“The Galaxy Report” brings you news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch. Today’s stories range from In Search of Cracks in Albert Einstein’s Theory of Gravity to Two astrophysicists debate Is the Multiverse real to Mind-Bending New Multiverse Scenario Could Explain a Strange Higgs Boson Feature, and much more.
In Search of Cracks in Albert Einstein’s Theory of Gravity –Celia Escamilla-Rivera is combining large data sets with supercomputers to test general relativity against its little-known competitors. “We’re invoking these mysterious things,” said the cosmologist Celia Escamilla-Rivera (see video below).“I am strongly convinced that alternative theories of gravity are needed,” reports Quanta.
Could ‘epsilon machines’ help us find alien life? asks Earth & Sky. “Despite the name, epsilon machines aren’t machines. Instead, they’re complex mathematical algorithms, sets of rules used when problem-solving with a computer. The researchers said in a paper published earlier this month that these sorts of algorithms could be used to identify complex features on exoplanets that are best explained – perhaps only explained – by life’s processes.”
Is the Multiverse real? Two astrophysicists debate — It’s one of the hottest questions in all of theoretical physics. Big Think invited two astrophysicists to join the debate. “Ethan Siegel argues that the Multiverse exists and is simply a matter of logical deduction based on solid theory. Astrophysicist (and 13.8 columnist) Adam Frank disagrees, arguing that accepting the existence of a Multiverse comes with a strange cost — namely, believing that there are an infinite number of Universes that we can never detect.”
Is There Life in the TRAPPIST-1 Star System? – “Twice as Old as Our Solar System” –Could one of the seven tightly packed planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system be the first exoplanet where the James Webb Space Telescope detects unmistakable signs of life? reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy.
Mind-Bending New Multiverse Scenario Could Explain a Strange Higgs Boson Feature –When researchers at the Large Hadron Collider discovered the elusive Higgs particle in 2012, it was a landmark for particle physics. It solved a very thorny problem, validating and allowing the Standard Model of particle physics to hold, reports Science Alert.
Astrophysicists find a way to form dark matter-deficient galaxies, reports Princeton University. In a new Nature Astronomy study, an international team of astrophysicists report how, when tiny galaxies collide with bigger ones, the bigger galaxies can strip the smaller galaxies of their dark matter.
Hubble Peers at Peculiar Pair of Galaxies. —This striking image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases Arp 298, a stunning pair of interacting galaxies. Arp 298 – which comprises the two galaxies NGC 7469 and IC 5283 – lies roughly 200 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. The larger of the two galaxies pictured here is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 7469, and IC 5283 is its diminutive companion. NGC 7469 is also host to an active, supermassive black hole and a bright ring of star clusters.
Strangely tilted black hole challenges formation theories, reports Space.com. “A tilted black hole spinning around a misaligned axis has been discovered in our galaxy, challenging theories of black hole formation. The black hole and its companion star form a system called MAXI J1820+070, which lies some 10,000 light-years away from Earth. Recent optical observations by the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands revealed that the black hole behaves in ways that defy astronomers’ expectations.”
Gaia Finds Ancient Satellite Galaxy Pontus Embedded in Milky Way –A recent study looked at stellar streams hidden in Gaia data, to uncover evidence of an ancient remnant dubbed Pontus, reports Universe Today.
The Chelyabinsk Meteorite that exploded over Russia in 2013 may have been involved in the impact that formed our moon, reports Science Alert –“Meteorite impact ages are often controversial,” said geoscientist Craig Walton of the University of Cambridge in the UK. “Our work shows that we need to draw on multiple lines of evidence to be more certain about impact histories – almost like investigating an ancient crime scene.”
Colossal Shock Wave Rippling Across Space Is Bigger Than Our Entire Galaxy –A billion years ago, an absolutely monstrous collision of two clusters of galaxies produced a pair of shock waves of absolutely epic proportions. Today, the structures gleam brightly in radio wavelengths, so huge they could easily engulf the Milky Way galaxy’s estimated 100,000 light-year diameter, stretching up to 6.5 million light-years through intergalactic space, reports Science Alert.
Astronomers traced a mysterious fast radio burst (FRB) to a strange location: a galaxy filled with old stars, instead of the zones of young stars where such events were found before, reports Inverse.
Venus Shows Its Hot, Cloudy Side –The Parker Solar Probe captured images of a glowing red surface during flybys, reports The New York Times. “It’s a new way of looking at Venus that we’ve never even tried before — in fact, weren’t even sure it was possible,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s planetary division
Hundreds of strange filaments found at Milky Way’s center –Thirty-five years after the discovery of odd “threads” in our galaxy, many more strands — and their possible origin — are revealed, reports Astronomy.
Loop quantum gravity: Does space-time come in tiny chunks? asks Paul Sutter for Space.com –Are there fundamental units of space-time at some unfathomably tiny scale?
The Young Earth Under the Cool Sun –How did our planet avoid being frozen solid during the early days of our solar system? asks EOS. “For those first few hundred million years, the Sun was still waking up, with fusion by-products slowly building and causing its core to contract and glow brighter. By the end of the Hadean, when Earth was a meager half a billion years old, the Sun shone at about 75% of its current brightness.”
Meet the robots that can reproduce, learn and evolve all by themselves –Machines that can mate and produce offspring can help us clean up nuclear sites, explore asteroids and terraform distant planets – but could they prove a threat, asks Emma Hart, who is helping develop them, reports New Scientist.
Astronomers Find Two Giant Black Holes Spiraling Toward a Collision, reports the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A supermassive black hole 9 billion light-years away appears to have a companion black hole orbiting around it. As the orbit shrinks, the pair gets closer to merging.
What happened at the Arecibo Observatory? New inquiry launched into iconic telescope’s collapse, reports Space.com –Now, a team of engineers is on the case to understand what went wrong at Arecibo that made its troubles fatal.
‘Mini’ Rocket Could Be First Craft Launched From Mars, reports Popular Science–Earlier this month, NASA announced that defense contractor Lockheed Martin would be building the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), the rocket that will someday take off from the surface of Mars to start the return journey with samples of the planet’s dirt, rocks, and atmosphere.