NEWS

SOURCE: SCIENCE DAILY
Here is an RSS feed from Science Daily’s Space and Time section to keep you up to date on current events in the space community.
  • In planet formation, it's location, location, location

    Astronomers are finding that planets have a tough time forming in the rough-and-tumble central region of the massive, crowded star cluster Westerlund 2. Located 20,000 light-years away, Westerlund 2 is a unique laboratory to study stellar evolutionary processes because it's relatively nearby, quite young, and contains a large stellar population.
  • ESPRESSO confirms the presence of an Earth around the nearest star

    The existence of a planet the size of Earth around the closest star in the solar system, Proxima Centauri, has been confirmed by a team of scientists. The planet, Proxima b, has a mass of 1.17 earth masses and is located in the habitable zone of its star. This breakthrough has been possible thanks to measurements using ESPRESSO, the most accurate spectrograph currently in operation.
  • Under pressure, black holes feast

    A new study shows that some supermassive black holes actually thrive under pressure. It has been known for some time that when distant galaxies -- and the supermassive black holes within their cores -- aggregate into clusters, these clusters create a volatile, highly pressurized environment. Individual galaxies falling into clusters are often deformed during the process and begin to resemble cosmic jellyfish.
  • Astronomers discover new class of cosmic explosions

    Analysis of two cosmic explosions indicates to astronomers that the pair, along with a puzzling blast from 2018, constitute a new type of event, with similarities to some supernovae and gamma-ray bursts, but also with significant differences.
  • Novel insight reveals topological tangle in unexpected corner of the universe

    In a recent theoretical study, scientists discovered the presence of the Hopfion topological structure in nano-sized particles of ferroelectrics -- materials with promising applications in microelectronics and information technology.
  • Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets

    As astronomers ramp up study of the atmospheres of hot, Jupiter-like planets around other stars, they encounter clouds that obscure study of atmospheric gases. A new computer model looks at the proposals for cloud compositions -- from smog to rubies -- and finds that the most likely, over a large range of temperatures, are silicate clouds: aerosols of silicon and oxygen, like molten quartz or sand. The hottest exoplanets have clear skies; the coolest have hydrocarbon hazes.
  • Terrestrial bacteria can grow on nutrients from space

    As inevitable fellow travellers on the bodies of astronauts, spaceships, or equipment, terrestrial microorganisms will undoubtedly come into contact with extraterrestrial environments. Researchers now describe how bacteria can survive on an 'extraterrestrial diet', which affected their pathogenic potential.
  • Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at 'deadliest possible' angle

    New simulations have revealed the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs struck Earth at the 'deadliest possible' angle.
  • Solving the space junk problem

    Aging satellites and space debris crowd low-Earth orbit, and launching new satellites adds to the collision risk. The most effective way to solve the space junk problem, according to a new study, is not to capture debris or deorbit old satellites: it's an international agreement to charge operators 'orbital-use fees' for every satellite put into orbit.
  • 'Cosmic ring of fire' 11 billion years ago: How did structures in early universe form?

    Astronomers have captured an image of a super-rare type of galaxy -- described as a 'cosmic ring of fire' -- as it existed 11 billion years ago.
  • ALMA spots twinkling heart of the Milky Way

    Astronomers have found quasi-periodic flickers in millimeter-waves from the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*. The team interpreted these blinks to be due to the rotation of radio spots circling the supermassive black hole with an orbit radius smaller than that of Mercury. This is an interesting clue to investigate space-time with extreme gravity.
  • ATLAS telescope discovers first-of-its-kind asteroid

    An extraordinary asteroid with comet-like features has researchers puzzled.
  • New gravitational-wave model can bring neutron stars into even sharper focus

    Gravitational-wave researchers have developed a new model that promises to yield fresh insights into the structure and composition of neutron stars.
  • How cosmic rays may have shaped life

    Physicists propose that the influence of cosmic rays on early life may explain nature's preference for a uniform 'handedness' among biology's critical molecules.
  • ALMA discovers massive rotating disk in early universe

    In our 13.8 billion-year-old universe, most galaxies like our Milky Way form gradually, reaching their large mass relatively late. But a new discovery made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of a massive rotating disk galaxy, seen when the universe was only ten percent of its current age, challenges the traditional models of galaxy formation.
  • ESO telescope sees signs of planet birth

    Observations made with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) have revealed the telltale signs of a star system being born. Around the young star AB Aurigae lies a dense disc of dust and gas in which astronomers have spotted a prominent spiral structure with a 'twist' that marks the site where a planet may be forming. The observed feature could be the first direct evidence of a baby planet coming into existence.
  • NASA's Curiosity rover finds clues to chilly ancient Mars buried in rocks

    By studying the chemical elements on Mars today -- including carbon and oxygen -- scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life.
  • Galactic cosmic rays now available for study on Earth

    To better understand and mitigate the health risks faced by astronauts from exposure to space radiation, we ideally need to be able to test the effects of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) here on Earth under laboratory conditions.
  • New study estimates the odds of life and intelligence emerging beyond our planet

    Despite knowing when life first appeared on Earth, scientists still do not understand how life occurred, which has important implications for the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in the universe. A new paper shows how an analysis using a statistical technique called Bayesian inference could shed light on how complex extraterrestrial life might evolve in alien worlds.
  • Exoplanet climate 'decoder' aids search for life

    After examining a dozen types of suns and a roster of planet surfaces, astronomers have developed a practical model - an environmental color ''decoder'' - to tease out climate clues for potentially habitable exoplanets in galaxies far away.
  • No evidence of an influence of dark matter on the force between nuclei

    Although most of the universe is made up of dark matter, very little is known about it. Physicists have used a high-precision experiment to look for interaction between dark matter and normal matter.
  • Seeing the universe through new lenses

    A new study revealed hundreds of new strong gravitational lensing candidates based on a deep dive into data. The study benefited from the winning machine-learning algorithm in an international science competition.
  • TRAPPIST-1 planetary orbits not misaligned

    Astronomers have determined that the Earth-like planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are not significantly misaligned with the rotation of the star. This is an important result for understanding the evolution of planetary systems around very low-mass stars in general, and in particular the history of the TRAPPIST-1 planets including the ones near the habitable zone.
  • Planetary exploration rover avoids sand traps with 'rear rotator pedaling'

    Built with wheeled appendages that can be lifted and wheels able to 'wiggle,' a new robot known as the 'Mini Rover' has developed and tested complex locomotion techniques robust enough to help it climb hills covered with granular material -- and avoid the risk of getting ignominiously stuck on some remote planet or moon.
  • New comet discovered by solar observatory

    In late May and early June, Earthlings may be able to glimpse Comet SWAN. The comet is currently faintly visible to the unaided eye in the Southern Hemisphere just before sunrise. The new comet was first spotted in April 2020, by an amateur astronomer named Michael Mattiazzo using data from the SOHO satellite.