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

Keeping Your Balance for Good Science

by Bob Riddle and

: Around the 20th to 22nd of March, the Sun will have reached an astronomical location that is used to mark the change of seasons. This location, within the constellation of Pisces the Fishes, is 0 degrees and 0 hours, and is a coordinate position that looks like the latitude and longitude values we assign to geographical locations on the surface of the Earth. The 0 degrees, like latitude, indicates that the Sun is on the Equator, and the 0 hours, like longitude, is the starting point for coordinate positions of celestial objects eastward of the 0 hour, somewhat akin to the Prime Meridian. This day, sometimes referred to as an equinox (meaning equal night), is a day when the Sun is over the equator and for most of the Earth will rise due east and set due west. This gives us an equal amount of daylight and night hours.

While the changing of seasons may not make much news it is not unusual to hear or read about attempts to balance an egg on this particular day. There is a long-standing notion that when the Sun is over the equator, its gravitational pull on the Earth is such that an egg will balance if placed on one of its ends. Even though this goes against common sense thinking, it is nevertheless an opportunity to explore one of the best examples of what should be called bad science. Actually for that matter this is also a good example of bad news reporting, as the emphasis seems be on showing attempts to balance an egg only on the equinox. Will an egg truly balance only on the equinox day or will it balance on any day during the year - or not? And why just an egg? Shouldn't other objects balance as well, or is gravity selective?

So get your eggs out and try this balancing act, or why not just cook the egg, drink some juice and have a balanced meal!

Beta Decay
Neutrinos to the Rescue

Have you ever wondered what the most abundant particle in the universe is after photons of light? The answer is: Neutrinos. These tiny, neutral and almost mass-less particles that move at almost the ...
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Collision of two gold nuclei at the RHIC accelerator. An attempt to produce quark-gluon plasma in the laboratory.
The Early Universe Soup

In the first few millionths of the second after the Big Bang, the universe looked very different than today. In fact the universe existed as a different form of matter altogether: the quark-gluon plas ...
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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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Science Quote

'Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.'

Thomas Alva Edison

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