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E.g., 12/19/2018
E.g., 12/19/2018
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  • News

    Voyager 2 spacecraft enters interstellar space

    Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space. The spacecraft slipped out of the huge bubble of particles that encircles the solar system on November 5, becoming the second ever human-made craft to cross the heliosphere, or the boundary between the sun and the stars.

    Coming in second place is no mean achievement. Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to exit the solar system in 2012. But that...

    12/10/2018 - 12:57 Cosmology, Particle Physics
  • News

    Astronomers find far-flung wind from a black hole in the universe’s first light

    Scientists have spotted wind from a supermassive black hole blowing at much greater distances than ever before.

    Astronomer Mark Lacy and colleagues used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile to observe the universe’s first light, and found evidence of gusts flowing from a type of black hole called a quasar. The wind extends about 228,000 light-years away from the galaxy that...

    12/05/2018 - 06:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News

    Astronomers have measured all the starlight ever emitted

    Astronomers have measured all the starlight that has managed to escape into space over the history of the universe.

    It amounts to 4 x 1084 particles of light, or photons. That’s roughly equivalent to all the photons the sun would emit if it burned for 100 billion trillion years — long beyond the 5 billion years it has left. The universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old.

    ...

    11/29/2018 - 14:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News

    Hints of Oort clouds around other stars may lurk in the universe’s first light

    A thick sphere of icy debris known as the Oort cloud shrouds the solar system. Other star systems may harbor similar icy reservoirs, and those clouds may be visible in the universe’s oldest light, researchers report.

    Astronomer Eric Baxter of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues looked for evidence of such exo-Oort clouds in maps of the cosmic microwave background, the cool...

    11/09/2018 - 06:00 Planetary Science, Exoplanets, Cosmology
  • News

    The universe’s continued existence implies extra dimensions are tiny

    This could be the way the world ends.

    First, a pair of cosmic protons smash together at unimaginable speeds. The tremendous energy of their crash would create a tiny, ephemeral black hole, so small that it would last just a fraction of a second before evaporating.

    Where the black hole just was, a bubble of space with entirely different laws of physics than the universe we inhabit...

    10/05/2018 - 16:34 Cosmology, Particle Physics
  • Feature

    The ecosystem that controls a galaxy’s future is coming into focus

    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...

    07/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • Mystery Solved

    On Jupiter, lightning flashes from storms swirling at the poles

    When Voyager 1 revealed lightning on Jupiter in 1979, something about the flashes didn’t make sense. From a distance, it seemed like the radio waves from the massive planet’s lightning bolts didn’t reach the high frequency emitted by lightning on Earth. 

    But the Juno spacecraft, which has been orbiting much closer to Jupiter’s surface for the last two years, has helped solve the mystery...

    06/19/2018 - 12:00 Astronomy, Cosmology, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    These stars may have been born only 250 million years after the Big Bang

    A measly 250 million years after the Big Bang, in a galaxy far, far away, what may be some of the first stars in the universe began to twinkle. If today’s 13.8-billion-year-old universe is in middle age, it would have been just starting to crawl when these stars were born.

    Researchers used instruments at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observatory in Chile to observe...

    05/16/2018 - 13:00 Cosmology, Astronomy
  • News

    A DIY take on the early universe may reveal cosmic secrets

    A DIY universe mimics the physics of the infant cosmos, a team of physicists reports. The researchers hope to use their homemade cosmic analog to help explain the first instants of the universe’s 13.8-billion-year life.

    For their stand-in, the scientists created a Bose-Einstein condensate — a state of matter in which atoms are chilled until they all take on the same quantum state. Shaped...

    04/27/2018 - 16:45 Physics, Cosmology
  • News

    The search for mysterious dark matter underdogs steps up

    Scientists playing peekaboo with dark matter have entered a new stage of the game.

    For the first time, physicists are snooping on some of the likeliest hiding places for hypothetical subatomic particles called axions, which could make up dark matter. So far, no traces of the particles have been found, scientists with the Axion Dark Matter Experiment, ADMX, report April 9 in Physical...

    04/09/2018 - 11:00 Particle Physics, Cosmology