Tracking the neutrino
The definite detection of nonterrestrial neutrinos, whether from the sun or from beyond the solar system, will yield a far deeper understanding of stellar interiors and, therefore, of how today’s universe came to be. — Science News, July 20, 1968.Update
In May 1968, researchers reported that a particle detector in South Dakota spotted ghostly subatomic...
A zippy little particle has been traced back to its cosmic stomping grounds, a flaring galaxy 4 billion light-years away, for the first time solving a cosmic whodunit.
Scientists have long puzzled over the sources of high-energy particles from space, which batter the Earth at energies that can outstrip the world’s most advanced particle accelerators. Now, physicists have identified the...
There’s more to a galaxy than meets the eye. Galaxies’ bright stars seem to spiral serenely against the dark backdrop of space. But a more careful look reveals a whole lot of mayhem.
“Galaxies are just like you and me,” Jessica Werk, an astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in January at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. “They live their lives in a...
New tech is revealing how young stars have an outsized influence on their environment. In this image from the Very Large Telescope in Chile, hundreds of newborn stars sculpt and illuminate gas and dust in their stellar nursery.
Released July 11 by the European Southern Observatory, the image shows star cluster RCW 38, which is located about 5,500 light-years from Earth toward the...
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is about to embark on one daredevil stunt of a space mission.
Slated to launch August 4, the probe will be the first spacecraft to swoop through the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, a roiling inferno of plasma heated to several million degrees Celsius.
Parker will whip around the sun two dozen times over the next seven years, skirting within about 6...
News in Brief
Behold, the sharpest view yet of a planet-in-progress.
New infrared telescope observations reveal an exoplanet that appears to be growing inside the disk of gas and dust around a star about 370 light-years away. Astronomers have indirectly identified other exoplanet embryos by observing the paths that these young worlds cleared through the dusty disks around their parent stars (SN Online...
After more than three years’ lonely travel through the solar system, the Japanese spacefaring robot Hayabusa2 has reached its home-away-from-home for the next 18 months: the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency on June 27 confirmed Hayabusa2's arrival at the kilometer-wide boulder, which circles the sun between Earth and Mars. The spacecraft is now...
The solar system’s first known interstellar visitor may not be what we thought.
Evidence is growing that the object known as ‘Oumuamua, which careened into the solar system from parts unknown before veering off, is a comet, not an asteroid.
Unlike asteroids, comets are icy and tend to be surrounded by a halo of gas and dust. Astronomers saw no signs of a halo around the...
News in Brief
Chalk up another win for Einstein’s seemingly invincible theory of gravity. A new study shows that the theory of general relativity holds true even over vast distances.
General relativity prevailed within a region spanning a galactic distance of about 6,500 light-years, scientists report in the June 22 Science. Previously, researchers have precisely tested the theory by studying its...
Survivalists prep for disaster by stocking up on emergency food rations. Aliens, on the other hand, might hoard stars.
To offset a future cosmic energy shortage caused by the accelerating expansion of the universe, a super-advanced civilization could pluck stars from other galaxies and bring them home, theoretical astrophysicist Dan Hooper proposes June 13 at arXiv.org.
It’s a far-...