Our consistently strange Universe delivered another catch of fascinating news stories these past few days, ranging from an extraordinary black hole found in neighboring galaxy to an astonishing new image of the Milky Way’s central region.
The Universe’s Expansion Could End Surprisingly Soon, Say Cosmologists –The universe is not only expanding but accelerating away from us. Now a new theory suggests all this could stop sooner than anyone imagined, reports Discover Magazine.
Taking Cosmology to the Far Side of the Moon New Chinese program plans to use satellites in lunar orbit to study faint signals from early universe, reports IEEE Spectrum.
Astronomers Detect Strange Signals We’ve Never Seen Before in Our Cosmic Vicinity –Just 4,000 light-years away, something is flashing radio waves. For roughly 30 to 60 seconds, every 18.18 minutes, it pulses brightly, one of the most luminous objects in the low-frequency radio sky. It matches the profile of no known astronomical object, and astronomers are baffled. They have named it GLEAM-X J162759.5-523504.3, reports Science Alert.
Chemist identifies new way to search for extraterrestrial life, reports San Diego State University –“Have we been looking for extraterrestrials in all the wrong places? San Diego State University chemists are developing methods to find signs of life on other planets by looking for the building blocks of proteins in a place they’ve never been able to test before: inside rocks.”
Could Echoes from Colliding Black Holes Prove Stephen Hawking’s Greatest Prediction? –Subtle signals from black hole mergers might confirm the existence of “Hawking radiation”—and gravitational-wave detectors may have already seen them, reports Scientific American
Extraordinary black hole found in neighboring galaxy, reports the University of Utah –““We have very good detections of the biggest, stellar-mass black holes up to 100 times the size of our sun, and supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies that are millions of times the size of our sun, but there aren’t any measurements of black between these. That’s a large gap,” said senior author Anil Seth, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Utah and co-author of the study. “This discovery fills the gap.”
The James Webb Space Telescope Could Solve One of Cosmology’s Deepest Mysteries –The observatory’s unprecedented infrared measurements might at last bridge a growing rift between astronomers over how fast the universe is expanding, reports Scientific American.
When it comes to mass extinction, meteorite size doesn’t matter –-“An international team of researchers, including experts in mineralogy, climate, asteroid composition, and paleontology, tackled this question by examining 33 impacts over the past 600 million years. Specifically, they looked at the minerals in the massive amount of dust that an incoming meteorite throws up into the atmosphere. That dust can profoundly change Earth’s climate.
Astrophysicist receives prestigious award for experiment that ‘transformed our view of the universe’ –In its nomination, the academy credited Charles L. Bennett with advancing humankind’s understanding of the universe through the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, Johns Hopkins University said in a news release. The NASA space experiment led by Bennett allowed astronomers to unveil the most detailed picture ever of the infant universe, a picture dating to 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
Astrophysicists reveal absolutely astonishing, unprecedented images of the Milky Way— ‘ “It’s the Milky Way like you’ve never seen it before. An international team of researchers has produced a new radio image of the center of our galaxy using the South African MeerKAT telescope, the most powerful of its kind in the world.”
Extremely harsh volcanic lake shows how life might have existed on Mars, reports Newswise –“A few specialist microbes survive conditions analogous to those of Mars’ early history, reports a new publication in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science—and this may be thanks to a broad range of adaptations. The hydrothermal crater lake of the Poás volcano in Costa Rica is one of the most hostile habitats on the planet,” reports Frontiers.
Astronomers close in on a new way to detect gravitational waves –“Several teams hope to use pulsars in the Milky Way to detect ripples in space-time made by distant supermassive black holes,” reports Nature.
Extreme exoplanet has a complex and exotic atmosphere, reports University of Bern –“The results from this hot, Jupiter-like planet that was first characterized with the help of the CHEOPS space telescope, may help astronomers understand the complexities of many other exoplanets—including Earth-like planets.”