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Universe Current Events and Universe News from Brightsurf

Universe Current Events and Universe News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Amateur astronomer captures rare first light of massive exploding star

Wed, 21 Feb 18 00:08:30 -0800

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.

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

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:01:20 -0800

The precise mechanism driving pulsating auroras, long unknown, has now been identified with help from NASA's THEMIS mission.

Some black holes erase your past

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:11:40 -0800

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.

Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected

Mon, 19 Feb 18 00:05:20 -0800

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.

Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

Fri, 16 Feb 18 00:02:20 -0800

Hollywood has it wrong. Humans would actually react positively to news of alien life -- intelligent or microbial.

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

Fri, 16 Feb 18 00:01:50 -0800

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.

UChicago astrophysicists settle cosmic debate on magnetism of planets and stars

Fri, 09 Feb 18 00:00:30 -0800

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.

Friction found where there should be none: In superfluids near absolute zero

Thu, 01 Feb 18 00:12:50 -0800

Physicists at Aalto University have discovered unexpected friction while rotating superfluid helium. Understanding the friction's provenance and implications is crucial for designing any devices that rely on superconducting quantum phenomena, such as quantum computers.

Supermassive black holes can feast on one star per year

Thu, 01 Feb 18 00:03:10 -0800

Supermassive black holes in some galaxies can eat stars at a rate of one per year in the period following a galactic merger, helping explain a longstanding astronomical mystery about eccentric stellar orbits.

Astronomy: A rotating system of satellite galaxies raises questions

Thu, 01 Feb 18 00:05:30 -0800

Astronomers have examined the distribution and movement of dwarf galaxies in the constellation Centaurus, but their observations do not fit with the standard model of cosmology that assumes the existence of dark matter. The international team of researchers led by the University of Basel reported their findings in the journal Science.

Distant galaxy group contradicts common cosmological models, simulations

Thu, 01 Feb 18 00:04:40 -0800

An international team of astronomers has determined that Centaurus A, a massive elliptical galaxy 13 million light-years from Earth, is accompanied by a number of dwarf satellite galaxies orbiting the main body in a narrow disk. In a paper published today in Science, the researchers note that this is the first time such a galactic arrangement has been observed outside the Local Group, home to the Milky Way.

New study challenges popular theory about dwarf galaxies

Thu, 01 Feb 18 00:04:10 -0800

A new international study involving The Australian National University (ANU) has found a plane of dwarf galaxies orbiting around Centaurus A in a discovery that challenges a popular theory about how dwarf galaxies are spread around the Universe.

Galaxies that feed on other galaxies

Wed, 31 Jan 18 00:11:50 -0800

An international team of astronomers led by Giuseppina Battaglia, researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), finds signs that the outer halo of the Milky Way contains stellar remains of massive dwarf galaxies that were devoured by our own.

Overabundance of massive stars in the Tarantula Nebula

Wed, 31 Jan 18 00:13:10 -0800

An international team of astronomers with participation of researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) has revealed an 'astonishing' overabundance of massive stars in a neighbouring galaxy. The discovery, made in a gigantic star-forming region of the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, has 'far-reaching' consequences for our understanding of how stars transformed the pristine Universe into the one we live in today.

New universe simulation prompts breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics

Wed, 31 Jan 18 00:07:00 -0800

Novel computational methods have helped create the most information-packed, universe-scale simulation ever produced. The new tool provides fresh insights into how black holes influence the distribution of dark matter, how heavy elements are produced and distributed throughout the cosmos, and where magnetic fields originate.

Applying machine learning to the universe's mysteries

Tue, 30 Jan 18 00:16:10 -0800

Berkeley Lab physicists and their collaborators have demonstrated that computers are ready to tackle the universe's greatest mysteries -- they used neural networks to perform a deep dive into data simulating the subatomic particle soup that may have existed just microseconds after the big bang.

Stellar embryos in nearby dwarf galaxy contain surprisingly complex organic molecules

Tue, 30 Jan 18 00:02:50 -0800

New observations ALMA have uncovered the surprisingly clear chemical 'fingerprints' of the complex organic molecules methanol, dimethyl ether, and methyl formate. Though previous observations found hints of methanol in the LMC, the latter two are unprecedented findings and stand as the most complex molecules ever conclusively detected outside of our galaxy.

Queen's University scientist unlocks gamma ray burst secrets

Tue, 23 Jan 18 00:00:40 -0800

A Queen's University Belfast scientist has recreated the first ever mini version of a gamma ray burst in a laboratory, opening up a whole new way to investigate their properties and potentially unlocking some of the mysteries around alien civilisation.

New for three types of extreme-energy space particles: Theory shows unified origin

Mon, 22 Jan 18 00:00:00 -0800

One of the biggest mysteries in astroparticle physics has been the origins of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, very high-energy neutrinos, and high-energy gamma rays. Now, a new theoretical model reveals that they all could be shot out into space after cosmic rays are accelerated by powerful jets from supermassive black holes. The model may set a new milestone on the path toward solving the half-century-old enigma of the origin of the highest-energy particles in the universe.

North, east, south, west: The many faces of Abell 1758

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:01:50 -0800

Resembling a swarm of flickering fireflies, this beautiful galaxy cluster glows intensely in the dark cosmos, accompanied by the myriad bright lights of foreground stars and swirling spiral galaxies. A1758N is a sub-cluster of Abell 1758, a massive cluster containing hundreds of galaxies. Although it may appear serene in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, the sub-cluster actually comprises two even smaller structures currently in the turbulent process of merging.

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:02:40 -0800

Dust is everywhere -- not just in your attic or under your bed, but also in outer space. To astronomers, dust can be a tool to study the history of our universe, galaxy, and Solar System. For example, observations indicate that type II supernovae -- explosions of stars more than ten times as massive as the Sun -- produce copious amounts of dust, but how and when they do so is not well understood.

Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:05:20 -0800

The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe. New observations from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, reported in Astrophysical Journal Letters, indicate that the gamma ray burst unleashed by the collision is more complex than scientists initially imagined.

Viruses are everywhere, maybe even in space

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:05:50 -0800

Viruses are the most abundant and one of the least understood biological entities on Earth. They might also exist in space, but as of yet scientists have done almost no research into this possibility. Portland State University biology professor Ken Stedman and colleagues are trying to change this through their article

Redshift space distortions measured by quasars in scientific first

Tue, 16 Jan 18 00:08:40 -0800

The eBOSS team released its latest results on Jan. 10, 2018: a measurement of redshift space distortions (RSD) with high significance has been successfully accomplished using observations of quasars distributed 6.8 to 10.5 billion light years away from Earth (with redshifts 0.8 to 2.2). This is the first probe of cosmic structure growth using quasars.

Hubble weighs in on mass of 3 million billion suns

Tue, 16 Jan 18 00:00:30 -0800

In 2014, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope found that this enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns. Known officially as ACT-CLJ0102-4915, it is the largest, hottest, and brightest X-ray galaxy cluster ever discovered in the distant universe.

Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume

Fri, 12 Jan 18 00:04:50 -0800

Statistical analysis of supermassive black holes suggests that the spin of the black hole may play a role in the generation of powerful high-speed jets blasting radio waves. By analyzing nearly 8000 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, research team found that the oxygen emissions are 1.5 times stronger in radio loud quasars than in radio quiet quasars. This implies that spin is an important factor in the generation of jets.

Organic molecule benzonitrile detected in space

Thu, 11 Jan 18 00:15:10 -0800

Scientists studying a cold molecular cloud of the Taurus region with radio telescopes have detected the presence of a particular organic molecule called benzonitrile. The finding marks the first time a specific aromatic molecule has been identified in space using radio spectroscopy.

Astronomers detect 'whirlpool' movement in earliest galaxies

Wed, 10 Jan 18 00:11:40 -0800

Astronomers have looked back to a time soon after the Big Bang, and have discovered swirling gas in some of the earliest galaxies to have formed in the universe. These 'newborns' -- observed as they appeared nearly 13 billion years ago -- spun like a whirlpool, similar to our own Milky Way. This is the first time that it has been possible to detect movement in galaxies at such an early point in the universe's history.

SETI project homes in on strange 'fast radio bursts'

Wed, 10 Jan 18 00:11:30 -0800

Brief and powerful fast radio bursts could be signals from advanced civilizations, which is why Breakthrough Listen at UC Berkeley is monitoring many of the 30-some known FRBs, including FRB 121102, the only repeater. They and another team report that the bursts from FRB 121102 are 100 percent polarized, indicating that they come from a source embedded in a strong magnetic field, like that around a massive black hole at the center of a galaxy.

Fast radio burst source linked to 'extreme' environment

Wed, 10 Jan 18 00:11:00 -0800

A new study shows that the only known repeating fast radio burst source is in an 'extreme' environment which is among the most highly magnetized regions of space ever observed. Such an environment has only been seen around massive black holes, but could also plausibly be caused by a combination of other extreme astrophysical circumstances. The new measurements could offer a major clue to the FRB's cause.

Weighing massive stars in nearby galaxy reveals excess of heavyweights

Thu, 04 Jan 18 00:03:30 -0800

An international team of astronomers has revealed an 'astonishing' overabundance of massive stars in a neighboring galaxy. The discovery, made in the gigantic star-forming region 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, has 'far-reaching' consequences for our understanding of how stars transformed the pristine Universe into the one we live in today.

Alien megastructure not the cause of dimming of the 'most mysterious star in the universe'

Wed, 03 Jan 18 00:14:20 -0800

Scientists are one step closer to solving the mystery behind the 'most mysterious star in the universe.'

New data debunks alien megastructure theory on the 'most mysterious star in the universe'
A team of more than 100 researchers, led by LSU Department of Physics