“Exist at an Astonishing Scale” –Planets Orbiting Black Holes Could Harbor Life ‘Beyond Extreme’

Black Hole Planet

 

“The black holes of nature are the most perfect macroscopic objects there are in the universe –the only elements in their construction are our concepts of space and time,” said Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Noble-Prize winning, Indian-American astrophysicist NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory was named for.

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Mars Eerie Pulsing Nightglow

Mars Eerie Pulsing Nightglow

 

“If we’re going to send people to Mars, we better understand what’s going on in the atmosphere,” said Zachariah Milby, a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at University of Colorado, Boulder. about the eerie nightly phenomenon on Mars –first discovered by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Mission in 2003–when the sun sets and temperatures fall to minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit and below, that spreads across much of the planet’s sky –“a soft glow created by chemical reactions occurring tens of miles above the surface.”

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“Lighting Up Jupiter’s Dark Side ” –Juno Mission Reveals the Unknown 

 

Jupiter Lightning

 

Ever since NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter in March, 1979, scientists have wondered about the origin of Jupiter’s lightning, which had been theorized for centuries. Now, new results from NASA’s Juno mission, which has been orbiting Jupiter since July 4, 2016, suggest our solar system’s largest planet–an immense spinning colorful sphere of methane and ammonia so large it could easily swallow all the other planets– is home to what’s called “shallow lightning” and slushy hailstones Juno’s science team calls “mushballs” that capture ammonia and water in the upper atmosphere and carry them into the dark depths of Jupiter’s atmosphere. 

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“Supersharp Vision” –First Exoplanet Discovered by Radio Telescope

 

 TVLM 513-46546 Exoplanet

 

“In the deepest sense, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a search for ourselves,” said Carl Sagan. Although as yet unfulfilled, the quest continues from the Kepler Mission to Tess and now via the ten 25-meter radio antenna dishes of the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). Astronomers have announced the discovery of a Saturn-sized planet closely orbiting a small, cool star 35 light-years from Earth using the VLBA’s supersharp radio “vision”.

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“Particle at the End of the Universe” –LHC Unveils Phenomenon of Pivotal Importance for Fundamental Physics

Higgs Boson

 

The detection of the “Higgs” in 2012  -described by Caltech physicist Sean Carroll as “the particle at the end of the universe” –was the physics equivalent of the discovery of DNA. Higgs bosons have the capacity to share space because they are more like a force than a thing in the way we normally think of “things” or “particles”. It’s a vibration in the Higgs field, just as a photon of light is a vibration in the electromagnetic field. Bosons are entities that have effects; they carry the forces (strong, weak, gravitational or electromagnetic) described by the Standard Model in physics, making them what physicists call force-carrying particles.

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“Supermassive Mutant” –Leads to a ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of Star Creation

 

"Mutant Black Holes" --A 'Cambrian Explosion' of Star Creation

 

“Black holes are the seductive dragons of the universe,” wrote science-fiction author Robert Coover, “outwardly quiescent yet violent at the heart, uncanny, hostile, primeval, emitting a negative radiance that draws all toward them, gobbling up all who come too close…these strange galactic monsters, for whom creation is destruction, death life, chaos order.”

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