NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 12 Jul 2018, 14:00 UTC Using the power and synergy of two space telescopes, astronomers have made the most precise measurement to date of the universe’s expansion rate. The results further fuel the mismatch between measurements for the expansion rate of the nearby universe, and those of the distant, primeval universe — before stars and galaxies even existed.
MIT 12 Jul 2018, 04:00 UTC Signals from rare black hole-neutron star pairs could pinpoint rate at which universe is growing, researchers say. Since it first exploded into existence 13.8 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding, dragging along with it hundreds of billions of galaxies and stars, much like raisins in a rapidly rising dough.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 11 Jul 2018, 15:00 UTC After a successful launch on April 18, 2018, NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is currently undergoing a series of commissioning tests before it begins searching for planets. The TESS team has reported that the spacecraft and cameras are in good health, and the spacecraft has successfully reached its final science orbit. The team continues to conduct tests in order to optimize spacecraft performance with a goal of beginning science at the end of July.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 11 Jul 2018, 13:26 UTC In April 2018, NASA launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Its main goal is to locate Earth-sized planets and larger “super-Earths” orbiting nearby stars for further study. One of the most powerful tools that will examine the atmospheres of some planets that TESS discovers will be NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Since observing small exoplanets with thin atmospheres like Earth will be challenging for Webb, astronomers will target easier, gas giant exoplanets first.
ESO Top News 11 Jul 2018, 10:00 UTC New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory. This image was taken during testing of the HAWK-I camera with the GRAAL adaptive optics system. It shows RCW 38 and its surrounding clouds of brightly glowing gas in exquisite detail, with dark tendrils of dust threading through the bright core of this young gathering of stars.
Carnegie Science 10 Jul 2018, 05:01 UTC Last autumn, the world was excited by the discovery of an exoplanet called Ross 128 b, which is just 11 light years away from Earth. New work from a team led by Diogo Souto of Brazil’s Observatório Nacional and including Carnegie’s Johanna Teske has for the first time determined detailed chemical abundances of the planet’s host star, Ross 128.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 9 Jul 2018, 19:07 UTC New research from NASA's Cassini spacecraft's up-close Grand Finale orbits shows a surprisingly powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its rings and its moon Enceladus. The observations show for the first time that the waves travel on magnetic field lines connecting Saturn directly to Enceladus. The field lines are like an electrical circuit between the two bodies, with energy flowing back and forth.
NASA's Ames Research Center News and Features 9 Jul 2018, 14:00 UTC Scientists have always wondered how Uranus got tilted so much that it spins on its side, and now research on the planet’s early formation gives us new insight. Four billion years ago, scientists believe a young proto-planet of rock and ice collided with Uranus, causing its extreme tilt. Instead of rotating like a top spinning nearly upright, as Earth does, the planet “rolls” on its side as it circles the sun.
Carnegie Science 9 Jul 2018, 13:00 UTC Carnegie’s Eduardo Bañados led a team that found a quasar with the brightest radio emission ever observed in the early universe, due to it spewing out a jet of extremely fast-moving material. Bañados’ discovery was followed up by Emmanuel Momjian of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which allowed the team to see with unprecedented detail the jet shooting out of a quasar that formed within the universe’s first billion years of existence.