Our Universe provided some fascinating news stories over the past few days, ranging from Antimatter Stars of the Milky Way to Can Early Dark Energy Save the Universe to Our Weird Solar System.
Nasa begins months-long effort to focus James Webb space telescope –The revolutionary new scope could provide a glimpse of the cosmos dating back billions of years, but first some painstaking adjustments are needed, reports The Guardian.
The Extraterrestrial-Contact Paradox (YouTube Episode), reports The Daily Galaxy. “British physicist Stephen Wolfram believes extraterrestrial intelligent life is inevitable, but with a caveat. Although intelligent life is inevitable, we will never find it -at least not by searching in the Milky Way. We have a slim chance, he suggests, of distinguishing an ET artifact from a natural celestial object.”
Do antimatter Stars Lurk in the Milky Way? –Stars made of antimatter could lurk in the Milky Way –If true, the preliminary find might mean some antimatter survived to the present day, reports Science News.
The Staggering Implications of Infinite Space (YouTube Episode), reports The Daily Galaxy –“Some astrophysicists, it has been said, suggest that there are only three important numbers in the universe: zero, one, and infinity. Within an infinite expanse of space, it would be hard to see any reason why there would not be an infinite number of galaxies, stars, and planets, and even an infinite number of intelligent or conscious beings, scattered throughout this limitless volume.”
A century of quantum mechanics questions the fundamental nature of reality –The quantum revolution upended our understanding of nature, and a lot of uncertainty remains, reports Science News.
One of the Last Great Mysteries of the Early Universe –“Did supermassive black holes exist shortly after the big bang, before the birth of stars? “This is one of the last great mysteries of the early universe,” said Kirk S. S. Barrow in 2018, currently at Harvard’s CfA, about how supermassive black holes formed during the birth of a galaxy. It’s a mystery the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) may soon be able to solve,” reports The Daily Galaxy.
What is “early dark energy” and can it save the expanding Universe? –There are two fundamentally different ways of measuring the Universe’s expansion. They disagree. “Early dark energy” might save us, reports Big Think.
Planets Unlike Any in Our Solar System, reports The Daily Galaxy. ““The tiny star TOI-270 (less than half the size and temperature of our Sun) hosts one super-Earth and two sub-Neptunes. In our solar system, there is absolutely nothing that resembles such intermediate planets.”
A giant arc of galaxies stretching across more than 3 billion light-years –Such a finding is counter to the assumption that matter in the universe is evenly distributed on large scales. The arc, invisible to the human eye, came to light in an analysis of about 40,000 quasars — very bright cores of distant galaxies. But some skeptics argue that the arc may be just an artifact of the human tendency to pick up patterns where none actually exist, reports Science News.
Have Astronomers Found a Giant Exomoon Almost Three Times the Size of Earth? “Researchers at Columbia University led by David Kipping have calculated that there is about a 1 per cent chance that the detection is a false positive caused by noise in the signal. If the exomoon is real, it is about 2.6 times the size of Earth, far bigger than any moon seen in our own solar system and only slightly smaller than the unconfirmed exomoon orbiting Kepler-1625b.
The Large Hadron Collider blips that could herald a new era of physics –Hints of a new particle carrying a fifth force of nature have been multiplying at the LHC – and many physicists are convinced this could finally be the big one, reports New Scientist.
Four scientific ways we can be certain the Moon landings were real –Even though no human has stepped foot on the Moon’s surface in 50 years, the evidence of our presence there remains unambiguous, reports Big Think.
NASA’s Perseverance Rover Chokes on Mars Pebbles While Collecting a Rock Sample –The rover’s latest sample collection—an effort to gather material for eventual return to Earth—is off to a rocky start, reports Scientific American.
Two black holes merged to form a huge one moving at incredible speeds –Astronomers have long suspected that merging black holes can give the resulting larger black hole a massive boost of speed, and have finally spotted this happening, reports New Scientist.
Saturn’s small moon Mimas may be hiding an impossible ocean –Mimas doesn’t show any hints of liquid water, and it seems impossible that it could have an ocean under its surface, but that’s exactly what a new set of simulations suggest, reports New Scientist
Is our solar system a cosmic oddity? Evidence from exoplanets says yes –When we started finding planetary systems around other stars we thought many of them would be like ours. We’ve now found hundreds – and it’s so far, so wrong. reports New Scientist.