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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: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:45:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Amateur astronomer captures rare first light of massive exploding star

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(W. M. Keck Observatory) An amateur astronomer in Argentina captured images of a distant galaxy before and after the supernova's 'shock breakout' - when a supersonic pressure wave from the exploding core of the star hits and heats gas at the star's surface to a very high temperature, causing it to emit light and rapidly brighten. Victor Buso's chances of such a discovery, his first supernova, is estimated at one in 10 million or perhaps even as low as one in 100 million.



Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Royal Astronomical Society) Astronomers reveal a new high resolution map of the magnetic field lines in gas and dust swirling around the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy, published in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team, led by Professor Pat Roche of the University of Oxford, created the map, which is the first of its kind, using the CanariCam infrared camera attached to the Gran Telescopio Canarias sited on the island of La Palma.



Amateur astronomer captures rare first light from massive exploding star

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Berkeley) First light from a supernova is hard to capture; no one can predict where and when a star will explode. An Argentinian amateur astronomer has now captured on film this first light, emitted when the exploding core hits the star's outer layers: shock breakout. Subsequent observations by UC Berkeley astronomers using the Lick and Keck observatories helped identify it as a Type IIb supernova that slimmed down from 20 to 5 solar masses before exploding.



International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Biogerontology Research Foundation) An international team of researchers from NASA Ames Research Center, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate at Health Canada, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Oxford University, Insilico Medicine, Insilico Medicine Taiwan, the Biogerontology Research Foundation, Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Liverpool, University of Lethbridge, Ghent University, Center for Healthy Aging and many others have published a roadmap toward enhancing human radioresistance for space exploration and colonization.



Some black holes erase your past

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Berkeley) Physicists insist on determinism: your past and present determine your future uniquely, per Einstein's equations of general relativity. They call this strong cosmic censorship. A UC Berkeley mathematician found some types of black holes -- charged, non-rotating objects in an expanding universe -- that allow an observer inside the black hole to travel across a horizon into a place where the past is obliterated and there are an infinite number of possible futures for every initial state.



The superionic form of water

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati) A recent study confirms the predictions made by a group of SISSA and ICTP scientists in a study published in Science in 1999. Liquid and solid at the same time, superionic water could be found on Uranus and Neptune.



NASA sees ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita affecting New Zealand

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and saw the low pressure area previously known as Tropical Cyclone Gita, affecting New Zealand.



Pulsating Aurora mysteries uncovered with help from NASA's THEMIS mission

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The precise mechanism driving pulsating auroras, long unknown, has now been identified with help from NASA's THEMIS mission.



Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Pennsylvania) An international team of astronomers, including researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, has confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected, a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago when the universe was only a quarter of its current age.



European Geosciences Union meeting: Program online, press conferences

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(European Geosciences Union) The program for the 2018 EGU General Assembly is now online. At the meeting, with over 14,000 scientists, journalists can hear about the latest research in the Earth and space sciences. The conference (8-13 April in Vienna, Austria) features debates on low-risk geoengineering and on threats for life on Earth. Press conference topics include: new results from ESA and NASA missions, what's at risk from coastal hazards, and the 2017 wildfire season.



SwRI's Alan Stern to receive National Award of Nuclear Science & History

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Southwest Research Institute) Dr. Alan Stern has been selected to receive the National Award of Nuclear Science & History from the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Stern, associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute, serves as principal investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission, which made headlines worldwide when the spacecraft returned remarkable imagery of the Pluto system.



No relation between a supermassive black hole and its host galaxy!?

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(National Institutes of Natural Sciences) Using ALMA to observe an active galaxy with a strong ionized gas outflow from the galactic center, a team led by Dr. Toba of ASIAA (Taiwan) has obtained a result making astronomers even more puzzled -- the team clearly detected CO gas associated with the galactic disk, yet they have also found that the CO gas which settles in the galaxy is not affected by the strong ionized gas outflow launched from the galactic center.



NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will study Mars to learn more about the planet's transition from wet to dry, and what that means about its past and present habitability.



Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Southampton) An international team of astronomers led by the University of Southampton has confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected -- a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago, or three-quarters the age of the Universe itself.



Experts discuss Climate Science Special Report findings, implications

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) The climate is changing, the change is occurring now and it is happening extremely rapidly, researchers report.



Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Georgia Institute of Technology) In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs -- and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining. But for Georgia Tech researcher Nicholas Hud, asteroids play an entirely different role: that of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system. Having that information gives scientists the starting point they need to reconstruct the complex pathway that got life started on Earth.



NASA sees Tropical Storm 10S form along Western Australia Coast

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) After days of lingering off the west Kimberley coast of Western Australia as a slowly organizing low pressure area, Tropical Storm 10S has formed about 50 miles west of Broome, Australia.



NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Gita weakening

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite and the GPM core satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Gita is it began weakening from vertical wind shear.



ESO astronomer selected for astronaut training program

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(ESO) ESO astronomer Suzanna Randall is one step closer to her dream of becoming the first German woman to travel into space. She has been selected as a new trainee of the initiative Astronautin, which aims to train the first female German astronaut and send her on a research mission to the International Space Station. The announcement was made today at a press conference at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany.



ASU professor Davies addresses why we have yet to find extraterrestrial life

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Arizona State University) 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.



Helen L. Reed wins 2018 Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) AIAA Fellow Dr. Helen L. Reed, Regents Professor at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, is the recipient of the third Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering. Reed will present her lecture, 'Student Design-Build-Fly Micro- and Nano-Satellites,' on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, in conjunction with the National Academy of Engineering's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.



Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Arizona State University) Hollywood has it wrong. Humans would actually react positively to news of alien life -- intelligent or microbial.



Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm - once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal - is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.



Soft tissue fossil clues could help search for ancient life on Earth and other planets

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Oxford) Fossils that preserve entire organisms (including both hard and soft body parts) are critical to our understanding of evolution and ancient life on Earth. However, these exceptional deposits are extremely rare. New Oxford University research suggests that the mineralogy of the surrounding earth is key to conserving soft parts of organisms, and finding more exceptional fossils. Part-funded by NASA, the work could potentially support the Mars Rover Curiosity in its sample analysis, and speed up the search for traces of life on other planets.



NASA's Aqua satellite finds a wispy Tropical Depression Sanba

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Sulu Sea as Tropical Depression Sanba continued to weaken.