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

Large Asteroid Zooms Safely Past Earth

by NASA Headquarters and

An artist A mountain-sized asteroid made its closest approach to Earth at 9:35 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004. Although asteroid 4179 Toutatis came no closer than four times the distance between Earth and the Moon (approximately 1.5 million kilometers or 961,000 miles), this is the closest approach of any known asteroid of comparable size this century. 'This is the closest Toutatis will come for another 500 years, and its orbit is very well known,' said Dr. Don Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manager of NASA's Near Earth Objects Program Office. 'What this fly-by provides is an opportunity to study one of our closest solar system neighbors.'

'While we have done radar observations on this particular asteroid before, this is the closest it has come since at least the twelfth century,' said Dr. Steve Ostro, a scientist at JPL. 'We will use the huge dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to refine our knowledge of its physical characteristics and its trajectory.' Named after an obscure Celtic and Gallic god, Toutatis is a yam-shaped space rock that measures 1.92 kilometers (1.2 miles) by 2.29 kilometers (1.4 miles) by 4.6 kilometers (2.9 miles). Toutatis has one of the strangest rotation states observed in the solar system. Instead of spinning around a single axis, as do the planets and the vast majority of asteroids, it 'tumbles' somewhat like a football after a botched pass. Its rotation is the result of two different types of motion with periods of 5.4 and 7.3 Earth days, which combine in such a way that Toutatis's orientation, with respect to the solar system, never repeats.

When the asteroid flew past Earth, it was traveling at approximately 39,600 kilometers per hour (24,550 miles per hour). Toutatis will not be this close again until 2562. It was discovered in 1989.

Sir Issac Newton
Newton's Three Laws of Motion

The motion of an aircraft through the air can be explained and described by physical principals discovered over 300 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton. Newton worked in many areas of mathematics and physic ...
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Among the biggest challenges for GP-B is keeping its Science Instrument Assembly constantly cooled to a temperature of 1.8 Kelvin, or minus 271.4 degrees Celsius (slightly above absolute zero), which will last 18 to 24 months.
GP-B: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Questions about the ways space, time, light and gravity relate to each other have been asked for eons. Theories have been offered, yet many puzzles remain to be solved. No spacecraft ever built has re ...
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Galaxy Cluster RDCS 1252.9-2927

A color composite image of the galaxy cluster RDCS 1252.9-2927 shows the X-ray (purple) light from 70-million-degree Celsius gas in the cluster, and the optical (red, yellow and green) light from the ...
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