BEST ASTRONOMY

Space / Astronomy News and Articles

Fri07282017

Last update01:23:23 PM GMT

Back Cosmology Astrophysics

Astrophysics

Testing Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 in outer space

According to the Theory of General Relativity, objects curve the space around them. UA physicist Andrei Lebed has proposed an experiment using a space probe carrying hydrogen atoms to test his finding that the equation E=mc2 is correct in flat space, but not in curved space. (Credit: Illustration by NASA)

Jan. 8, 2013 — University of Arizona physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world's most iconic equation, Albert Einstein's E=mc2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space.

With the first explosions of atomic bombs, the world became witness to one of the most important and consequential principles in...

'Gusty winds' in space turbulence: First direct measurement of its kind in the lab

A solar prominence erupts into the sun's atmosphere, or corona. Credit: NASA.A solar prominence erupts into the sun's atmosphere, or corona. (Credit: Image courtesy of NASA)

Dec. 17, 2012 — Imagine riding in an airplane as the plane is jolted back and forth by gusts of wind that you can't prove exist but are there nonetheless.

Similar turbulence exists in space, and a research team led by the University of Iowa reports to have directly measured it for the...

Complex chemistry within the Martian soil: No definitive detection of organics yet

Scoop Marks in the Sand at 'Rocknest': This is a view of the third (left) and fourth (right) trenches made by the 1.6-inch-wide (4-centimeter-wide) scoop on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity in October 2012. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

BestAstronomy (Dec. 3, 2012) — NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing...

Graphite experiment shines new light on giant planets, white dwarfs and laser-driven fusion

Graphite experiment suggests that white dwarfs may fade faster than we thought. (Credit: Mark Garlick space-art.co.uk University of Warwick)

BestAstronomy (Nov. 28, 2012) — An international team led by researchers from the University of Warwick and Oxford University is now dealing with unexpected results of an experiment with strongly heated graphite (up to 17,000 Kelvin). The findings may pose a new problem for physicists working in laser-driven nuclear fusion and...

Dawn sees 'young' surface on giant asteroid Vesta

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a close up of part of the rim around the crater Canuleia on the giant asteroid Vesta. Canuleia, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter, is the large crater at the bottom-left of this image. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/PSI/Brown)

BestAstronomy (Oct. 31, 2012) — Like a Hollywood starlet constantly retouching her makeup, the giant asteroid Vesta is constantly stirring its outermost layer to present a young face...

Physicists explain how nonlinear dust acoustic waves arise in dusty plasmas

BestAstronomy (Oct. 16, 2012) — Dusty plasmas can be found in many places both in space and in the laboratory. Due to their special properties, dust acoustic waves can propagate inside these plasmas like sound waves in air, and can be studied with the naked eye or with standard video cameras. The RUB physicists Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Padma Kant Shukla and Dr. Bengt Eliasson from the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy have published a model with which they describe how large amplitude dust...

Pioneer anomaly solved? Interstellar travelers of the future may be helped by physicist's calculations

An artist's view of a Pioneer spacecraft heading into interstellar space. Both Pioneer 10 and 11 are on trajectories that will eventually take them out of our solar system. (Credit: NASA)

BestAstronomy (Oct. 9, 2012) — Interstellar travel will depend upon extremely precise measurements of every factor involved in the mission. The knowledge of those factors may be improved by the solution a University of Missouri researcher found to a puzzle that has stumped...

How order arises from the random motion of particles in the cosmos

Plasmas stream from the top and bottom to form large-scale electromagnetic fields. (Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

BestAstronomy (Oct. 4, 2012) — One of the unsolved mysteries of contemporary science is how highly organized structures can emerge from the random motion of particles. This applies to many situations ranging from astrophysical objects that extend over millions of light years to the birth of life on...

Quantum world only partially melts: Ultracold atoms reveal surprising new quantum effects

Scientists are investigating the transition of quantum systems as they approach thermal equilibrium. Scientists have now detected an astonishingly stable intermediate state between order and disorder.

Every day we observe systems thermalizing: Ice cubes in a pot of hot water will melt and will never remain stable. The molecules of the ice and the molecules of the water will reach thermal equilibrium, ending up at the same temperature. Well-ordered ice crystals turn into a disordered...

Sun's plasma loops recreated in the lab to help understand solar physics

In orbit around Earth is a wide range of satellites that we rely on for everything from television and radio feeds to GPS navigation. Although these spacecraft soar high above storms on Earth, they are still vulnerable to weather -- only it's weather from the sun. Large solar flares -- or plasma that erupts from the sun's surface -- can cause widespread damage, both in space and on Earth, which is why researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are working to learn more...

Big Bang theory challenged by big chill

BestAstronomy (Aug. 20, 2012) — The start of the Universe should be modeled not as a Big Bang but more like water freezing into ice, according to a team of theoretical physicists at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.

They have suggested that by investigating the cracks and crevices common to all crystals -- including ice -- our understanding of the nature of the Universe could be revolutionized.

Lead researcher on the project, James Quach said current theorizing is the latest...

Closing in on the border between primordial plasma and ordinary matter

BestAstronomy (Aug. 14, 2012) — Scientists taking advantage of the versatility and new capabilities of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), an atom smasher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, have observed first glimpses of a possible boundary separating ordinary nuclear matter, composed of protons and neutrons, from the seething soup of their constituent quarks and gluons that permeated the early universe some 14 billion years ago. Though RHIC physicists...

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider experiments bring new insight into matter of the primordial Universe

BestAstronomy (Aug. 13, 2012) — Experiments using heavy ions at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are advancing understanding of the primordial Universe. The ALICE, ATLAS and CMS collaborations have made new measurements of the kind of matter that probably existed in the first instants of the Universe. They will present their latest results at the 2012 Quark Matter conference, which starts August 13 in Washington DC. The new findings are based mainly on the four-week LHC run with lead ions...

New findings expand Apollo observations of lunar atmosphere

BestAstronomy (July 16, 2012) — In December 1972 the astronauts of Apollo 17 -- the last manned mission to the moon -- deployed the Lunar Atmospheric Composition Experiment (LACE), a spectrometer designed to measure and characterize the thin lunar atmosphere. Forty years later, Stern et al. built upon those initial measurements, providing the first remotely-sensed measurement of the Moon's gaseous environment from lunar orbit.

Using the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project's (LAMP's) far...

Record-breaking laser shot: National Ignition Facility fires off 192 laser beams delivering more than 500 trillion watts

BestAstronomy (July 16, 2012) — Fifteen years of work by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) team paid off on July 5 with a historic record-breaking laser shot. The NIF laser system of 192 beams delivered more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to its target. Five hundred terawatts is 1,000 times more power than the United States uses at any instant in time, and 1.85...

Organic carbon from Mars, but not biological

BestAstronomy (May 24, 2012) — Molecules containing large chains of carbon and hydrogen--the building blocks of all life on Earth--have been the targets of missions to Mars from Viking to the present day. While these molecules have previously been found in meteorites from Mars, scientists have disagreed about how this organic carbon was formed and whether or not it came from Mars.

A new paper led by Carnegie's Andrew Steele provides strong evidence that this carbon did originate...

NASA releases new WISE mission catalog of entire infrared sky

BestAstronomy (Mar. 14, 2012) — NASA unveiled a new atlas and catalog of the entire infrared sky today showing more than a half billion stars, galaxies and other objects captured by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

"Today, WISE delivers the fruit of 14 years of effort to the astronomical community," said Edward Wright, WISE principal investigator at UCLA, who first began working on the mission with other team members in 1998.

WISE launched Dec. 14...

Feeding habits of teenage galaxies

BestAstronomy (Mar. 14, 2012) — New observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope are making a major contribution to understanding the growth of adolescent galaxies. In the biggest survey of its kind astronomers have found that galaxies changed their eating habits during their teenage years -- the period from about 3 to 5 billion years after the Big Bang. At the start of this phase smooth gas flow was the preferred snack, but later, galaxies mostly grew by cannibalising other smaller...

Meteorites reveal another way to make life's components

BestAstronomy (Mar. 9, 2012) — Creating some of life's building blocks in space may be a bit like making a sandwich -- you can make them cold or hot, according to new NASA research. This evidence that there is more than one way to make crucial components of life increases the likelihood that life emerged elsewhere in the Universe, according to the research team, and gives support to the theory that a "kit" of ready-made parts created in space and delivered to Earth by impacts from...

New discovery shines light on the three faces of neutrinos

BestAstronomy (Mar. 8, 2012) — A new discovery provides a crucial key to understanding how neutrinos -- ghostly particles with multiple personalities -- change identity and may help shed light on why matter exists in the universe.

In an announcement Thursday, March 8, members of the large international Daya Bay collaboration reported the last of three measurements that describe how the three types, or flavors, of neutrinos blend with one another, providing an explanation for...

Experiment observes elusive neutrino transformation

BestAstronomy (Mar. 8, 2012) — An international team of physicists -- including several from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) -- has detected and measured, for the first time, a transformation of one particular type of neutrino into another type. The finding, physicists say, may help solve some of the biggest mysteries about the universe, such as why the universe contains more matter than antimatter -- a phenomenon that explains why stars, planets, and people exist at...