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Physics & Astronomy News

<p>This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals an unusual sight: a runaway quasar fleeing from its galaxy's central hub. A quasar is the visible, energetic signature of a black hole. Black holes cannot be observed directly, but they are the energy source at the heart of quasars — intense, compact gushers of radiation that can outshine an entire galaxy.</p>

<p>The green dotted line marks the visible periphery of the galaxy. The quasar, named 3C 186, appears as a bright star just off-center. The quasar and its host galaxy reside 8 billion light-years from Earth. Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy.</p>

<p>The Hubble image combines visible and near-infrared light taken by the Wide Field Camera 3.</p>

<p>Courtesy: NASA</p>
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.
<p>Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy's gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy's ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory</p>
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.

<p>NEOS Detector</p>

<p>Courtesy: ibs</p>
Finding the 'Ghost Particles' Might be More Challenging
Results from the NEOS experiment on sterile neutrinos differ partly from the theoretical expectations.
<p>Lithospheric magnetic field</p>

<p>Courtesy: ESA</p>
Earth’s Magnetic Field Reveals Details Of A Dramatic Past
ESA’s Swarm satellites are seeing fine details in one of the most difficult layers of Earth’s magnetic field to unpick – as well as our planet’s magnetic history imprinted on Earth’s crust.

Scientists Evade The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The study, published in Nature, reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Using Light to Control Curvature of Plastics
Researchers have developed a technique that uses light to get two-dimensional (2-D) plastic sheets to curve into three-dimensional (3-D) structures, such as spheres, tubes or bowls.
The Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulae
The beautiful, glowing, cosmic clouds of gas and dust catalogued as NGC 6334 and NGC 6357 now have new names.

Science Facts

Pluto: Beyond Neptune Or Not?

by Gene Mascoli and

Artist Rendition of Pluto, its moon Charon and spacecraft.: Image Courtesy NSSDC Did I catch you? Pluto (newly classified as a dwarf-planet) comes after planet Neptune. Right? Depends. Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the Sun. Most of that time Pluto's orbit puts it outside the orbit of Neptune. But, for 20 years out of each orbit cycle, Pluto's orbit brings it closer to the Sun than Neptune. Most recently, Pluto was in 8th place from February, 1979 until February, 1999. Now, it's back beyond Neptune, and will stay there for the next 200 years.

Pluto is the only ex-planet (now a dwarf-planet) in our solar system to have this orbital characteristic. This is caused by its very elongated orbital path. Most planets travel around the Sun in an elliptical orbit that is closer in shape to a circle. They pretty much remain the same distance from the Sun during their annual trip. This is true of Neptune. But Pluto's orbital distance from the Sun varies by over 1.86 billion miles (about 3 billion km), enough to cause its orbital anomaly.

Don't worry about Pluto colliding with Neptune though. Pluto's different in that respect as well. Rather than orbiting on a relatively flat plane as the other planets do, Pluto's orbit brings it above and over the orbit of Neptune. Their paths don't cross.

Hurricane Elena
The Coriolis Effect

The Earth, rotating at about 1000 miles per hour (1,609 km/hr), influences the flow of air and water on its surface. We call this the Coriolis Effect, named after French scientist Gaspard Coriolis, wh ...
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The Big Bang Model

The Big Bang Model is a broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe. It postulates that 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few ...
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The Constellations

The random arrangement of the stars visible to the naked eye has remained essentially unchanged since the time of the first written records. One of the earliest complete lists we have was compiled in ...
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Science Quote

'Strange is our situation here upon the earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.'

Albert Einstein

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