Planets beyond our own solar system were once thought to be out of the reach of humans. The idea that we could detect worlds beyond our own or even that worlds beyond on our own might be there was questioned. But once the first few worlds were found, the flood gates were opened and the zoo of exoplanets started to reveal itself. While there is much to say about the plethora of planets we now know exist around other stars, this article will give four general fast facts about our current exoplanet understanding.
A new view of star formation in our home galaxy has revealed some previously hidden secrets. Astronomers using two of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes have made a detailed and sensitive survey of a large segment of the Milky Way, detecting previously unseen tracers of massive star formation, a process that dominates galactic ecosystems and solving the mystery of the galaxy’s missing supernova remnants.
Your free twice-weekly fix of stories of space and science –a random journey from Planet Earth through the Cosmos– that has the capacity to provide clues to our existence and add a much needed cosmic perspective in our Anthropocene epoch.
“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
“The galaxy in which this supermassive black hole resides, called “I Zwicky 1”, is what’s known as a Seyfert galaxy. It is a spiral-shaped galaxy with what’s known as an “active galactic nucleus” or “AGN” –where the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy is swallowing gas at a high rate, and as the gas falls into the supermassive black hole, enormous amounts of energy are released that power a bright light source in the center of a galaxy that is out-shining all of the stars in the galaxy,” wrote astrophysicist Dan Wilkins, a research scientist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in an email to The Daily Galaxy.
Supernova explosions release as much energy in a second as our Sun will in its entire 10-billion year existence. Without supernovae, “there would be no computer chips, trilobites, Mozart or the tears of a little girl,” wrote science writer Clifford A. Pickover.