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

What Is Microgravity?

by NASA Glenn Research Center and

A simple example of microgravity Gravity is a force that governs motion throughout the universe. It holds us to the ground and keeps the Earth in orbit around the Sun. Microgravity describes the environment in orbital space flight, which has very weak gravitational effects (one-millionth of what is felt on Earth) and which is sometimes referred to as a state of 'weightlessness.' The condition of microgravity occurs when an object is in 'free fall.' In free fall, an object falls faster and faster, accelerating with exactly the speed of attraction caused by gravity. Objects traveling around the Earth in a state of continuous free fall, or orbit, are essentially weightless even though their mass remains the same.

Conducting research in a microgravity environment gives researchers a unique opportunity to study the true nature of processes and materials without having to consider the effects of Earth's gravity. Thus, physics theories can be tested at levels of accuracy that are impossible on Earth. Microgravity experiments uncover the mystery of how gravity affects processes such as combustion science and fluid physics. This knowledge can then help to improve the way we do things on Earth.

Hubble mosaic of the majestic Sombrero galaxy.
Hats Off to the Sombrero

This nearly edge-on view of the Sombrero galaxy shows that the disks of spiral galaxies are incredibly thin. The majestic spiral arms cannot be seen in this side view of the Sombrero, named because it ...
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An uneven distribution of mass inside the Earth. The Earth
Amazing GRACE

Gravity has an effect on everyone and everything on Earth. Although we can't see it, smell it, taste it or touch it, we know it's there. Although scientists already know quite a bit about this invisib ...
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Without buoyancy, the vapor produced by boiling simply floats as a bubble inside the liquid after the heating has stopped. Surface tension effects cause the many small bubbles produced to coalesce into one large sphere.
Bizarre Boiling

The next time you're watching a pot of water boil, perhaps for coffee or a cup of soup, pause for a moment and consider: what would this look like in space? Would the turbulent bubbles rise or fall? A ...
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Science Quote

'There must be no barriers for freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.'

J. Robert Oppenheimer

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