As the universe expands, it is continually subjected to energy shifts, or 'quantum fluctuations', that send out little pulses of 'sound' into the fabric of spacetime. In fact, the universe is thought to have sprung from just such an energy shift. Scientists reports a new mathematical tool that should allow one to use these sounds to help reveal the shape of the universe.
The conference brings together world experts on subjects related to planetary defense, including what we currently know about potentially threatening asteroids and comets, techniques that might be used to deflect a threatening object, and political and policy issues that might affect a decision to take action.
Astronomers from the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) and Lowell Observatory have used NASA's Swift satellite to check out comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which may become one of the most dazzling in decades when it rounds the sun later this year.
Messier 77 is a galaxy in the constellation of Cetus, some 45 million light-years away from us. Also known as NGC 1068, it is one of the most famous and well-studied galaxies. It is a real star among galaxies, with more papers written about it than many other galaxies put together.
Concrete plans for a one-way ticket to Mars have been forged. Food will have to be grown on location. Is this a distant future scenario? Not for Wieger Wamelink, ecologist at Alterra Wageningen UR, for whom the future will begin on 2 April. He will be researching whether or not it is possible to grow plants on the moon.
An international team of astronomers, including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and from the University of Cologne, successfully identified two titanium oxides in the extended atmosphere around a giant star. The object VY Canis Major is one of the largest stars in the known universe and close to the end of its life.
The Universe is an old neighbourhood - roughly 13.8 billion years old. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is also ancient- some of its stars are more than 13 billion years old. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of action: new objects form and others are destroyed.
Stars ten times as massive as the Sun, or more, should not exist: as they grow, they tend to push away the gas they feed on, starving their own growth. Scientists have been struggling to figure out how some stars overcome this hurdle.
When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission begins its journey to the Red Planet in 2013, it will carry a sensitive magnetic-field instrument built and tested by a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties. But a team of astronomers including Carnegie's Wendy Freedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson is reporting the discovery of a new type of supernova called Type Iax.
NASA intentionally crashed the GRAIL twins onto the Moon on Dec. 17, 2012, following successful prime and extended science missions. Both spacecraft hit a mountain near the lunar north pole, which was shrouded in shadow at the time. Developed by Southwest Research Institute, LAMP uses a novel method to peer into the darkness of the Moon's permanently shadowed regions, making it ideal for observations of the Moon's night-side and its tenuous atmospheric constituents.
A little more than a year ago a research team started to develop a vital part of a Finnish invention - an electric solar wind sail for interplanetary journeys. Now, a prototype has been successfully manufactured and tested.