Posts tagged space
Before today, there were 1,000 confirmed exoplanets. Kepler just added 715 more! Read the details about this historic announcement.
By tracing radioactive material in the remains of a nearby exploded star, scientists have a new understanding of what happened in the star’s final moments and how similar explosions create the calcium, gold, iron and other elements spread throughout the cosmos. Read more
Black holes are vexing objects. Not only do they defy our everyday understanding about how the Universe should work, they confound even the most complex mathematical models. Science writers describe them as “gravitational behemoths” that warp spacetime so much that even light cannot escape the surrounding boundary, known as the “event horizon.” But what lies inside? Well, that doesn’t matter, we argue, everyday physics does not apply once you cross the event horizon.
The horribly unsatisfactory explanation has been battered in recent months when a serious physics confrontation entered the public arena. What goes on inside a black hole’s event horizon has actually caused a theoretical conflagration and now, two theoretical physicists have proposed a new idea that may marry quantum mechanics with gravity, extinguishing the tricky “firewall” and finding a solution to the “information paradox.”
Astronomers analyzing data from the now defunct Herschel infrared space observatory have made a huge discovery deep inside the asteroid belt. Dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body in the region, is generating plumes of water vapor. Read more
The VLT Survey Telescope (VST), located at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) high in the Atacama Desert in Chile, has captured a jaw-dropping view of the Lagoon Nebula — a star-forming interstellar cloud incubating baby stars enshrouded in knots of gas and dust. Read more
After a decade of exploring the Martian surface, the scientists overseeing veteran rover Opportunity thought they’d seen it all. That was until a rock mysteriously “appeared” a few feet in front of the six wheeled rover a few days ago. Read more
Before you say “ALIENS!” the random rock probably hasn’t been placed there by Martians… probably.
Mars plays host to a huge number of dune fields — regions where fine wind-blown material gets deposited to form arguably some of the most beautiful dunes that can be found on any planetary body in the solar system. Using the powerful High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, planetary scientists have an orbital view on these features that aid our understanding of aeolian (wind-formed) processes and Martian geology. Here are some of our favorite Mars dunes as seen by HiRISE.
Two weeks ago, singer Beyoncé released a surprise self-titled album that went on to make record sales. Unfortunately, it has come to light that a music video for one of the album’s songs featured audio from the space shuttle Challenger accident in 1986. Read more