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

Your Own Personal Rainbow?

by Willa Larsen and

Rainbow Ark: Did you know that no two people ever see the very same rainbow? It's true. Rainbows are formed when light enters a water droplet, reflects once inside the droplet, and is reflected back to our eyes dispersed into the visible spectrum; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The rainbow you are seeing is actually from water droplets positioned like a cone exactly 42 degrees from the line of light, with your eyes positioned at the tip of the cone. In other words, if the sun is near setting on the horizon and a rainbow occurs, you can look 42 degrees upward with the sun at your back, and the rainbow will be located in that position.

Considering that only the raindrops positioned at the surface of a cone with you at its tip can form the rainbow you are seeing, then two people standing side-by-side are observing rainbows formed by different sets of raindrops: each person has his or her own personal rainbow! And don't try to photograph your own personal rainbow in its entirety; it's too big to fit in the picture! It doesn't matter if the rainbow is formed from a garden hose or rain because a normal 35mm camera lens only has a field of view of 40 degrees. A rainbow's angular span is bigger than that. You'll have to buy a special lens.

Jumping Starlight

'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 flicker ...
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Series of images over time of the light echo from the star known as V838 Monocerotis or V 838 Mon.
Light Fantastic

On the next hot summer day, imagine what would happen if the Sun suddenly became one million times brighter. Ice cream would quickly melt, sunscreen lotion wouldn't work very well, and that's just the ...
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Astronaut in free fall
Can You Miss the Earth?

Have you ever wondered why astronauts float in space? Well, it isn't because there is no gravity in space. Astronauts float because they are in constant free fall. If a baseball pitcher throws a ba ...
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Science Quote

'Beauty is a harmonious relation between something in our nature and the quality of the object which delights us.'

Blaise Pascal

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