They say variety is the spice of life, and now new discoveries from Johns Hopkins researchers suggest that a certain elemental ‘variety’—sulfur—is indeed a ‘spice’ that can perhaps point to signs of life.
An international team of astronomers used two of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world to create more than three hundred images of planet-forming disks around very young stars in the Orion Clouds. These images reveal new details about the birthplaces of planets and the earliest stages of star formation.
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface.
In the 1980s, Saul Perlmutter at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and his collaborators realized that they could use data about supernovae to research the history of the universe. They expected to see that very distant supernovae appear a bit brighter than they would in an expanding universe that wasn’t slowing in its growth.
The data revealed something else entirely.
University of California and Princeton scientists have been collaborating on a computational astrophysics project to learn more about the recent discovery of a black hole, which sits in the middle of a galaxy called Messier 87 (M87), approximately 55 million light years from Earth.
A nearby system hosts the first Earth-sized planet discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite, as well as a warm sub-Neptune-sized world, according to a new paper from a team of astronomers that includes Carnegie's Johanna Teske, Paul Butler, Steve Shectman, Jeff Crane, and Sharon Wang.
Swirling dense metallic hydrogen dominates the interiors of Jupiter, Saturn and many extra-solar planets. Building precise models of these giant planets requires an accurate description of the transition of pressurized hydrogen into this metallic substance – a long-standing scientific challenge. In a paper published by Science, a research team led by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory describes optical measurements of the insulator-to-metal transition in fluid hydrogen, resolving discrepancies in previous experiments and establishing new benchmarks for calculations used to construct planetary models. The multi-institution team included researchers from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, University of Edinburgh, University of Rochester, Carnegie Institution of Washington, University of California, Berkeley and The George Washington University.
With new and compelling evidence for water existing beneath the south pole of Mars, a West Virginia University professor says this underground lake is likely to be extremely salty and more acidic than battery acid. Life forms that can survive in extreme physical and geochemical conditions are found in abundance in acid salt lakes such as those in Chile and western Australia, she said.
Astronomers have given one of Einstein’s predictions on gravity its most stringent test yet. By precisely tracking the meanderings of three stars in a single system – two white dwarf stars and one ultra-dense neutron star – the researchers determined that even phenomenally compact neutron stars “fall” in the same manner as their less-dense counterparts
Experiments conducted at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory helped to confirm that samples of interplanetary particles – collected from Earth’s upper atmosphere and believed to originate from comets – contain dust leftover from the initial formation of the solar system.
For 28 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has been delivering breathtaking views of the universe. The latest offering is this image of the Lagoon Nebula to celebrate the telescope’s anniversary. Hubble shows the roiling heart of this vast stellar nursery in stunning unprecedented detail.
In a new study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers analyzed remote-sensing data from two lunar missions and concluded that water appears to be evenly spread across the surface of the moon, not confined to a particular region or type of terrain as previously thought. The study was led by Northern Arizona University planetary scientist Christopher Edwards.
A cloud of gas 300,000 light-years long is arching around the Milky Way, shunted away from two dwarf galaxies orbiting our own. For decades, astronomers have wanted to know which of the two galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, is the source of the gas that has been expelled as the two galaxies gravitationally pull at one another. The answer will help astronomers understand how galaxies form and change over time.
Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Immense dark storms on Neptune were first discovered in the late 1980s by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. Since then, only Hubble has tracked these elusive features that play a game of peek-a-boo over the years.
Researchers analyzed the archived mission reports from the Apollo moonwalks to see how well moonwalkers were able to stick to their expected timelines. On nearly every extravehicular activity, activities took longer than predicted to complete.
There’s no holiday on Mars. While many of us earthlings will spend the final days of 2017 taking a break from work and relaxing on couches or ski slopes, the ChemCam instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover will keep busy—all on its own.
Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found a blistering hot planet outside our solar system where it “snows” sunscreen. The problem is the sunscreen (titanium dioxide) precipitation only happens on the planet’s permanent nighttime side.
The surprising results of a Northern Arizona University astronomer's new study find that there are 3.5 million house-sized meteoroids whose orbits bring them close enough to Earth to pose potential impact hazards—ten times fewer than previously thought.
Scientists have discovered the strongest evidence to date for a stratosphere on a planet outside our solar system. The exoplanet WASP-121b results obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope are published in the journal Nature.
Saturn’s frigid moon Titan has a curious atmosphere. In addition to a hazy mixture of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, like methane and ethane, Titan’s atmosphere also contains an array of more complex organic molecules, including vinyl cyanide, which astronomers recently uncovered in archival ALMA data. Under the right conditions, like those found on the surface of Titan, vinyl cyanide may naturally coalesce into microscopic spheres resembling cell membranes.
Astronomers used the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia to create the largest image ever of the dense band of star-forming gas that weaves its way through the northern portion of the Orion Nebula.
A new study by a UW-Madison undergraduate not only firms up the idea that we exist in one of the holes of the Swiss cheese structure of the cosmos, but helps ease the apparent disagreement between different measurements of the Hubble Constant, the unit cosmologists use to describe the rate at which the universe is expanding today.
A University of Washington-led international team of astronomers has used data gathered by the Kepler Space Telescope to observe and confirm details of the outermost of seven exoplanets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1.
Former Apollo astronauts at a space symposium on May 8 doubted whether commercial companies will be able to accomplish human space travel, while representatives of those companies talked about redefining what it means to succeed—or fail—in such grand endeavors.
Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 27th birthday with a striking pair of very different looking spiral galaxies. The edge-on galaxy (left) is called NGC 4302, and the tilted galaxy (right) is called NGC 4298. Although the pinwheel galaxies look quite different because they are angled at different positions on the sky, they are actually quite similar in terms of their structure and contents.
An international team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of the distant galaxy 3C 186. The black hole was most likely ejected by the power of gravitational waves.
The inner Van Allen belt has less radiation than previously believed, according to a recent study in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Observations from NASA’s Van Allen probes show the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are actually much rarer and harder to find than scientists expected. This is good news for spacecraft that are orbiting in the region and can be damaged by high levels of radiation.
A new citizen science project, led by astronomers at the University of Minnesota, is asking for help from the public to identify and categorize hundreds of thousands of ring patterns within images produced by VERITAS gamma-ray observatory cameras.
University of Iowa students have built a device to recreate Earth’s auroras and other space phenomena in miniature. The planeterrella is the only one of its kind in Iowa and one of just a handful in the United States.