Recent Entries

Is Dark Energy Evolving? –Ancient Quasars May Offer the Answer

The Teacup Quasar

  

Observational cosmologists are actively searching for a “new physics” that may solve the enduring enigma of our rapidly expanding Universe. Quasars are the ancient cores of galaxies where a supermassive black hole is actively pulling in matter from its surroundings at very intense rates may old the clue to solving the mystery.

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“Fingerprints of the Big Bang” –NASA’s SPHEREx Mission Will Probe First Seconds of the Universe

SPHEREx Mission

 

Our understanding of the first seconds of our Universe’s existence is little more than an informed guess, based on inference and extrapolation. “Yet these first moments are the key to many of our most urgent and enduring cosmic mysteries,” cosmologist Dan Hooper at the University of Chicago told The Daily Galaxy. “Understanding this era,” he adds, “is essential to understanding our universe.

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Exo-Earths of Binary Star Systems – “Favor a Livable Climate and Evolution of Complex Life”

Alpha Centauri Star Systemm

 

“They’re out there,” goes the common quip about extraterrestrials. It would seem more likely to be true in light of a 2019 study by astrophysicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology who modeled the evolution of axial tilts of Earth-like analogs in different star systems, including binary stars. Earth’s axial tilt varies only slightly, an important ingredient for climate stability that favors the evolution of complex life. Of all their simulated Earth analogs with axial tilts similarly steady to Earth’s, the astrophysicists found that 87% of them were in binary star systems.

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“Emergence of Human Ancestors” -A 300,000 Year-Long Beam of Energy Burst from Milky Way’s Black Hole

Milky Way Galaxy

 

 

“We always thought of our Galaxy as an inactive galaxy, with a not so bright center,” said Magda Guglielmo from the University of Sydney about 2019 Hubble Space Telescope data showing that a titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the SgrA*, the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, 3.5 million years ago, shooting a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and beyond into deep space.

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“Pop Goes the Cosmos” –Mysteries of the Primordial Universe Before the Big Bang

Early Universe

 

Although cosmic inflation is well known for resolving some important mysteries about the structure and evolution of the universe, other very different theories can also explain these mysteries. In some of these theories, the state of the universe preceding the Big Bang – the so-called primordial universe – was contracting instead of expanding, and the Big Bang was thus a part of a Big Bounce.

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Milky-Way Worlds May Harbor Lifeforms With Alien DNA

Alien World

 

During a keynote speech at a NASA conference a decade ago on the search for extraterrestrial life an attendee shouted out: “We have no idea what’s out there!” One of NASA’s goals is to search for life on other planets like Mars, where there was once flowing water and a thick atmosphere, or moons of the outer solar system like Europa and Enceladus, where vast water oceans churn under thick layers of ice. But what if life on those worlds doesn’t use our DNA? How could we recognize it? A 2019 DNA breakthrough may be the key to answering these questions and many more.

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‘Faint Signal of First Atoms to Beyond the Observable Universe’ –Last Week’s Top 5 Space & Science Headlines

 

ESO ALMA Array

 

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Fast Facts About Young Stars of the Universe

Young Stars of star cluster NGC 3572

 

Determining the age of a star can be one of the trickiest measurements an astronomer can make.  Stars don’t obviate their age like humans do — with wrinkles around the eyes, grey hair, or brittle bones.  Instead stars give hints at their age through things like their motion, rotation rate, chemistry, and placement in the Galaxy. Finding “extrema” on the age spectrum for stars — the oldest and youngest — is much easier than trying to find middle aged objects like our Sun.   In this article, we reveal five fast facts about the youngest stars in the Galaxy.

Jackie Faherty

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