Centauri Dreams 3 Sep 2019, 16:21 UTC It shouldn’t surprise us that first discoveries can be extreme. Consider that the first main sequence exoplanets we detected were ‘hot Jupiters.’ Nobody expected these (unless you discount John Barnes and Buzz Aldrin in Encounter with Tiber, and Greg Matloff, who advised them — see Probing Ultrahot Jupiters — but a radial velocity detection is rendered far more likely if a large planet is orbiting close to its star. And so we got 51 Pegasi b, and soon, others in the hot Jupiter category. Incidentally, the Barnes & Aldrin novel was finished though not published when the discovery of 51 Pegasi b was made in 1995. Nice prediction!
Bad Astronomy 3 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC In 2022, the European Space Agency will launch the Jupiter ICy moons Explorer — JUICE — toward the innermost of the gas giants. It'll take more than seven years to get there, and once it arrives it'll go on a series of looping orbits to get close-up views of the big Galilean moons of Jupiter, something we haven't seen in many years.
SPACE.com 3 Sep 2019, 07:37 UTC Physicists on the hunt for the invisible hand that shapes our universe and the galaxies within it have turned their gaze to the dark side. Specifically, one team is looking behind every cosmic rock for so-called dark photons, which could transmit a previously unknown force of nature.
Universe Today 2 Sep 2019, 20:24 UTC The past week has been pretty eventful for SpaceX. On Tuesday (Aug. 27th) at 05:00 PM local time (03:00 PST; 06:00 EST), the company conducted its second free-flight test of the Starship Hopper, which saw the test vehicle successfully ascend to 150 m (~500 ft) above the ground and then land in a different spot. This test brings SpaceX one step closer to orbital tests with their full-scale prototypes of the Starship.
Bad Astronomy 2 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC Now that astronomers have bagged more than 4,000 exoplanets — alien worlds orbiting alien stars — we're starting to see ones that are really weird. Massive planets close in to their stars, planets with two or even three stars, maybe even ones with moons. And some that aren't just weird. They're eccentric.
EarthSky Blog 2 Sep 2019, 11:04 UTC Only 39 light-years from Earth – right next door, cosmically-speaking – there’s a solar system with seven Earth-sized rocky planets. The system is called TRAPPIST-1. All of its seven planets are intriguing, and three of them orbit in their star’s habitable zone, where temperatures could allow liquid water to exist on them.
Starts With a Bang! 30 Aug 2019, 14:01 UTC It might be true that there’s an ultimate speed limit to everything in the Universe — the speed of light in a vacuum — but that doesn’t mean there’s a limit to how energetic a single particle can be. As you pump progressively more energy into a massive particle, you can make it move ever faster, asymptotically approaching that ultimate cosmic speed limit. But paradoxically, the more energetic that particle is, the more difficult it is to accurately detect and measure it.
AmericaSpace 29 Aug 2019, 14:19 UTC Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are one of the most mysterious phenomena in astronomy. They are extremely brief radio signals coming from deep space, beyond our galaxy, and so far, scientists still don’t know what is causing them.M ost of the FRBs have been one-off bursts, and only two to date had been seen to repeat, making them even odder.