Mystery of Stephen Hawking’s “Exxon Gravity” to Alien Life in Stellar Graveyards (The Galaxy Report)

 

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“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 Astrophysicists Solve a Dark Matter Puzzle to Will the James Webb Space Telescope Reveal Unknown, Hidden Objects at the Milky Way’s Center to the Secrets of the Big Bang –The First Few Seconds of the Universe.

 

Astrophysicists solve a dark matter puzzle, reports Princeton University.”When tiny galaxies collide with bigger ones, the bigger galaxies can strip the smaller galaxies of their dark matter.It started in 2018 when two astrophysicists — Shany Danieli, a NASA Hubble Fellow and Carnegie-Princeton Fellow in Princeton’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and Pieter van Dokkum, a professor of physics and astronomy at Yale University — observed two galaxies that seemed to exist without most of their dark matter.”

“Exxon Gravity?” –Mysteries of Stephen Hawking’s doodle-filled blackboard may finally be solved, reports Brandon Specktor for Live Science. What is “Exxon gravity,” and why was it on the legendary physicist’s chalkboard?

 

 

Will the James Webb Space Telescope Reveal Unknown, Hidden Objects at the Milky Way’s Center? asks Avi Shporer for The Daily Galaxy. “NASA’s recently launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), designed to view the universe in infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, but is very important for looking at astronomical objects hidden from our view, obscured by vast swaths of interstellar dust at the galactic center in unprecedented detail.”

Alien Life Could Survive in “Stellar Graveyard” Around Dead Stars, reports Newsweek. Moon-sized structures are orbiting a white dwarf in a region where water could exist as a liquid rather than as gas or ice—an area known as the habitable zone. These bodies orbit with a regularity that indicates they are guided by a major planet in the zone. White dwarfs have ended their main life cycle, existing as barely glowing embers, and had been previously considered barren.”

What is the “average star” like? Hint: It’s not like our Sun –Please stop calling our Sun an “average star.” It is philosophically dubious and astronomically incorrect, reports Big Think. “From an astronomical census viewpoint, the “average star” is about half the size of our Sun. This has major implications for extraterrestrial life, as these common, smaller stars produce far less energy.”

Astronomers’ Observations fit poorly with the Standard Model of Cosmology. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now studied the evolution of galaxies within this model, finding considerable discrepancies with actual observations. The University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Charles University in the Czech Republic were also involved in the study. The results have now been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

 

The Mysterious Forces Inside the Nucleus Grow a Little Less Strange –The strong force holds protons and neutrons together, but the theory behind it is largely inscrutable. Two new approaches show how it works, reports Charlie Wood for Quanta. “This is, if you want, the frontier of nuclear physics,” said Laura Fabbietti, a physicist at the Technical University of Munich, “understanding [these] interactions from first principles.”

Most Mysterious, Unstable, Supermassive, Volatile Star in the Universe,  reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy.  “The luminous blue variable is a supermassive, unstable star,” said Yan-Fei Jiang, a researcher at the Flatiron Institute in New York City. Unlike our own smaller and steady-burning Sun, luminous blue variables (LBVs) have been shown to burn bright and hot, then cool and fade, only to flare up again

Astrophysicists discover mysterious energy pulse in Milky Way, reports UPI. “Astrophysicists have discovered a radio transient, or a burst of energy, that pulses every 18.8 minutes in the Milky Way. Natasha Hurley-Walker, an astrophysicist at the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research at Australia’s Curtin University, led the team of scientists who discovered the mysterious object.”

A Water World? Astronomers have discovered a third planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun. Called Proxima Centauri d, the newly spotted world is probably smaller than Earth, and could have oceans of liquid water. “It’s showing that the nearest star probably has a very rich planetary system,” says astronomer Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who led the team that, in 2016, discovered the first planet orbiting the star, reports Nature. 

Astronomers discover a new type of star covered in helium burning ashes, reports the  Royal Astronomical Society.  It is possible that the stars might have been formed by a rare stellar merger event.

Recent “Galaxy Reports”

Mysterious Expanding Regions of Dark Matter to Are Black Holes Holograms?
Mystery of Stephen Hawking’s “Exxon Gravity” to Alien Life in Stellar Graveyards
Epsilon Algorithms to Search for Life as We Don’t Know It to Cosmic Ruins at Milky Way’s Edge
Mind-Bending New Multiverse Theory to Dark-Matter Asteroids of the Milky Way
Einstein’s Critics to NASA Theologians Prepare for Alien Contact
Mysteries of Stephen Hawking’s Blackboard to Why the Universe and Life Exist

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