Quantum fluctuations can jiggle objects on the human scale

Study shows LIGO’s 40-kilogram mirrors can move in response to tiny quantum effects, revealing the “spooky popcorn of the universe.”

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 1, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

TESS mission discovers massive ice giant

Neptune-sized planet may be remnant core of a much larger planet.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 1, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets nasa research school-of-science planetary-science satellites eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

Betelgeuse: Nearby supergiant star's dimming explained

Astronomers say big cool patches on the Betelgeuse star likely drove its surprise dimming last year.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
June 29, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy stars

Dark matter hunt yields unexplained signal

The Xenon 1T experiment may have found signs of a previously undetected dark matter particle.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
June 17, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space particle-physics the-universe dark-energy

Astronomers detect regular rhythm of radio waves, with origins unknown

Signal from 500 million light years away is the first periodic pattern of radio bursts detected.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 17, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy research black-holes school-of-science kavli-institute astronomy-and-planetary-science

Capturing stardust

Danielle Frostig, a physics graduate student, is developing an instrument to study how the heaviest elements in the universe are produced.

Fernanda Ferreira | School of Science • mit
June 12, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space graduate profile research students school-of-science kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science postdoctoral

Citizen scientists spot closest young brown dwarf disk yet

Discovery made through the Disk Detective project could help the search for new planets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets nasa research school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science crowdsourcing astronomy-and-planetary-science

'Nearest black hole to Earth discovered'

An unseen object is found to be lurking in a double-star system a mere 1,000 light-years from Earth.

By Jonathan Amos • bbcnews
May 6, 2020 ~3 min

Tags:  astrophysics  astronomy  black-holes

Study: Life might survive, and thrive, in a hydrogen world

When searching for extraterrestrial life, astronomers may want to look at planets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
May 4, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets bacteria biology space-exploration research school-of-engineering school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

Dancing gargantuan black holes perform on cue

Scientists predict the explosive behaviour of two supermassive black holes almost to the hour.

By Jonathan Amos • bbcnews
April 29, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: astrophysics astronomy space-exploration black-holes

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