Scientific American 16 Dec 2019, 13:30 UTC CHEOPS will be the first mission designed to study—rather than find—alien worlds
Forbes articles by Brian Koberlein 13 Dec 2019, 19:47 UTC Earth is a water-rich world, and (as far as we know) life depends upon water. A new survey of exoplanets finds they might be dryer than expected.
Starts With a Bang! 13 Dec 2019, 15:01 UTC On a macroscopic level, the Universe appears to be entirely classical. Gravity can be described by the curvature of space according to the rules of General Relativity; electromagnetic effects are perfectly well-described by Maxwell’s equations. Only on ultra-tiny scales do quantum effects begin to come into play, showing themselves in features like atomic transitions, absorption and emission lines, the polarization of light, and vacuum birefringence. And yet, if we extrapolate back to the earliest stages of the Universe, every relevant interaction that occurred was purely quantum in nature. Individual quantum particles and fields interacted on short scales and at enormous energies, leading to many observables today that have a quantum legacy imprinted on them. In particular, the largest galactic and supergalactic structures owe their origins to quantum physics, too. Here’s how.
Astronaut.com 13 Dec 2019, 13:18 UTC NASA said that its Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft will gather samples from a crater on the asteroid Bennu dubbed Nightingale, located in the northern latitudes of the asteroid. That sampling attempt is currently scheduled for August 2020.
SciTech Daily 13 Dec 2019, 02:18 UTC When astronomers see something in the universe that at first glance seems like one-of-a-kind, it’s bound to stir up a lot of excitement and attention. Enter comet 2I/Borisov. This mysterious visitor from the depths of space is the first identified comet to arrive here from another star. We don’t know from where or when the comet started heading toward our Sun, but it won’t hang around for long. The Sun’s gravity is slightly deflecting its trajectory, but can’t capture it because of the shape of its orbit and high velocity of about 100,000 miles per hour.
Universe Today 13 Dec 2019, 00:39 UTC There’s a lot of mysterious goings-on at the center of the Milky Way. The supermassive black hole that resides there is chief among them. But there’s another intriguing puzzle there: an unexpected spherical region of intense gamma ray emissions.