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E.g., 03/18/2018
E.g., 03/18/2018
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  • supermassive black hole illustration
  • Ceres crater
  • Ultima Thule
Your search has returned 1392 articles:
  • News

    Astronomers can’t figure out why some black holes got so big so fast

    The existence of supermassive black holes in the early universe has never made much sense to astronomers. Sightings since 2006 have shown that gargantuan monsters with masses of at least a billion suns were already in place when the universe was less than a billion years old – far too early for them to have formed by conventional means.

    One or two of these old massive objects could be...

    03/16/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • News

    Dwarf planet Ceres may store underground brine that still gushes up today

    Ceres may be regularly coughing up briny water or slush onto its surface.

    The discovery of waterlogged minerals and a growing ice wall suggests that the dwarf planet could harbor underground liquid water or slushy brine, which has escaped through cracks and craters in the recent past and may still be seeping out today. The findings, reported in two papers published online March 14 in...

    03/14/2018 - 18:38 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • The Name Game

    New Horizons’ next target has been dubbed Ultima Thule

    And the winner is in. Of the roughly 34,000 submissions sent in by the public, NASA has finally chosen an official nickname for the New Horizons spacecraft’s next destination: Ultima Thule.

    New Horizons is scheduled to visit the tiny Kuiper Belt object on New Year’s Day 2019. NASA announced in November that it was seeking public input for a catchier name than the object’s existing...

    03/14/2018 - 15:52 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Cosmic dust may create Mars’ wispy clouds

    The seeds for Martian clouds may come from the dusty tails of comets.

    Charged particles, or ions, of magnesium from the cosmic dust can trigger the formation of tiny ice crystals that help form clouds, a new analysis of Mars’ atmosphere suggests.

    For more than a decade, rovers and orbiters have captured images of Martian skies with wispy clouds made of carbon dioxide ice. But “it...

    03/13/2018 - 17:08 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    We probably won’t hear from aliens. But by the time we do, they’ll be dead.

    If signals from an alien civilization ever reach Earth, odds are the aliens will already be dead.

    In an effort to update the 1961 Drake Equation, which estimates the number of detectable, intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way, physicist Claudio Grimaldi and colleagues calculated the area of the galaxy that should be filled with alien signals at a given time (SN Online: 11/1/09)....

    03/12/2018 - 12:00 Astronomy, Astrobiology, Exoplanets
  • 50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

    The strangest signals reaching Earth

    The search for neutron stars has intensified because of a relatively small area, low in the northern midnight sky, from which the strangest radio signals yet received on Earth are being detected. If the signals come from a star, the source broadcasting the radio waves is very likely the first neutron star ever detected. — Science News, March 16,...

    03/08/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Some meteorites contain superconducting bits

    LOS ANGELES — In the search for new superconductors, scientists are leaving no stone — and no meteorite — unturned. A team of physicists has now found the unusual materials, famous for their ability to conduct electricity without resistance, within two space rocks.

    The discovery implies that small amounts of superconducting materials might be relatively common in meteorites, James...

    03/07/2018 - 17:04 Condensed Matter, Astronomy
  • News

    Massive stellar flare may have fried Earth’s nearest exoplanet

    Proxima Centauri has a temper. Earth’s nearest planet-hosting neighbor released a gigantic flare in March 2017, a new analysis of observations of the star shows. And that’s bad news for the potential for life on the star’s planet, Proxima b.

    The star got 1,000 times brighter over 10 seconds before dimming again. That can best be explained by an enormous stellar flare, astronomer Meredith...

    03/05/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • How Bizarre

    Loner gas clouds could be a new kind of stellar system

    A pair of dark loners wander a distant cluster of galaxies. The two small gas clouds have been roaming the Virgo cluster, some 55 million light-years away, for at least a billion years. Such small, isolated clouds of gas shouldn’t be able to form stars on their own — and yet they are doing just that.

    Astronomer Michele Bellazzini of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics in...

    03/02/2018 - 11:12 Astronomy
  • News

    Here’s when the universe’s first stars may have been born

    For the first time, scientists may have detected hints of the universe’s primordial sunrise, when the first twinkles of starlight appeared in the cosmos.  

    Stars began illuminating the heavens by about 180 million years after the universe was born, researchers report in the March 1 Nature. This “cosmic dawn” left its mark on the hydrogen gas that surrounded the stars (SN: 6/8/02, p. 362...

    02/28/2018 - 13:00 Cosmology, Astronomy