Dark matter: our method for catching ghostly haloes could help unveil what it's made of

A new method suggests we should aim to detect dark matter haloes by tracing galactic gas.

Andreea Font, Astrophysicist, Liverpool John Moores University • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: astronomy dark-matter galaxies milky-way

NASA's OSIRIS-REx will land on an asteroid to bring home rocks and dust – if it can avoid Mt. Doom

OSIRIS-REx will touch down on asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of the dust and begin its journey back to Earth, where scientists will study it, hoping to learn secrets of the solar system's origin.

Elizabeth Cantwell, Professor of Practice for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Senior Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 19, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  solar-system  nasa  asteroid  astrobiology  innovation-and-invention  bennu  near-earth-asteroids  sample-return-mission

2020 Nobel Prize in physics awarded for work on black holes – an astrophysicist explains the trailblazing discoveries

The 2020 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists – an Englishman, an American and a German – for breakthroughs in understanding the most mysterious objects in the universe: black holes.

Gaurav Khanna, Professor of Physics, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth • conversation
Oct. 6, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  physics  space  astronomy  black-hole  gravity  singularity

The detection of phosphine in Venus' clouds is a big deal – here's how we can find out if it's a sign of life

News that Venus may harbor life has swept the globe. So how do we find out for sure? A planetary scientist explains what's next.

Paul K. Byrne, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, North Carolina State University • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  nasa  life  extraterrestrial-life  venus  astrobiology

The detection of phosphine in Venus' clouds is a big deal – here's how we can find out if it really is life

News that Venus may harbor life has swept the globe. So how do we find out for sure? A planetary scientist explains what's next.

Paul K. Byrne, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, North Carolina State University • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  nasa  life  extraterrestrial-life  venus  astrobiology

Neowise: an increasingly rare opportunity to spot a comet with the naked eye

Neowise has an orbit of almost 6800 years, meaning that the last generation of people to see it would have lived during the 5th millennium BC.

Ian Whittaker, Senior Lecturer in Physics, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
July 16, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: astronomy history-of-science space-exploration comets

First space tourists will face big risks, as private companies gear up for paid suborbital flights

When it comes to commercial space tourism, suborbital flight are the first frontier. But what are the risks? Are there health requirements? What should you know before taking such a way-out trip?

Sara M. Langston, Assistant Professor of Spaceflight Operations, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University • conversation
June 11, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: space astronomy nasa spacex space-tourism boeing elon-musk blue-origin lockheed-martin orion

How Europe's CHEOPS satellite will improve the hunt for exoplanets

The primary objective of CHEOPS is to better understand the planets that we’ve already found. And its mission is now in full swing.

Jason Steffen, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas • conversation
May 27, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  space  astronomy  exoplanets  kepler-mission  planet  exoplanet-discovery  tess

Half the matter in the universe was missing – we found it hiding in the cosmos

Cosmologists had only been able to find half the matter that should exist in the universe. With the discovery of a new astronomical phenomenon and new telescopes, researchers just found the rest.

Jean-Pierre Macquart, Associate Professor of Astrophysics, Curtin University • conversation
May 27, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: space astronomy cosmology dark-matter universe telescope galaxies matter neutrons fast-radio-bursts protons baryon

Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.

Franklyn Quinlan, Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology • conversation
May 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics astronomy dark-matter gravity laser gps cell-phones microwave black-holes metrology radar power-grid atomic-clocks frequency

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