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Astronomy

Physics

Layer of strange "dark hydrogen" believed to exist on Jupiter-like planets

As the most abundant element around and the basis for a full three-quarters the mass of the universe, you'd think scientists would have uncovered all there is to know about hydrogen. Apparently, they haven't, as researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have just produced a third version of the element in a lab, that they believe is found on gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn. They're calling it dark hydrogen. Read More

Space

Alien contact not likely for another 1,500 years say scientists

There is perhaps no more compelling question for mankind than, are we alone in the universe? Given the odds, with billions of stars in our galaxy similar to our sun and billions of planets orbiting them, it seems unlikely. But, as Fermi's paradox asks, if aliens do exist, why haven't we found any evidence of them yet? Astronomers at Cornell University have done the sums to provide an estimate of when we might expect a call from ET, but don't worry about marking the date on your calendar – they believe contact isn't likely for another 1,500 years.Read More

Space

Earth picks up asteroid traveling companion

An asteroid dubbed 2016 HO3 has recently been discovered that, whilst technically in orbit around the sun, is also spinning in its own merry dance around the Earth. Somewhere between 120 ft (40 m) and 300 ft (100 m) in size, our little travelling partner is estimated to have been in step with our orbit for about a hundred years now, and will continue to do so for at least many hundreds more. Too far away to be identified as a satellite to our planet, it is stable enough at the moment to be seen as a near-Earth companion body. Read More

Space

Can an Earth-sized telescope show us what a black hole looks like?

With a gravitational pull so great not even light can escape, it's impossible to directly observe a black hole. But scientists have created a new algorithm that may allow astronomers to generate the first full image of a black hole. Using data collected from a connected array of radio telescopes around the world, the algorithm effectively turns the Earth into a gigantic radio telescope with a resolution factor more than a thousand times greater than that of the Hubble Space Telescope.Read More

Space

Evidence of gargantuan asteroid strike unearthed in Australia

All it takes is a quick look up at the moon to understand what a violent place the early solar system was. All those craters are the results of asteroids smashing into the lunar surface. The Earth was likewise battered all those billions of years ago, but the evidence of many asteroid strikes has long been erased through topography changes. Researchers at Australian National University (ANU) though, have found clues to a massive asteroid that impacted our planet about 3.5 billion years ago, when the Earth was less than a quarter as old as it is now.Read More

Journey toward Milky Way's dark heart in new Hubble video

Do you have 37 seconds of time to spare today? If so, you can zip towards the very center of our galaxy thanks to a new video put out by the Hubble Space Telescope team. The video is really just a long zoom into an image released last month, but it definitely provides the sensation of heading through our galactic core to the black hole that lies at its center.Read More

Space

Stephen Hawking's space probes eye the express lane to neighboring stars

The Alpha Centauri star system is a fair old hike. At 25 trillion miles (4.37 light years) away, it would take around 30,000 years for us to roll into the area, and that's if we hitched a ride on today's fastest spacecraft. If the latest idea from the cosmically inquisitive Stephen Hawking comes to fruition, however, we could reach this neighboring stellar system within 20 years of launch.Read More

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