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

The Strange Spin of Uranus

by Gene Mascoli and

The Eccentric Spin of Uranus: Image Courtesy NASA, Science@NASA Directional terms like north and south make sense here on Earth. The north and south axis of the Earth is relatively perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the sun. Actually, Earth's axis of rotation is 23.5 degrees from the vertical. The variance from the vertical is what causes our seasons.

But imagine being on the planet Uranus. There you'd get really confused about north and south, because Uranus spins on its side. Its rotation is about 90 degrees off the vertical. This means that its polar axis points towards the horizon. But which axis? If it is spinning counterclockwise like Earth, we can easily fix one of the poles as the north pole. But most scientists think that it is actually spinning slightly less than 90 degrees. This would mean its rotation is retrograde, spinning clockwise. So actually we should be calling the south pole the north pole instead.

To make matters more interesting, Uranus' magnetic pole is not even close to its true pole. Scientists are split as to why Uranus rotates horizontally. A popular theory is that Uranus collided with a large planetary body in the early solar system that, in effect, knocked it on its side.

Smoke demonstrates the wakes caused by this jet.
The Sound of Turbulence

Do you ever watch the water tornado that forms in a draining bathtub? Woe unto any rubber ducky floating aimlessly in the vicinity; the water's force will pull it down into the tornado. The center of ...
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Quick Change Artist

The word transformation means one thing changing into another, like Dr. Jekyl changing into Mr. Hyde. In mathematics, sets of numbers often go through transformations. For example, the numbers represe ...
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Color image of the Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038/4039)
The First Starlight

Imagine being able to see our Universe 14 billion years ago when it was just a baby. If we had a time machine, we could go back and watch how its infant features emerged after the Big Bang. There are ...
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Science Quote

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.'

Oscar Wilde

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