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

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

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

Event Horizon Telescope observes a black hole-powered jet

MIT Haystack Observatory researchers coauthor a paper announcing the observation of a surprising structure in a distant quasar, 3C 279.

Nancy Wolfe Kotary | MIT Haystack Observatory • mit
April 14, 2020 ~6 min

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

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