Seven Unsolved Solar-System Mysteries to Most Important Equation in the Cosmos (The Galaxy Report)

 

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Today’s stories range from Enormous Impact Flash Seen Lighting Up Jupiter’s Atmosphere to Did China Just Detect Signals from an Alien Civilization to A New Place for Consciousness in Our Understanding of the Universe, and much more.

Seven solar system mysteries scientists haven’t solved yet. Why is our moon so weird? Was there ever life on Mars? Big cosmic questions lurk in our celestial backyard. The next time you look up at a bright full moon, think about this: No one knows, precisely, where the moon came from,” reports VOX. 

Enormous impact flash seen lighting up Jupiter’s atmosphere –Astronomers spotted a huge space rock slamming into Jupiter, creating a blast of light and energy equivalent to 2 million tons of TNT – the brightest such event since 1994, reports New Scientist.

This is the most important equation in cosmology –-If you want to understand the Universe, cosmologically, you just can’t do it without the Friedmann equation. With it, the cosmos is yours, reports Big Think. “Although Hubble’s law, v = Hr, was the equation that established an observational basis for the expanding Universe, the Friedmann equations, derived years prior, provided the foundation for modern cosmology. Today, the first Friedmann equation is absolutely indispensable, from the Big Bang to dark energy and everything in between.”

What is time? The mysterious essence of the fourth dimension –The nature of time is a tricky notion to pin down. But whether it is a fundamental part of our universe or just an illusion has huge implications, asks New Scientist.

Mystery Objects: The Largest Known Population of ‘Immortal’ Brown Dwarfs Revealed –“It is estimated that up to 60 billion brown dwarfs make their home in the Milky Way. Because these elusive celestial objects do not fuse hydrogen in their core, they spend their lives cooling as they lose that gravitational energy from their formation, morphing as they age from looking like a low-mass star to looking like Jupiter. Every brown dwarf that was ever created still exists because they can’t fuse hydrogen, giving them a calm, sustained existence on the vast timeframe of the cosmos.

Did China just detect signals from an alien civilization? asks Leonard David for Space.com –“One report, by the state-backed Science and Technology Daily, cited Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California, Berkeley.” China’s science ministry said this week that it picked up signs of alien life on the world’s largest radio telescope — then appeared to quickly delete a report about the discovery.

New maps of asteroid Psyche reveal an ancient world of metal and rock–The varied surface suggests a dynamic history, which could include metallic eruptions, asteroid-shaking impacts, and a lost rocky mantle, reports MIT.

Astronomers discover a multi-planet system nearby—Just 33 light years from Earth, the system appears to host two rocky, Earth-sized planets, reports MIT.

NASA is embarking on a risky mission to investigate UAPs, reports Axios. “But by launching the investigation, NASA is wading into an area rife with conspiracy and messaging that’s difficult to control, which could be a risk for the agency’s stellar public reputation.”

Is life the result of the laws of entropy? –Nearly 80 years ago, Erwin Schrödinger used the physics of the day to try to understand the origins of life. Now, Stephon Alexander and Salvador Almagro-Moreno try to do the same with modern science, reports New Scientist.

The cosmos can kill us in many ways. But the James Webb Space Telescope can help save us –-The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will study many dangerous cosmic phenomena, knowledge of which may help save humanity, reports Big Think. Ultimately, if we don’t want to end up like the dinosaurs, we need to become a multi-planetary species.”

Controversial claim that the universe is skewed could upend cosmology –Our understanding of the universe is underpinned by the cosmological principle: the assumption that, on the grandest scales, it looks more or less the same in all directions. What if that’s wrong? asks New Scientist.

Google engineer claims his AI is sentient. It definitely is not –The engineer working on Google’s AI, called LaMDA, suffers from what we could call Michelangelo Syndrome. Scientists must beware hubris, reports Big Think.

James Webb Space Telescope was hit by a tiny space rock – but it’s OK –One of the mirrors of NASA’s huge new space observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, was hit by a small space rock larger than anything tests on the ground involved, reports New Scientist.

Something Strange is Impacting the Atmosphere of Venus: Is it Life? asks The Daily Galaxy. –“Researchers from the University of Cambridge have concluded: “If life was responsible for the sulphur (SO2) levels we see on Venus, it would break everything we know about Venus’s atmospheric chemistry.” 

Mysterious cold blobs may be hiding inside a distant star–A small star called AU Microscopii seems to contain strange pockets of hydrogen that are more than 1500°C cooler than the rest of the star, and astronomers aren’t sure why, reports New Scientist.

A mysterious intergalactic force is pushing against the Milky Way, reports Paul Sutter for Space.com. “The name may be a bit dorky, but it’s a very real thing. It’s also nothing to worry about — just a normal consequence of the usual process of structure formation that’s been happening in the universe for [checks watch] 13.8 billion years. Meet the dipole repeller.”

A new place for consciousness in our understanding of the universe–To make sense of mysteries like quantum mechanics and the passage of time, theorists are trying to reformulate physics to include subjective experience as a physical constituent of the world, reports New Scientist.

Astronomers Reimagine the Making of the Planets, reports Rebecca Boyle for Quanta. Observations of faraway planets have forced a near-total rewrite of the story of how our solar system came to be.

The GAIA Revolution, reports Sky & Telescope –“Astronomers will use the newest data release from the Gaia mission to explore stellar tsunamis, Milky Way history, and more.”

 

Record-Breaking Voyager Spacecraft Begin to Power Down--The pioneering probes are still running after nearly 45 years in space, but they will soon lose some of their instruments, reports Tim Folger for Scientific American. 

Canadian Telescope Delivers Deepest-Ever Radio View of Cosmic Web –Data from the CHIME radio observatory are a milestone in the quest to discover the hidden origins of universal structure, reports Scientific American.

 

Fastest-growing black hole of past 9bn years may have been found, Australian-led astronomers say –Scientists spot extremely luminous object powered by supermassive black hole, reports The Guardian. “The supermassive black hole consumes the equivalent of one Earth every second and has the mass of 3bn suns, they estimate. Scientists discovered an extremely bright quasar, a luminous object powered by a supermassive black hole, using the SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey – a 1.3-metre telescope in Coonabarabran, New South Wales.

Something Strange is Impacting the Atmosphere of Venus: Is it Life? reports The Daily Galaxy. “Researchers from the University of Cambridge have concluded: “If life was responsible for the Sulphur (SO2) levels we see on Venus, it would break everything we know about Venus’s atmospheric chemistry.”  

Physicists Rewrite the Fundamental Law That Leads to Disorder, reports Philip Ball for Quanta.The second law of thermodynamics is among the most sacred in all of science, but it has always rested on 19th century arguments about probability. New arguments trace its true source to the flows of quantum information.

Curated by The Daily Galaxy Editorial Staff

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