Physics & Astronomy News

<p>ESA Astronauts training in terrestrial lava tubes in Lanzarote during the PANGEA 2016 course. Credit: ESA/L. Ricci</p>
Lava Tubes: Human Habitats on the Moon and Mars?
Lava tubes, underground caves created by volcanic activity, could provide protected habitats large enough to house streets on Mars or even towns on the Moon.
<p>PR Image heic1715a</p>

<p>The binary asteroid 288P (artist’s impression)</p>
Hubble Discovers a Unique Type of Object in the Solar System
Astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

<p>Professor Kyoung Jin Choi (left) and Yeon Soo Jung (right) are examining a wearable TEG. As shown right, the output voltage of the W-STEG attached to clothes was measured to be 52.3 mV.</p>
Wearable Solar Thermoelectric Generator
UNIST has introduced a new advanced energy harvesting system, capable of generating electricity by simply being attached to clothes, windows, and outer walls of a building.
<p>How Gravity Can Bend Starlight</p>

<p>This illustration reveals how the gravity of a white dwarf star warps space and bends the light of a distant star behind it.</p>

<p>White dwarfs are the burned-out remnants of normal stars. The Hubble Space Telescope captured images of the dead star, called Stein 2051 B, as it passed in front of a background star. During the close alignment, Stein 2051 B deflected the starlight, which appeared offset by about 2 milliarcseconds from its actual position. This deviation is so small that it is equivalent to observing an ant crawl across the surface of a quarter from 1,500 miles away. From this measurement, astronomers calculated that the white dwarf's mass is roughly 68 percent of the sun's mass.</p>

<p>Stein 2051 B resides 17 light-years from Earth. The background star is about 5,000 light-years away. The white dwarf is named for its discoverer, Dutch Roman Catholic priest and astronomer Johan Stein.</p>
Observation confirms Einsteins general theory of relativity.
Astronomers have used NASA Hubble Space Telescope to repeat a century-old test of Einsteins general theory of relativity

Gravitational Wave Kicks Monster Black Hole Out of Galactic Core
Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.
Milky Way-like Galaxies in Early Universe Embedded in 'Super Halos'
By harnessing the extreme sensitivity of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have directly observed a pair of Milky Way-like galaxies seen when the universe was only eight percent of its current age.
Finding the 'Ghost Particles' Might be More Challenging
Results from the NEOS experiment on sterile neutrinos differ partly from the theoretical expectations.

Science Facts

Poincare's Chaos

by Anton Skorucak and

Jules Henri Poincare (1854-1912): LANL Over two hundred years after Newton published his laws of planetary motion the King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway sponsored a most unusual competition that would discover a whole new science.

Competition promised a cash prize to a scientist that would answer this question: ‘How Stable is the Solar System?’. Contestants would basically have to use Newton’s laws of gravitation to mathematically show the stability of our solar system. Applying Newton’s equations was easy for two bodies, say the Sun and Earth, however as soon as one added a third body, say the Moon, the problem would become so complicated that even the best physicists and mathematicians of the time were not able to compute anything. They were not even able to predict the three bodies’ trajectories of motion. This so called ‘three-body problem’ was therefore at the heart of this competition.

The prize was awarded ultimately to Jules Henri Poincare, one of the France’s leading mathematical physicists, even though he did not completely solve the problem and furthermore he showed what everybody was expecting the least. With his elegant math he showed that the three-body system behaved in a complex and totally unpredictable way. The Solar System, or at least his three-body approximation, was not stable at all, it was chaotic! Small changes in the initial conditions (such as planets positions and initial velocities) produced huge and unpredictable outcomes. His findings were ground stones for what we today know as chaos theory.

An artist
Ancient Planet

Long before our Sun and Earth ever existed, a Jupiter-sized planet formed around a sun-like star. Now, almost 13 billion years later, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has precisely measured the mass of t ...
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Right Ascension & Declination

Right Ascension (abbreviated R.A.) and Declination (abbreviated Dec) are a system of coordinates used by astronomers to keep track of where stars and galaxies are in the sky. They are similar to the s ...
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Carbon dating the bones of an animal can pinpoint the time this animal died to within a few years.
Carbon Dating From The Skies

Determining the age of relatively recent fossils, those of plants and animals that lived tens of thousands of years ago, is not a guessing game but an exact science. By using carbon dating we can dete ...
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Science Quote

'I beseech you to take interest in these sacred domains so expressively called laboratories. Ask that there be more and that they be adorned for these are the temples of the future, wealth and well-being. It is here that humanity will grow, strengthen and improve. Here, humanity will learn to read progress and individual harmony in the works of nature, while humanity's own works are all too often those of barbarism, fanaticism and destruction.'

Louis Pasteur

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