One of the Greatest Mysteries of Physics to Stage is Set for Epochal Detection of Alien Life (The Galaxy Report Weekend)

 

ESO Observatories Chile

 

This weekend’s stories include Why Ghost Particles Crashing Into Antarctica Could Change Astronomy Forever to What is the Shape of the Universe? and much more.

Why the Ghost Particles Crashing Into Antarctica Could Change Astronomy Forever–About 1.2 miles beneath Antarctica, an underground observatory is hunting for “ghost particles.” What it finds could reveal the unseen heart of a distant galaxy, reports CNET. “evidence of 79 “high-energy neutrino emissions” coming from around where NGC 1068 is located, opening the door for novel — and endlessly fascinating — types of physics. “Neutrino astronomy,” scientists call it. “

‘One of the greatest damn mysteries of physics’: we studied distant suns in the most precise astronomical test of electromagnetism yet, reports Michael Murphy, Professor of Astrophysics, Swinburne University of Technology. Our theory of electromagnetism is arguably the best physical theory humans have ever made – but it has no answer for why electromagnetism is as strong as it is. The American physicist Richard Feynman, who helped come up with the theory, urged physicists to “put this number up on their wall and worry about it”.

We Tested Einstein’s Theory of Gravity on the Scale of the Universe, reports Kazuya Koyama, Professor of Cosmology, University of Portsmouth and Levon Pogosian, Professor of Physics, Simon Fraser University for The Conversation. “Our new study, published in Nature Astronomy, has now tested Einstein’s theory on the largest of scales. We believe our approach may one day help resolve some of the biggest mysteries in cosmology, and the results hint that the theory of general relativity may need to be tweaked on this scale.

NASA Has a Theory for Why We Might Be Alone in the Universe, reports David Axe for The Daily Beast. The history and current state of our own species provide some clues.

‘Overweight’ neutron star defies a black hole theory, say astronomers–“Gamma-ray burst from colliding stars unexpectedly gave way to day-long sight of hypermassive body,” reports The Guardian. “Such a massive neutron star with a long life expectancy is not normally thought to be possible,” said Dr Nuria Jordana-Mitjans, an astronomer at the University of Bath. “It is a mystery why this one was so long-lived.”

A Dream of Discovering Alien Life Finds New Hope–For Cornell’s Lisa Kaltenegger and her generation of exoplanet astronomers, decades of planning have set the stage for an epochal detection. Kaltenegger leverages the bizarre life and geology found on Earth to develop a more systematic set of expectations about what might be possible elsewhere. “I’m trying to do the fundamentals,”

Many Military U.F.O. Reports Are Just Foreign Spying or Airborne Trash–Forget space aliens or hypersonic technology; classified assessments show that many episodes have ordinary explanations, reports The New York Times.

15 Times The Speed Of Sound, Fighter Pilots Share Chilling Details Of UFO Sightings That Defied Law Of Physics, reports The EurAsian Times. The latest documentary based on the bizarre ‘Night of the UFOs’ features a chilling audio clip of a Brazilian fighter pilot who encountered one of the many UFOs that appeared over Brazil in May 1986.

What is the shape of the universe? asks Elizabeth Rayne for Live Science.–The universe may be vast, but researchers have multiple points of evidence that reveal its shape. “Physicists think the universe is flat. Several lines of evidence point to this flat universe: light left over from the Big Bang, the rate of expansion of the universe at different locations, and the way the universe “looks” from different angles, experts told Live Science.”

Why the Latest Dark Matter and Dark Energy Calculations Are a Big Deal–We may now have the sharpest-ever measurements of the dark side of our universe. Here’s what that means for science.

 

Why the multiverse is the movie fantasy for our times--Highly-disputed quantum physics theories rarely receive airtime. But the idea that multiple, even infinite, universes co-exist has taken hold in movie theaters everywhere, reports CNN.

Dark-Matter-Free Galaxies: “We Have No Idea Why They Exist”  reports The Daily Galaxy. “The interesting thing is: we have no idea!” says Pieter van Dokkum, Sol Goldman Professor of Astronomy at Yale University, who wrote in an email to The Daily Galaxy about why ultra-diffuse galaxy DF2 contains no dark matter. “The existence of this galaxy shows that there is another pathway to creating galaxies than our standard picture, but what that might be is anyone’s guess.”

Four ways to spot hints of alien life using the James Webb Space Telescope, reports The Conversation. One way we may be able to is to spot signs of life in the composition of the planet’s atmosphere. We can use a technique called transmission spectroscopy – which divides up light by its wavelength – to search for traces of different gases in starlight as it passes through a planet’s atmosphere

This Nearby Dwarf Galaxy has Been a Loner for Almost the Entire age of the Universe, reports Universe Today.

Black holes don’t always power gamma-ray bursts, new research show, reports University of Bath. “Until now, space scientists have largely agreed that the ‘engine’ powering such energetic and short-lived bursts must always come from a newly formed black hole (a region of space-time where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from it). However, new research by an international team of astrophysicists is challenging this scientific orthodoxy.”

Mimicking Life: A Breakthrough In Non-living Materials, reports Astrobiology. “Chemist Rienk Eelkema and his group try to mimic nature, specifically the chemical reactions in living cells that provide the fuel to control the cell. The toolbox of reactions that drive non-living materials in the same way is limited, Eelkema explains.”

Curated by The Daily Galaxy

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