Are we alone in the universe? Few questions have captured the public imagination more than this. Yet to date we know of just one sample of life, that which exists here on Earth. Arizona State University Regents Professor and noted cosmologist Paul Davies will talk about efforts to identify extraterrestrial life at a press briefing Feb. 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas.
A new simulation of supermassive black holes--the behemoths at the centers of galaxies--uses a realistic scenario to predict the light signals emitted in the surrounding gas before the masses collide, said Rochester Institute of Technology researchers.
If they existed, axions -- one of the candidates for particles of the mysterious dark matter -- could interact with the matter forming our world, but they would have to do this to a much, much weaker extent than it has seemed up to now. New, rigorous constraints on the properties of axions have been imposed by an international team of scientists responsible for the nEDM experiment.
High resolution observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) imaged a rotating dusty gas torus around an active supermassive black hole. The existence of such rotating donuts-shape structures was first suggested decades ago, but this is the first time one has been confirmed so clearly. This is an important step in understanding the co-evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.
Astronomers have discovered that our nearest big neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, is roughly the same size as the Milky Way. It had been thought that Andromeda was two to three times the size of the Milky Way, and that our own galaxy would ultimately be engulfed by our bigger neighbor. But the latest research, published today, evens the score between the two galaxies.
The shower of electrons bouncing across Earth's magnetosphere -- commonly known as the Northern Lights -- has been directly observed for the first time by an international team of scientists. While the cause of these colorful auroras has long been hypothesized, researchers had never directly observed the underlying mechanism until now.
The ESPRESSO instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile has used the combined light of all four of the 8.2-meter Unit Telescopes for the first time. Combining light from the Unit Telescopes in this way makes the VLT the largest optical telescope in existence in terms of collecting area.
New research, led by the University of Leeds, offers an explanation for the discrepancy between the size and age of the Rosetta Nebula's central cavity and that of its central stars.
Using one of the world's most powerful laser facilities, a team led by University of Chicago scientists experimentally confirmed a long-held theory for cosmic magnetic field generation: the turbulent dynamo. By creating a hot turbulent plasma the size of a penny, that lasts a few billionths of a second, the researchers recorded how the turbulent motions can amplify a weak magnetic field to the strengths of those observed in our sun, distant stars, and galaxies.
A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date according to new research led by Carnegie's Johanna Teske. This new information provides evidence to help astronomers better understand the process by which such planets form.