“Beyond the Higgs” –Hints That the Universe Could Suddenly Collapse (2015 Most Popular)


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A stable universe is one in a low energy state where particles and forces interact and behave according to theoretical predictions, forever. That’s in contrast to metastable, or unstable, meaning a higher energy state in which things eventually change, or change suddenly and unpredictably, and that could result in the universe collapsing. The Higgs and top quark are the two most important parameters for determining an answer to that question. Recent measurements of the Higgs and top quark indicate they describe a universe that is not necessarily stable at all energies.


Hubble Hints at Source of Milky Way’s Titanic Eruption 2 Million Years Ago (2015 Most Popular)



At a time when our earliest human ancestors mastered walking upright the heart of our Milky Way galaxy underwent a titanic eruption, driving gases and other material outward at 2 million miles per hour. Now, at least 2 million years later, astronomers are witnessing the aftermath of the explosion: billowing clouds of gas towering about 30,000 light-years above and below the plane of our galaxy.


Scientists Identify Fragments of Primordial Proteins that Existed 3.5 Billion Years Ago





Scientists at the Max Planck Society have investigated the hypothesis that the first protein domains arose by fusion and piecemeal growth from an ancestral set of simple peptides, which themselves emerged in an RNA-based pre-cellular life, around 3.5 billion years ago.


NASA/Hubble: “Human Civilization Has Arrived Early in the Universe” (2015 Most Popular)






Earth came early to the party in the evolving universe. According to the new theoretical study, when our solar system was born 4.6 billion years ago only eight percent of the potentially habitable planets that will ever form in the universe existed. And, the party won't be over when the sun burns out in another 6 billion years. The bulk of those planets — 92 percent — have yet to be born. This conclusion is based on an assessment of data collected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the prolific planet-hunting Kepler space observatory.


‘Does This Tiny Ocean World Harbor Life?’–NASA’s Last Flyby of Saturn’s Geyser Moon, Enceladus





"We bid a poignant goodbye to our close views of this amazing icy world," said Linda Spilker, the mission's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Cassini has made so many breathtaking discoveries about Enceladus, yet so much more remains to be done to answer that pivotal question, 'Does this tiny ocean world harbor life?'"



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