Physics and Astronomy News Archive: December 2010

Image: Astronomers Detect First Carbon-rich Exoplanet
Astronomers Detect First Carbon-rich Exoplanet
Source: MIT   Posted: 12/18/10
Discovery opens door to new class of exoplanets, including rocky planets rich in diamond and graphite.

Image: Hot Plasma Explosions Inflate Saturn's Magnetic Field
Hot Plasma Explosions Inflate Saturn's Magnetic Field
Source: JPL/NASA   Posted: 12/17/10
A new analysis based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft finds a causal link between mysterious, periodic signals from Saturn's magnetic field and explosions of hot ionized gas, known as plasma, around the planet.

Image: Fourth Planet Discovered in Extra-Solar System
Fourth Planet Discovered in Extra-Solar System
Source: LLNL   Posted: 12/15/10
Astronomers have discovered a fourth giant planet, joining three others that, in 2008, were the subject of the first-ever pictures of a planetary system orbiting another star.

Image: Cassini Spots Potential Ice Volcano on Saturn Moon
Cassini Spots Potential Ice Volcano on Saturn Moon
Source: JPL/NASA   Posted: 12/15/10
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found possible ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon Titan that are similar in shape to those on Earth that spew molten rock.

Image: Learning From Hot Jupiters
Learning From Hot Jupiters
Source: MIT   Posted: 12/15/10
By studying how massive planets may have formed, MIT astrophysicist sets the stage for studying smaller, more Earthlike planets.

Image: NASA Probe Sees Solar Wind Decline
NASA Probe Sees Solar Wind Decline
Source: JPL/NASA   Posted: 12/15/10
The 33-year odyssey of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind.

Image: Astronomers Use Moon in Effort to Corral Elusive Cosmic Particles
Astronomers Use Moon in Effort to Corral Elusive Cosmic Particles
Source: NRAO   Posted: 12/6/10
Seeking to detect mysterious, ultra-high-energy neutrinos from distant regions of space, a team of astronomers used the Moon as part of an innovative telescope system for the search.

Image: Magnetism Common to All Cosmic Jets
Magnetism Common to All Cosmic Jets
Source: NRAO   Posted: 12/1/10
Astronomers have found the first evidence of a magnetic field in a jet of material ejected from a young star.

Image: Surprise link between weird quantum phenomena found
Surprise link between weird quantum phenomena found
Source: CQT   Posted: 12/1/10
Researchers have uncovered a fundamental link between the two defining properties of quantum physics.

Image: Massive Galaxies Formed When Universe Was Young
Massive Galaxies Formed When Universe Was Young
Source: Tufts   Posted: 12/1/10
Some of the universe's most massive galaxies may have formed billions of years earlier than current scientific models predict, according to surprising new research findings.