Physics & Astronomy News

<p>Schematic view of a bubble implosion, which is an envisioned picture showing the whole main events integrated, i.e., laser illumination, hot electron spread, implosion, and proton flash. (credit/ M. Murakami)</p>
Laser-driven Implosion
Scientists have discovered a novel particle acceleration mechanism called ‘micro-bubble implosion’
<p>Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA)</p>
New Insights into Solar Flares
New insights into solar flares' explosive energy releases were released by the Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA)

<p>In this illustration, the grid in the background represents the computational lattice that theoretical physicists used to calculate a particle property known as nucleon axial coupling. This property determines how a W boson (white wavy line) interacts with one of the quarks in a neutron (large transparent sphere in foreground), emitting an electron (large arrow) and antineutrino (dotted arrow) in a process called beta decay. This process transforms the neutron into a proton (distant transparent sphere). (Credit: Evan Berkowitz/Jülich Research Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)</p>
Life and Death of a Neutron
Experiments that measure the lifetime of neutrons reveal a perplexing and unresolved discrepancy.
<p>Precision assembly and mechanical technician Ryan Wilkinson inspects MOMA during thermal vacuum testing at Goddard</p>

<p>Credits: NASA</p>
Looking for Signs Life on Mars
Scientists have created a tiny chemistry lab for a rover that will drill beneath the Martian surface looking for signs of past or present life.

Massive Black Hole Devours a Star
Scientist create new models of Tidal Disruption Events - rare, but extremely forceful events taking place in the center of galaxies.
Dark Matter Limit Established
Experimental results from the XENON1T dark matter detector limit the effective size of dark matter particles to 4.1X10-47 square centimeters.
Water is not the same as water
Researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms of water to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities.

Science Facts

A Map of the Sky

by NASA Headquarters and

: Image Courtesy IPAC, Caltech and the University of Massachussets Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful... we know they're spectacular sites, but how did we find out about them? Early explorers took the time to map out the United States and as a result, you know where to go on vacation for the best natural wonders. That's the idea behind 2MASS: astronomers mapped the night sky and looked for the hottest infrared spots to study. 'For scientists, this computerized data represents a quantum leap from earlier infrared surveys,' said Roc Cutri, project scientist on the 2MASS endeavor. In fact, infrared sensors used in this survey are 100 million times more sensitive than those used the last time the infrared sky was mapped in 1969.

2MASS stands for 2-Micron All Sky Survey, a reference to the 1.25-, 1.65- and 2.17-micron wavelengths which were imaged during the project. Looking at celestial objects in the infrared allows astronomers to see past the interstellar dust which sometimes obscures them in regular observations. The same is true for very cold objects in space. They may not be visible, but they still radiate a small amount of heat so they can be seen in the infrared. Two telescopes were used for the project: one at Mount Hopkins in Arizona for the Northern Hemisphere, and another near Cerro Tololo, Chile, to cover the southern half of the sky. Overall management of the project was undertaken by the University of Massachusetts, while the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was responsible for the processing of data received.

The project was completed in March of 2003, and scientists released over 4,000 gigabytes of images covering 99.99% of the sky. The map has led an international team of researchers to discover Canis Major, the closest galaxy to the Milky Way that was hidden before 2MASS unveiled it in the infrared survey. 'It's like putting on night-vision goggles,' said Rodrigo Ibata of the Strasbourg Observatory, part of the team that found the new galaxy. 2MASS has also opened up a treasure trove of new targets for NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope and the Keck Interferometer, based on the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. Both use infrared technology to provide images that open up new worlds at the edge of the universe.

Microbes In Space

There are creatures that were living on the Space Station before the first astronauts went inside. Astronauts found a few living on the Moon. Scientists believe they could even live on Mars. These cre ...
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Double rainbow, note the color reversal in the faint, secondary rainbow.
Somewhere Over Which Rainbow?

How many rainbows are there really when we only see one during a rainstorm? The answer isn't as simple as you might think! Rainbows are formed when light enters a water droplet, reflects once inside ...
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The Sun, The Mighty Engine Of Our Solar System

Our Sun has inspired mythology in almost all cultures, including ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Native Americans, and Chinese. We now know that the Sun is a huge, bright sphere of mostly ionized gas, abou ...
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'He who finds a thought that lets us even a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great grace.'

Albert Einstein

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