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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

Exercising In Space

by Faith Brynie and

: Image Courtesy NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center What did astronaut Shannon Lucid like least about her six months on Space Station Mir? The daily exercise. 'It was just downright hard,' she wrote in Scientific American (May 1998). 'I had to put on a harness and then connect it with bungee cords to a treadmill.' The harness and cords kept her feet on the treadmill. They also provided resistance for her muscles to work against. As Shannon learned, ordinary Earth-style exercises are useless in space. Lifting weights is impossible. A barbell floats like a feather. Crunches are easy but worthless, because the muscles of the abdomen have no upper body weight to lift. Walking and running require little effort, so they can't build muscle strength or maintain the health of heart and blood vessels.

Space travelers experience many other changes in their bodies. One of the first and most noticeable is shrinking of the legs and swelling of the face, as fluids--freed from gravity's pull--redistribute more evenly throughout the body tissues. Each leg loses about a liter of water in the first day, and the legs remain smaller throughout the space flight. The collection of fluid in the head produces a perpetual case of 'space sniffles' that abates only during strenuous exercise. The redistribution of fluid has effects that are more serious, one of which is a form of anemia unique to space travelers. The loss of fluid from the bloodstream to the tissues creates an overabundance of red blood cells. In response, the body produces fewer and destroys more. Astronauts feel the loss when they return to Earth and must work against gravity again.

Exercise is essential to the health and well-being of women and men working in space. Research has shown that astronauts lose bone and muscle mass during their flights. The loss of bone raises calcium levels in the blood, which may lead to kidney stones. NASA planners think resistance exercise using elastic bands should reduce such effects, but whether they can be prevented entirely is unknown. Our experience so far in space shows that all body systems except the skeletal and muscular return to normal after astronauts return to Earth. So far, evidence suggests that human beings can live and work safely in space for long periods, but so far 'long' had meant 'months.' How might humans cope with trips to the other planets that require several years? No one knows.


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What is Dark Energy?

Because he originally thought the Universe was static, Einstein conjectured that even the emptiest possible space, devoid of matter and radiation, might still have a dark energy, which he called a 'Co ...
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A speck from a comet? Displayed in a close-up under an electron microscope, this tiny bit ofcosmic dust may be our first sample of a passing comet. Less than one-tenth of a millimeter across, the particle is composed of millions ofeven tinier crystals.
It's Dusty Out There

There is no lower limit to the size of the solid particles that move around the Sun. Small asteroids grade downward into large meteoroids and then into smaller pebbles and so on down to the tiniest pa ...
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Science Quote

'As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.'

Albert Einstein

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