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  • Science Ticker

    Saturn may be getting a new moon

    An icy object within Saturn's rings may be a new moon in the making.Images taken April 15, 2013, with NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured an arc at the edge of the planet's rings that appeared 20 percent brighter than everything around it. The arc, along with protusions in the rings' usually smooth edge, suggest that...
    04/15/2014 - 14:36 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Early Mars couldn't hold liquid water long

    Ancient Mars may have resembled Antarctica (but without penguins). The frozen Red Planet probably had liquid water on its surface for only relatively short times, according to a new analysis of craters on the surface. The finding that the Martian atmosphere was not dense enough to keep flowing water for more than a few hundred thousand years at a time adds to a growing pile of evidence that Mars...
    04/13/2014 - 13:05 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Exotic particle packs a foursome of quarks

    The rediscovery of an exotic particle provides the best evidence yet that quartets of quarks exist in a universe dominated by two- and three-quark matter.By validating the particle’s existence, says lead author Tomasz Skwarnicki, a physicist at Syracuse University in New York, “we are automatically proving that four-quark states exist.”Quarks, one of the fundamental constituents of matter, never...
    04/11/2014 - 15:37 Particle Physics
  • News in Brief

    Galaxy’s gamma-ray glow may expose dark matter

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — An unexpectedly bright glow of gamma rays at the center of the Milky Way may be the signature of suicidal dark matter, according to a new analysis of observations by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope that were reported April 6 at a meeting of the American Physical Society.Dark matter dominates the mass of galaxies, including our own, but its composition...
    04/11/2014 - 07:26 Cosmology, Astronomy, Particle Physics
  • News

    Neutrinos from space rain down from all directions

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — High-energy neutrinos from as far as the edge of the observable universe are pelting Earth from all directions, researchers announced April 7 at a meeting of the American Physical Society. The conclusion is based on a new analysis of data from IceCube, the...
    04/10/2014 - 10:56 Astronomy, Cosmology, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Speed of early universe’s expansion determined

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Ask an astronomer how fast the universe is currently expanding and you’ll get a fuzzy answer (SN: 4/5/14, p. 18). But thanks to a measurement with unprecedented precision, astronomers can now confidently cite the speed of cosmic expansion that was occurring nearly 11 billion years ago....
    04/09/2014 - 10:01 Cosmology, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Diamond ring shape formed by dead and living stars

    A chance alignment of stars has created a diamond ring–like image.Abell 33 is the ghostly remnant of a dead star, a planetary nebula about 3 light-years across and 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Hydra constellation. Like other old stars, Abell 33 inflated to many times its original size. As powerful stellar winds overtook gravity’s inward pull, the bulk of the star blew gently into space and...
    04/09/2014 - 06:00 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    El Gordo galaxy cluster as hefty as 3 million billion suns

    The galaxy cluster El Gordo, which is Spanish for “the fat one," is roughly 43 percent more massive than earlier estimates, Hubble data show.Astronomers made the new mass estimate by watching how strongly the gravity of the galaxy cluster distorted the light...
    04/08/2014 - 11:52 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Meet Big Bird, highest-energy neutrino ever detected

    Guest post by Andrew GrantSAVANNAH, Ga. — A speedy particle from beyond the solar system is the new record holder for the highest-energy neutrino ever detected, researchers from the IceCube experiment announced April 7 at a meeting of the American Physical Society.Buried under an Antarctic glacier, IceCube consists of thousands of detectors looking for flashes of...
    04/07/2014 - 17:30 Physics, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Mercury’s surface once exploded in volcanoes

    Guest post by Christopher CrockettVolcanoes erupted on Mercury for billions of years, according to new images from the MESSENGER spacecraft.  The pictures, published March 28 in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, show ancient vents and ash scattered within craters between 1 billion and...
    04/04/2014 - 14:30 Planetary Science, Astronomy