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Preview: EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science

EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:45:01 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



NASA sees System 91P coming together east of Queensland

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The area of tropical low pressure designated System 91P appears to be organizing in NASA satellite imagery on March 24. Visible imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite revealed that the tropical low is consolidating and strengthening in the Coral Sea, South Pacific Ocean.



NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Caleb's heaviest rainfall

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Tropical cyclone Caleb formed on March 23 in the South Indian Ocean southwest of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. The GPM core observatory satellite had a fairly good view of the newly formed tropical cyclone when it flew overhead and analyzed its rainfall and found the heaviest precipitation was affected by westerly winds.



Extreme space weather: Protecting our critical infrastructure

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(European Commission Joint Research Centre) Extreme space weather has a global footprint and the potential to damage critical infrastructure on the ground and in space. A new report by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre calls for bridging knowledge gaps and for better coordination at EU level to reduce the potential impact of space weather events.



OSIRIS-REx asteroid search tests instruments, science team

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) OSIRIS-REx did not discover any Earth-Trojan asteroids during a two-week search, but the spacecraft's cameras operated flawlessly and demonstrated they can image objects two magnitudes dimmer than originally expected.



Astronomers identify purest, most massive brown dwarf

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Royal Astronomical Society) An international team of astronomers has identified a record breaking brown dwarf (a star too small for nuclear fusion) with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known. The object, known as SDSS J0104+1535, is a member of the so-called halo -- the outermost reaches -- of our galaxy, made up of the most ancient stars. The scientists report the discovery in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.



In a quantum race everyone is both a winner and a loser

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Vienna) Our understanding of the world is mostly built on basic perceptions, such as that events follow each other in a well-defined order. Such definite orders are required in the macroscopic world, for which the laws of classical physics apply. The current work by a team of physicists from the University of Vienna is the first experimental quantification of such a superposition. It will be published in an upcoming issue of Science Advances.



NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM constellation of satellites provide data on precipitation rates and totals. Recently the GPM core observatory measured the heavy rainfall that caused extensive flooding and loss of life in Peru.



NASA sees formation of Tropical Cyclone Caleb near Cocos Island

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Shortly after Tropical Cyclone Caleb formed east of Cocos Island, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite and NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead gathering visible and infrared data on the twelfth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season.



NASA Participates in the NOAA GOES-16 Field Campaign

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NOAA's GOES-16 satellite is ready to embark on another major milestone-- The GOES-16 Field Campaign. During a three month long event, a combination of NOAA and NASA planes, sensors and satellites will fine-tune GOES-16's brand new instruments.



Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.



Hubble detects supermassive black hole kicked out of galactic core

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(ESA/Hubble Information Centre) An international team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the centre of the distant galaxy 3C186. The black hole was most likely ejected by the power of gravitational waves. This is the first time that astronomers found a supermassive black hole at such a large distance from its host galaxy center.



Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) Pushing the limits of the largest single-aperture millimeter telescope in the world, and coupling it with gravitational lensing, University of Massachusetts Amherst astronomer Alexandra Pope and colleagues report that they have detected a surprising rate of star formation, four times higher than previously detected, in a dust-obscured galaxy behind a Frontier Fields cluster.



Three ERC Advanced Grants to Stockholm University

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Stockholm University) Frank Wilczek, professor at the Department of Physics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Johan Rockström, Professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and David Strömberg at the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES). These three professors at Stockholm University will receive prestigious ERC Advanced Grants.



New portal to unveil the dark sector of the universe

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Institute for Basic Science) IBS scientists theorize a new portal to peek into the dark world.



UNSW scientists unveil a giant leap for anti-aging

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of New South Wales) UNSW researchers have made a discovery that could lead to a revolutionary drug that actually reverses ageing, improves DNA repair and could even help NASA get its astronauts to Mars.



Milky Way-like galaxies in early universe embedded in 'super halos'

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Radio Astronomy Observatory) Using ALMA, astronomers have directly observed a pair of Milky Way-like galaxies seen when the universe was only eight percent of its current age. These progenitors of today's giant spiral galaxies are surrounded by 'super halos' of hydrogen gas that extend many tens-of-thousands of light-years beyond their dusty, star-filled disks.



Astronomers observe early stages of Milky Way-like galaxies in distant universe

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Santa Cruz) For decades, astronomers have found distant galaxies by detecting the characteristic way their gas absorbs light from a bright quasar in the background. But efforts to observe the light emitted by these same galaxies have mostly been unsuccessful. Now, a team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has observed emissions from two distant galaxies initially detected by their quasar absorption signatures, and the results were not what they had expected.



New study maps space dust in 3-D

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) A new Berkeley Lab-led study provides detailed 3-D views of space dust in the Milky Way, which could help us understand the properties of this dust and how it affects views of distant objects.



Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Riverside) A molecule found in car engine exhaust fumes that is thought to have contributed to the origin of life on Earth has made astronomers heavily underestimate the amount of stars that were forming in the early universe, a University of California, Riverside-led study has found. That molecule is called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. On Earth it is also found in coal and tar. In space, it is a component of dust.



Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The Arctic sea ice maximum extent and Antarctic minimum extent are both record lows this year. Combined, sea ice numbers are at their lowest point since satellites began to continuously measure sea ice in 1979.



Fledgling stars try to prevent their neighbors from birthing planets

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Imperial College London) Stars don't have to be massive to evaporate material from around nearby stars and affect their ability to form planets, a new study suggests.



NASA taking first steps toward high-speed space 'internet'

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA is developing a trailblazing, long-term technology demonstration of what could become the high-speed internet of the sky. Laser communication offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency systems.



Visualizing nuclear radiation

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Kyoto University) Extraordinary decontamination efforts are underway in areas affected by the 2011 nuclear accidents in Japan. The creation of total radioactivity maps is essential for thorough cleanup, but the most common methods do not 'see' enough ground-level radiation.



Comet 67P full of surprises, says study led by CU Boulder

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Colorado at Boulder) Images returned from the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission indicate the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very active place during its most recent trip through the solar system, says a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.



Before and after: Unique changes spotted on comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Maryland) A study published March 21, 2017 in the journal Science summarizes the types of surface changes observed during the two years that the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft spent investigating comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Notable differences are seen before and after the comet's most active period --perihelion -- when it reached its closest point to the Sun along its orbit.