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Physics & Astronomy News

<p>Interference pattern created by neutron holography.</p>


Holograms from Neutrons Created
For the first time, scientists have used neutron beams to create holograms of large solid objects, revealing details about their interiors in ways that ordinary laser light-based visual holograms cannot.
<p>An artist’s conception of this unusual system, courtesy of Jonathan Holden/Disk Detective.</p>
Oldest Known Planet-Forming Disk Found
Scientists find a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk—a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form.

<p>Mars’ Valles Marineris canyon, pictured, spans as much as 600 kilometers across and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. The image was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s.</p>

<p>Image: NASA</p>
New Technique May Help Detect Martian Life
A novel interpretation of Raman spectra will help the 2020 Mars rover select rocks to study for signs of life.
<p>Simplification to represent PT (Parity-Time) symmetry. Imagine a situation where two cars are traveling at the same speed at some instant in time, but car A is speeding up, and car B is slowing down. In order to go at the same speed, you can jump from one car to the other (Parity reversal) and back in time (Time reversal). The cars are like the light waves inside the fiber, the speed of the cars is a representation of the intensity of light and the jump symbolizes a phenomenon called tunneling. (Graphics modified from freepiks).</p>
Stable Propagation of Light in Nano-Photonic Fibers
New model on how to achieve a more stable propagation of light for future optical technologies was published.

Quantum Effects Observed in ‘One-Dimensional’ Wires
Researchers have observed quantum effects in electrons by squeezing them into one-dimensional ‘quantum wires’ and observing the interactions between them.
Echoes of Black Holes Eating Stars Found
Astronomers now have new insights into tidal disruption flares, thanks to data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).
Individual Atoms Behavior Observed
For first time, researchers see individual atoms keep away from each other or bunch up as pairs.

Science Facts

Jumping Starlight

by Diego Pineda and

: 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are,' says the song by Jane Taylor. But stars don’t really twinkle; their light reaches the earth in a steady way. Why then do we see them flickering around in the sky? The answer is in the atmosphere.

The air in the atmosphere is turbulent. That means there are different layers of air with different temperatures; some hot, some cooler. Hot air is less dense than cooler air. The light of the stars bends when it goes from a less dense part of the atmosphere to a denser one. Think about a straw in a glass of water. The straw seems to bend when it enters the water, but actually light is bending as it goes from one medium (air) to another (water). This behavior of light is called refraction.

Little packets of air, called cells, move around in the atmosphere. Starlight bends a little each time it goes through one of these cells. When you see a star from the ground, its light has crossed hundreds of cells in the sky, refracting in random directions - so the image of the star appears to jump!

Hubble Space Telescope in orbit as seen from the Space Shuttle.
Big Fish

The phrase 'big fish eat little fish' may hold true when it comes to planets and stars. Perhaps as many as 100 million of the sun-like stars in our galaxy harbor close-orbiting gas giant planets like ...
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The Weightless Environment Brings Special Challenges To Astronauts. Mark Lee Tetherless and Free
Mixed Up In Space

Imagine waking up in space. Groggy from sleep, you wonder ... which way is up? And where are my arms and legs? Throw in a little motion sickness, and you'll get an idea of what it can feel like to be ...
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A Giant X-Ray Machine

The first clear detection of X-rays from the giant, gaseous planet Saturn has been made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra's image shows that the X-rays are concentrated near Saturn's equa ...
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