The Last Discovery
Milky Way & Meteor over Otter Cove - Acadia National Park, ME
Source: Jack Fusco (flickr)
Great women of science
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) - British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934) - Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity.
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) - Chinese American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity.
Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) - French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment.
Mae Jemison (1956) - American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.
Vera Rubin (1928) - American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She is famous for uncovering the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) - English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world’s first computer programmer.
i don’t understand why people aren’t interested in astronomy
like you can look up into the night sky and see a fucking galaxy with your naked eye like you can see cosmic structures that are millions of light years across and if you don’t think that’s the coolest fucking shit then iono what to tell you
Solar System Like Ours Discovered
Hidden in the huge amount of data gathered by the Kepler Telescope was the observation of a solar system a bit like our own, it consists of seven exoplanets arranged much like our own - rocky close in to the sun and gas giants further out. The system, KOI-351, was detected in early 2013 with three direct observations of planets with orbital periods of 59, 210 and 331 days. However, their orbital periods can vary by as much as 25.7 hours, which at first glance is a little strange. As all of the planets orbit within 1 astronomical unit (the distance of the Sun from the Earth) this variation was suspected to be due to tugs of as of yet unseen inner planets.
Using computer algorithms a team of scientists was able to detect four new planets in the system, bringing the total to seven. The four planets have orbital periods of 7, 9, 92 and 125 days thus making the system very compact. It is as of yet unknown why the system formed this way, and some scientists hypothesise that the system may be young and the planets may migrate outwards over the millions of years to come. It is hoped that an upcoming mission, PLATO, will receive funding and allow the scientists to have a second more detailed look at the system.
On April 27, a blast of light from a dying star in a distant galaxy became the focus of astronomers around the world. The explosion, known as a gamma-ray burst and designated GRB 130427A, tops the charts as one of the brightest ever seen.
A trio of NASA satellites, working in concert with ground-based robotic telescopes, captured never-before-seen details that challenge current theoretical understandings of how gamma-ray bursts work.
Gamma-ray bursts are the most luminous explosions in the cosmos, thought to be triggered when the core of a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel, collapses under its own weight, and forms a black hole. The black hole then drives jets of particles that drill all the way through the collapsing star and erupt into space at nearly the speed of light.
In the most common type of gamma-ray burst, illustrated here, a dying massive star forms a black hole (left), which drives a particle jet into space. Light across the spectrum arises from hot gas near the black hole, collisions within the jet, and from the jet’s interaction with its surroundings.
Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
In a similar way than the Moon orbits Earth trapped by its gravitational field, small galaxies can revolve around larger ones. These are then ‘satellites’ of the more massive central galaxy.
Satellite galaxies are more complex than their isolated field counterparts because their properties are linked not only to its own evolution, but also to their response to strong gravitational forces and other environmental effects associated to orbiting within a larger host.
Satellite galaxies infall throughout the whole life-time of the main halo. But only a handful survive and constitute the satellite system that we observe today. Many, the less lucky ones, are incapable of resisting the gravitational forces and get disrupted. Signatures of this history can be found in the “stellar halos” of galaxies, a dim, extended and diffuse component made of loosely bound stars stripped from satellites that disappeared long time ago.
Satellite galaxies are not always alone, but sometimes they infall as part of large associations of dwarfs.
Satellites then seem to have their own system of satellites, forming a nested system of substructure.
More information: here
'Higgsogenesis' proposed to explain dark matter
Two physicists suggest that the Higgs had a key role in the early Universe, producing the observed difference between the number of matter and antimatter particles and determining the density of the mysterious dark matter that makes up five-sixths of the matter in the Universe.