Physics & Astronomy News

<p>A drawing illustrates the unusual topological landscape around a pair of features known as exceptional points (red dots), showing the emergence of a Fermi arc (pink line at center), and exotic polarization contours that form a Mobius-strip-like texture (top and bottom strips).</p>

<p>Courtesy: MIT</p>
New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals
Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an 'open' system.
<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.

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.

Science Facts

Mission: Gather Comet Dust; Return To Earth

by Gene Mascoli and

Artist Depiction of the Stardust spacecraft: Image Courtesy NASA One of the most imaginative NASA missions of recent years is the Stardust mission. Its main purpose: to gather dust and particles from comet P/Wild 2 and return them to Earth for study. Think about that for a second. We build a spacecraft, send it out past the orbit of Mars, a round trip of over seven years, to rendezvous with a comet only 4 km across, that itself is moving. The spacecraft flies through the comet's tail and uses super gel to collect specks of dust millions of years old, and then it returns to Earth. Wow!

Stardust was launched on February 7, 1999 from Cape Canaveral. It will reach comet P/Wild 2 on January 2, 2004, 2.6 AU from the Earth, and fly as close to it as 93 miles (150 km) at about 4 miles per second (6 km/s) collecting samples. Its trip will end in January, 2006. Scientists are interested in comets because they formed at the same time as the solar system, and their makeup, despite numerous trips around the Sun, is still relatively unchanged from the time of their birth. It may tell scientists about the early universe.

The actual collecting will be done by a blue silica-based substance called aerogel. Aerogel, which means 'air gel', was chosen because it will have almost no interaction with the particles collected and is highly porous. The aerogel, which starts out in a gelatin form is dried onto a disc. The disc is then deployed to collect the samples. Particles are expected to be no larger than a micron in size. After all samples are gathered, the spacecraft will seal the Aerogel disc for its trip through Earth's atmosphere. Then eager scientists, after a six year wait, will have their hands on some comet dust.

A composite Chandra X-ray (blue) and Palomar infrared (red and green) image of the supernova remnant W49B.
New Evidence Points to a Gamma-Ray Burst... In Our Own Backyard

Only 35,000 light years away lies W49B, the supernova remnant left over from the cataclysmic burst. New evidence pointing to a gamma ray burst origin for this remnant was discovered by X-ray data from ...
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The Eccentric Spin of Uranus
The Strange Spin of Uranus

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 a ...
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Venus Is Hot Stuff

At first glance, if Earth had a twin, it would be Venus. The two planets are similar in size, mass, composition, and distance from the Sun. But there the similarities end. Venus has no ocean. Venus is ...
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Albert Einstein Photo

'Arrows of hate have been shot at me too, but they have never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever.'

Albert Einstein

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