Designing new mirror materials for better gravitational-wave detection

Nicholas Demos, a first-generation college graduate and MathWorks Fellow in MIT’s Kavli Institute, is improving our ability to listen to the cosmos.

Kelso Harper | MIT Kavli Institute • mit
yesterday ~7 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy profile research stars black-holes students awards-honors-and-fellowships graduate-postdoctoral school-of-science kavli-institute space-astronomy-and-planetary-science ligo

The wobbling shadow of the M87* black hole

Analysis of Event Horizon Telescope observations from 2009 to 2017 reveals turbulent evolution of the M87* black hole image.

Nancy Wolfe Kotary | MIT Haystack Observatory • mit
Sept. 23, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: astrophysics astronomy research black-holes space-astronomy-and-planetary-science haystack-observatory

Astronomers may have found a signature of life on Venus

Evidence indicates phosphine, a gas associated with living organisms, is present in the habitable region of Venus’ atmosphere.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 14, 2020 ~10 min

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

An unexpected origin story for a lopsided black hole merger

Researchers suggest a novel process to explain the collision of a large black hole and a much smaller one.

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

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

A “bang” in LIGO and Virgo detectors signals most massive gravitational-wave source yet

A binary black hole merger likely produced gravitational waves equal to the energy of eight suns.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 2, 2020 ~10 min

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

Lava oceans may not explain the brightness of some hot super-Earths

By making their own lava and cooled glass, scientists find these materials likely aren’t responsible for the unexpected glow of some exoplanets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Aug. 4, 2020 ~8 min

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

In a first, astronomers watch a black hole’s corona disappear, then reappear

A colliding star may have triggered the drastic transformation.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 15, 2020 ~8 min

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

Portable system boosts laser precision, at room temperature

“Light squeezer” reduces quantum noise in lasers, could enhance quantum computing and gravitational-wave detection.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 7, 2020 ~8 min

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

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

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