Early universe matter created in the laboratory

Dec 11, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Scientists have created tiny droplets of extremely hot matter that are thought to have filled the early universe, i.e. the first microseconds after the Big Bang.

The matter was in a liqui... Read more

Helium found in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

Dec 07, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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An international team of researchers has detected helium in the atmosphere of exoplanet HAT-P-11b, located 124 light years away from Earth. Helium was found to escape from the planet’s atmosphere at ... Read more

Tracing the history of starlight across the universe

Nov 30, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has measured all the starlight produced over 90% of the universe’s history. The telescope measures gamma-ray output from distant galaxies, especially from... Read more

NASA InSight probe just landed on planet Mars

Nov 26, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

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What’s inside planet Mars? Well, we are about to find out! InSight, a NASA Mars lander module just landed on the red planet.

The probe will peer below the surface to gather data about ... Read more

Super-Earths’ magnetic fields generated by magma oceans

Nov 21, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

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Super-Earths are very common among the newly-discovered exoplanets. But, do they have magnetic fields, like Earth?

Using computer simulations researchers concluded that they do, indeed, poss... Read more

Unique discovery by astronomers: dying massive stars in the Milky Way

Nov 19, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Astronomers have discovered a special pair of stars and a spiral dust cloud whose form is best understood by assuming that one of the stars in this binary system is spinning extremely fast.

... Read more

Ancient lakes and canyons on the surface of Mars

Nov 18, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Scientists have found that lakes on Mars contained at times so much water that they overflowed and burst from the sides of their basins. This created catastrophic floods that carved canyons extremely rapidly, possibly even in the matter of weeks... Read more

Meet Barnard’s star b, an exoplanet only six lightyears away

Nov 15, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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By combining old measurements with new techniques, scientists have found a planet that orbits the star Barnard, only six lightyears away. Barnard’s star is the closest single star to the Sun. Its new... Read more

Unusual metals may explain how Earth’s magnetic field formed

Nov 07, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

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The magnetic field of Earth is created by a dynamo effect, but scientists do not fully understand how this is possible. A recent study suggests that strange metals, called Weyl metals, could generate the d... Read more

How spaceflight changes the brain of astronauts

Nov 06, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

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According to a recent international study, flying into space may change the brain of the cosmonauts. The study was conducted on ten Russian cosmonauts that had their brain scanned using magnetic resonance ... Read more

Discovery of flood deposits suggests early Mars had abundant water

Nov 05, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

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New evidence that planet Mars used to have water is provided by a recent study that analyzed the images of sedimentary rocks taken by Curiosity Rover.

The researchers identified four differ... Read more

Milky Way merged with a large galaxy ten billion years ago

Nov 01, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Some ten billion years ago, the still young Milky Way merged with another large galaxy that astronomers have baptized Gaia-Encladus. The stars of Gaia-Encladus make up most the Milky Way’s halo and a... Read more

ESO: Material orbiting close to a black hole observed

Oct 31, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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With the aid of ESO’s GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope, scientists have observed flares of infrared radiation coming from the accretion disk (belt of gas) around Sagittarius A*, the mas... Read more

Kepler Space Telescope retired

Oct 31, 2018 Alexandru Ciobanu

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Kepler Space Telescope was the NASA’s first planet-hunting mission. After nine years of collecting data in deep space, the telescope has run out of fuel and NASA decided to retire it.

... Read more

Some planetary systems form in the absence of high amounts of heavy metal

Oct 26, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Small compact planetary systems are more likely to form around stars that have lower amounts of heavy metals than our own Sun. This new insight, based on the observation of 700 stars, is very different fro... Read more

Shining light on how the sun shines

Oct 25, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Scientists have found that 99% of the solar energy emitted as neutrinos is produced through nuclear reaction sequences starting with proton-proton fusions, in which hydrogen is converted into helium. The n... Read more

On the way to measuring the universe’s expansion

Oct 23, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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How big is the universe, and how fast is it expanding? Scientists believe they can answer these questions, which are at the core of today’s astronomy research, within five to ten years. They base thi... Read more

Powerful blasts of radiation by young stars detected

Oct 19, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Astronomers have observed a red dwarf star in a violent outburst, which was more powerful than ever detected from the sun. This powerful blast would likely prevent the habitability of any planets orbiting ... Read more

Largest galaxy proto-supercluster found

Oct 18, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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An international team of astronomers, using the VIMOS instrument of ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has found an enormous proto-supercluster forming in the early universe, 2.3 billion after the Big Bang... Read more

The electron is still round

Oct 18, 2018 Erwin van den Burg

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Researchers have measured the shape of an electron’s charge with stunning precision, and found that it is perfectly spherical. This observation is in line with the so-called « Standard Model &r... Read more