Saturday, December 14, 2019

Russian Astrophysicists Discovered a Neutron Star with an Unusual Magnetic Field Structure

Russian scientists discovered a unique neutron star, the magnetic field of which is apparent only when the star is seen under a certain angle relative to the observer. The neutron star GRO J2058+42 studied by the researchers offers an insight into the internal structure of neutron star's magnetic field only at a certain phase of its rotational period. Credit: @tsarcyanide, MIPT Press Office

Scientists from Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI), and Pulkovo Observatory discovered a unique neutron star, the magnetic field of which is apparent only when the star is seen under a certain angle relative to the observer.

Scientists Find Further Evidence for a Population of Dark Matter Deficient Dwarf Galaxies

An example of the baryonic-dominated dwarf galaxies-UGC7920. Credit: DECaLS-DR8

Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Science (NAOC), Peking University and Tsinghua University have found a special population of dwarf galaxies that could mainly consist baryons within radii of up to tens of thousands of light-years. This contrasts with the normal expectation that such regions should instead be dominated by dark matter.

Explaining the Tiger Stripes of Enceladus

Saturn’s tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is slashed by four straight, parallel fissures or “tiger stripes” from which water erupts. These features are unlike anything else in the solar system. Scientists at UC Davis, the Carnegie Institution and UC Berkeley now have an explanation for them. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute image).

Saturn's tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is a strange place. Just 300 miles across, the moon is thought to have an outer shell of ice covering a global ocean 20 miles deep, encasing a rocky core. Slashed across Enceladus' south pole are four straight, parallel fissures or "tiger stripes" from which water erupts. These fissures aren't quite like anything else in the Solar System.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Hire More LGBTQ and Disabled Astronomers or Risk Falling Behind, Review Finds

Lisa Kewley

Ensuring research opportunities for indigenous, disabled and LGBTQ astronomers is essential if Australian research is to succeed in the new era of "mega-telescopes", a major analysis has found. In a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, Professor Lisa Kewley, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics (ASTRO 3D), finds that encouraging astronomers from marginalized communities will increase the chances of significant research discoveries.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

New Instrument Extends LIGO’s Reach

Researchers install a new quantum squeezing device into one of LIGO’s gravitational wave detectors.  Image: Lisa Barsotti

Just a year ago, the National Science Foundation-funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, was picking up whispers of gravitational waves every month or so. Now, a new addition to the system is enabling the instruments to detect these ripples in space-time nearly every week.

Looking for Exoplanet Life in All the Right Spectra

While astronomers don’t know what the Earth-like exoplanet Proxima b looks like, this artistic impression presents a view of the possible surface. New, upcoming large telescopes on Earth will soon explore atmospheres on exoplanets – like Proxima b – for signatures of life. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

A Cornell University senior has come up with a way to discern life on exoplanets loitering in other cosmic neighborhoods: a spectral field guide. Zifan Lin has developed high-resolution spectral models and scenarios for two exoplanets that may harbor life: Proxima b, in the habitable zone of our nearest neighbor Proxima Centauri; and Trappist-1e, one of three possible Earth-like exoplanet candidates in the Trappist-1 system.

Scientists Have Found Out Why Photons Flying from Other Galaxies Do Not Reach the Earth

An international group of scientists, including Andrey Savelyev, associate professor of the Institute of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Information Technologies of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU), has improved a computer program that helps simulate the behavior of photons when interacting with hydrogen spilled in intergalactic space. Work results were published in the scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Parker Probe Traces Solar Wind to Its Source on Sun’s Surface

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission has traveled closer to the Sun than any human-made object. (Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins APL)

A year ago, NASA's Parker Solar Probe flew closer to the sun than any satellite in history, collecting a spectacular trove of data from the very edge of the sun's million-degree corona. Now, that data has allowed solar physicists to map the source of a major component of the solar wind that continually peppers Earth's atmosphere, while revealing strange magnetic field reversals that could be accelerating these particles toward our planet.