As the search for Earth-like planets wages on, a team of researchers may have found a way to speed up the process. The team is developing a new laser-based technology known as the green astro-comb to obtain information about the mass of a distant planet. Using this information, astronomers will be able to determine whether distant exoplanets are rocky worlds like Earth or less dense gas giants like Jupiter.
Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of radioactive waves known in the universe. However, how they're made and where they come from have been a bit of a mystery. But now a team of researchers has made a discovery that may shed some light on the subject.
Astronomers have discovered a black hole that is consuming gas from a nearby star 10 times faster than previously thought possible. The black hole - known as P13 - lies on the outskirts of the galaxy NGC7793 about 12 million light years from Earth and is ingesting a weight equivalent to 100 billion billion hot dogs every minute.
The increasing number of small CubeSat satellites being launched combined with a relaxed attitude to debris mitigation could lead to hazards for all space users unless preventative measures are taken, warns a leading space debris expert.
Chemical fingerprints of the element nitrogen vary by extremes in materials from the molecules of life to the solar wind to interstellar dust. Ideas for how this great variety came about have included alien molecules shuttled in by icy comets from beyond our solar system and complex chemical scenarios. New experiments using a powerful source of ultraviolet light have shown that no extra-solar explanation is needed and the chemistry is straight forward.
Certain primordial stars - those 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our sun, or solar masses - may have died unusually. In death, these objects would have exploded as supernovae and burned completely, leaving no remnant black hole behind.