Another amazing week of discovery in the Cosmos, ranging from the mystery of our Universe’s beginning to a massive void detected in the Milky Way to the spooky implications of quantum-level technologies: “everything that can happen will happen, an infinite number of times.”
What if the universe had no beginning? Asks Paul Sutter for Live Science. In the beginning, there was … well, maybe there was no beginning. Perhaps our universe has always existed — and a new theory of quantum gravity reveals how that could work. “Reality has so many things that most people would associate with sci-fi or even fantasy,” said Bruno Bento, a physicist who studies the nature of time at the University of Liverpool in the U.K.
San Andreas-like Fault Found on Titan –-Strike-slip faulting, the type of motion common to California’s well-known San Andreas Fault, was reported recently to possibly occur on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. New research, led by planetary scientists from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), suggests this tectonic motion may be active on Titan, deforming the icy surface.
Astronomers Find a Huge Spherical Cavity in Milky Way Galaxy–The 490-light-year-wide void is located among the constellations Perseus and Taurus, and was formed by one powerful supernova or a series of such events some 10 million years ago, according to new research from the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Did a Black Hole Eating a Star Generate a Neutrino? Unlikely, New Study Shows, reports Harvard CfA–New calculations show that a black hole slurping down a star may not have generated enough energy to launch a neutrino.
How Cosmic Dust Reveals the Secrets of the Universe –Matthew Genge shows explains to read the history of our solar system in the language of cosmic dust, a video report from Quanta.
Astronomers Find Strange Source of Radio Waves near Milky Way’s Center –Astronomers using CSIRO’s ASKAP and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s MeerKAT radio telescopes have discovered and characterized ASKAP J173608.2-321635, a highly-polarized, highly-variable, steep-spectrum radio source located just 4 degrees from the Milky Way’s center. They’ve largely ruled out most possible origins of this source including stars, normal neutron stars, and X-ray binaries. According to the team, ASKAP J173608.2-321635 may belong to a new class of steep spectrum sources.
New Type of Dark Energy Could Solve Universe Expansion Mystery –Hints of a previously unknown, primordial form of the substance could explain why the cosmos now seems to be expanding faster than theory predicts.
The Search for Axions – Detection Will Have Profound Implications, reports The Daily Galaxy. “Once an axion is detected,” astrophysicist Raymond Co at the University of Minnesota wrote in an email to The Daily Galaxy, “the implications to cosmology will be profound. For instance, signals from experiments with different search strategies will determine whether the axion is dark matter. If it is, with the measured axion properties, one can narrow down its possible cosmological origins.”
Iceland Is a Portal to Mars -Volcanic eruptions are intimately connected with life. Scientists are using the current eruptions in Iceland to understand the possible history of life on Mars, a video report from Quanta
Astronomers Found a Planet That Survived Its Star’s Death –The Jupiter-size planet orbits a type of star called a white dwarf, and hints at what our solar system could be like when the sun burns out, reports The New York Times.
New Universal Force Tested by Blasting Neutrons through Crystal –A recent experiment has placed the best-yet limits on the strength of a long-sought fifth fundamental force, reports Scientific American.
Why Extraterrestrial Life May Not Seem Entirely Alien –-The zoologist Arik Kershenbaum argues that because some evolutionary challenges are truly universal, life throughout the cosmos may share certain features, reports Quanta.
Can Einstein’s forgotten theory of space solve the cosmology crisis? –Decades ago, Einstein concocted a theory in which space doesn’t just curve, but swirls like a cyclone. Now it is making a comeback because it could fix several of the biggest problems in cosmology, reports New Scientist.
The sci-fi inspired Schoolhouse.world could be the next Oxford –Real-time online learning is where our dated education system is heading, audio report from Big Think.
Venus’s surface may have never been cool enough for oceans or life, reports New Scientist –“Venus might never have had the conditions necessary for water to exist on its surface, meaning the planet wouldn’t have been habitable as once thought.”
‘Waiting for a ghost’: the search for dark matter 1km under an Australian town –To study the stuff of the universe, you have to block it out, and that is exactly what a bold project in regional Victoria is trying to do, reports The Guardian.
Martian floods filled Jezero Crater, Perseverance finds--Images from NASA’s latest rover uncover the history of what was once a lake — and perhaps a habitat for life., reports Astronomy.com
A Crystal Ball Into Our Solar System’s Future –-Giant Gas Planet Orbiting a Dead Star Gives Glimpse Into the Predicted Aftermath of our Sun’s Demise, reports the Keck Observatory.
Was Our Universe Created in a Laboratory?, asks Harvard’s Avi Loeb for Scientific American. Developing quantum-gravity technologies may elevate us to a “class A” civilization, capable of creating a baby universe.” As the MIT cosmologist Alan Guth says “everything that can happen will happen … an infinite number of times,”
The Moon Is Leaving Us. And we can’t stop it. “Each year, our moon moves distinctly, inexorably farther from Earth—just a tiny bit, about an inch and a half, a nearly imperceptible change. There is no stopping this slow ebbing, no way to turn back the clock. The forces of gravity are invisible and unshakable, and no matter what we do or how we feel about them, they will keep nudging the moon along. Over many millions of years, we’ll continue to grow apart,” reports Marina Koren for The Atlantic.
NASA’s Lucy Launches on 12-Year Mission to Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids –The elaborate journey of the robotic spacecraft will offer close encounters with some of the solar system’s least understood objects
FAST, the World’s Largest Radio Telescope, Zooms in on a Furious Cosmic Source –-China’s Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope has detected more than 1,600 fast radio bursts from a single enigmatic system, reports Scientific American.