 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 births
    on 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 ATLAS
    on 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 galaxy
    on 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 punch
    on 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 stars
    on 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 galaxies
    on 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 field
    on 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 schedule
    on 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 say
    on 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 doom
    on 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 particles
    on 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 holes
    on 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 aurora
    on 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 Enceladus
    on 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 universe
    on 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 shows
    on 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 universe
    on 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 galaxies
    on 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 planets
    on 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.

  • Sculpted by starlight: A meteorite witness to the solar system’s birth
    on July 6, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Scientists knew a burst of UV light left its mark on our solar system. Now they know the source of that light.

  • Mystery of heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays
    on July 6, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Scientists have used data from the Southwest Research Institute-led Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission to explain the presence of energetic heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). GCRs are composed of fast-moving energetic particles, mostly hydrogen ions called protons, the lightest and most abundant elements in the universe. Scientists have long debated how trace amounts of heavy ions in GCRs are accelerated.

  • Astronomers discover an oversized black hole population in the star cluster Palomar 5
    on July 5, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    Palomar 5 is a unique star cluster. In a new paper, astrophysicists show that distinguishing features of Palomar 5 are likely the result of an oversized black hole population of more than 100 of them in the center of the cluster.

  • Why does Mercury have such a big iron core?
    on July 2, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    A new study disputes the prevailing hypothesis on why Mercury has a big core relative to its mantle. For decades, scientists argued that hit-and-run collisions blew away much of Mercury’s rocky mantle and left the big, dense, metal core inside. But new research reveals that collisions are not to blame — instead, the density, mass and iron content of a rocky planet’s core is influenced by its distance from the sun’s magnetic field.

  • Observation, simulation, and AI join forces to reveal a clear universe
    on July 2, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Astronomers have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) technique to remove noise in astronomical data due to random variations in galaxy shapes. After extensive training and testing on large mock data created by supercomputer simulations, they then applied this new tool to actual data from Japan’s Subaru Telescope and found that the mass distribution derived from using this method is consistent with the currently accepted models of the Universe.

  • Physicists observationally confirm Hawking’s black hole theorem for the first time
    on July 1, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Physicists have used gravitational waves to observationally confirm Hawking’s black hole theorem.

  • Closing the gap on the missing lithium
    on July 1, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    There is a significant discrepancy between theoretical and observed amounts of lithium in our universe. Now, researchers have reduced this discrepancy by around 10 percent, thanks to a new experiment on the nuclear processes responsible for the creation of lithium.

  • Astronauts demonstrate CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in space
    on June 30, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Researchers have developed and successfully demonstrated a novel method for studying how cells repair damaged DNA in space.

  • Astronomers have identified a white dwarf so massive that it might collapse
    on June 30, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Astronomers have identified an extremely magnetized and rapidly rotating ultra-massive white dwarf. Several telescopes characterized the dead star.

  • ‘There may not be a conflict after all’ in expanding universe debate
    on June 30, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Our universe is expanding, but our two main ways to measure how fast this expansion is happening have resulted in different answers. An astronomer gives an overview of the most recent observations. New conclusion: the latest observations are beginning to close the gap. That is, there may not be a conflict after all, and our standard model of the universe does not need to be significantly modified.