AUSTIN, Texas — Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have put a basic principle of black holes to the test, showing that matter completely vanishes when pulled in. Their results constitute another successful test for Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. (more…)
Tag Archives: stars
A pioneering new study has shown that water found on Earth predates the formation of the sun – raising hopes that life could exist on exoplanets, the planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy.
The ground-breaking research set out to discover the origin of the water that was deposited on the Earth as it formed.
It found that a significant fraction of water found on Earth, and across our solar system, predates the formation of the sun. By showing that water is ‘inherited’ from the environment when a star is born, the international team of scientists believe other exoplanetary systems also had access to an abundance of water during their own formation. (more…)
Brown University cognitive scientists have identified specific brain regions that work together to allow us to choose from among the options we store in working memory. Findings appear in the journal Neuron.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Keep this in mind: Scientists say they’ve learned how your brain plucks information out of working memory when you decide to act. (more…)
Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But the sky is also filled with planets — billions and billions of them at least.
That’s the conclusion of a new study by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, which provides yet more evidence that planetary systems are the cosmic norm. The team made their estimate while analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32 — planets that are representative, they say, of the vast majority of planets in our galaxy and thus serve as a perfect case study for understanding how most of these worlds form. (more…)
A new atlas and catalog of the entire infrared sky with more than a half-billion stars, galaxies and other objects captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission was unveiled by NASA Wednesday.
“Today WISE delivers the fruit of 14 years of effort to the astronomical community,” said Edward L. (Ned) Wright, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and the mission’s principal investigator, who began working on the mission in 1998. (more…)
*A UA astronomy research team was awarded a $600,000 grant for technology development under NASA’s Explorer mission program. The mission would send a space telescope high above Earth’s surface to watch how planets around other stars form and evolve.*
There has been much talk about possible Earth-like planets discovered by the Kepler space telescope launched just two years ago in the search for life outside our solar system. So far, it has discovered more than 2,326 possible Earth-like planets, and the number keeps growing.
At the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, an astronomy research team is asking questions such as, “How do planets like those found by Kepler arise? What materials are present during their initial formation? How do they evolve?” (more…)
SAN FRANCISCO – A planet made of diamonds may sound lovely, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
A new study suggests that some stars in the Milky Way could harbor “carbon super-Earths” – giant terrestrial planets that contain up to 50 percent diamond.
But if they exist, those planets are likely devoid of life as we know it. (more…)
*Brown University physicists have set the strongest limit for the mass of dark matter, the mysterious particles believed to make up nearly a quarter of the universe. The researchers report in Physical Review Letters that dark matter must have a mass greater than 40 giga-electron volts. The distinction is important because it casts doubt on recent results from underground experiments that have reported detecting dark matter.*
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — If dark matter exists in the universe, scientists now have set the strongest limit to date on its mass.
In a paper to be published on Dec. 1 in Physical Review Letters (available in pdf), Brown University assistant professor Savvas Koushiappas and graduate student Alex Geringer-Sameth report that dark matter must have a mass greater than 40 giga-electron volts in dark-matter collisions involving heavy quarks. (The masses of elementary particles are regularly expressed in term of electron volts.) Using publicly available data collected from an instrument on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and a novel statistical approach, the Brown pair constrained the mass of dark matter particles by calculating the rate at which the particles are thought to cancel each other out in galaxies that orbit the Milky Way galaxy. (more…)