“The Galaxy Report” provides summaries and links to headline news by leading science journalists about the amazing discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the Cosmos beyond. Our caffine-inspired curation team scours the world, doing your work for you –all in one place.
The Ultralight Dark Universe –According to the hypothesis, axionic dark matter, provoking structural rearrangement in compact stars with a strong magnetic field, can protect them from a catastrophic loss of magnetic energy, but at the same time allows such objects to rotate abnormally fast. “Dark matter is a cosmic substance that does not directly interact with photons, and all information about it was obtained by astronomers only indirectly, as a result of gravitational lenzing of light from distant galactic sources,” comments one of the co-authors, Professor at the Department of Relativity Theory and Gravitation Alexander Balakin.
The Age of Interstellar Visitors –As astronomers get better at finding the comets and asteroids of other stars, they’ll learn more about the universe and our place in it. It sounds almost like science fiction, writes Michele Bannister for Quanta, a skyscraper-size tiny world with a reddish exterior that formed around another star, visiting our cosmic neighborhood for us to study. And yet that’s exactly what has happened, twice now as of the last few months. It will only happen more often this decade.
Earth Is About To Enter A 30-Year ‘Mini Ice Age’ –Our planet is bracing for a solar minimum: a dormant period in which the Sun radiates less energy or heat at our planet than usual, reports Mashable Scientists have warned that as a result of the Sun’s inactivity, Earth is likely to witness a ‘mini ice age’ that could bring extreme winters and chilly cold storms over the next 30 years.
How Ancient Light Reveals the Universe’s Contents –A photograph of the infant cosmos reveals the precise amounts of dark matter and dark energy in the universe, leaving precious little room for argument. In early 2003, Chuck Bennett learned the precise contents of the cosmos, writes Charlie Wood for Quanta. By then, most cosmologists had concluded that the universe contains much more than meets the eye. Observations of pinwheeling galaxies suggested that scaffolds of invisible matter held their stars together, while a repulsive form of energy drove galaxies apart.
A star exploded into a supernova but it weirdly isn’t very bright –The dimmest ever exploding star has been spotted by the twin ATLAS telescopes in Hawaii. Solving the mystery of how the explosion happened could have implications for how we measure the expansion rate of the universe. One theory for the origin of this peculiar astronomical event – 150 million light years away – is that it is a failed or incomplete detonation of a small, very dense star called a white dwarf. Stars of low to medium mass like the sun become white dwarfs after they have burned all their fuel.
NASA Reveals What Earth Would Look Like If The Oceans Dried Up
Weird clumps of air that disrupt radio signals found on Mars –Earth’s upper atmosphere has strange dense layers of ions that are constantly appearing and disappearing and which can hamper radio communication. Now, writes Leah Crane for New Scientist, the same thing has now been found on Mars, offering a new chance to crack understand this poorly studied phenomenon.
The Secrets Uncovered by Mars Rovers--Red Planet Ride-Along on the hunt for water and life. For human travelers, writes Corey Powell for Nautil.us, the iconic moment of space exploration occurred a half-century ago, when Neil Armstrong planted the first human boot-print on the moon. But if you don’t mind using robots as our stand-ins, the greatest era is unfolding right now on Mars, where NASA’s Curiosity rover is rolling across the rusty, dusty surface and leaving behind tread marks that spell out the letters “J-P-L” in Morse code.
Artificial Intelligence Will Do What We Ask. That’s a Problem —By teaching machines to understand our true desires, one scientist hopes to avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of having them do what we command, wrote Natalie Wolchover for Quanta. The danger of having artificially intelligent machines do our bidding is that we might not be careful enough about what we wish for.