Space Hub




Scientists Get First Historic ‘Glimpse’ Of The Big Bang

BicepScientists today announced they have found evidence of strong “gravitational waves” that emerged in the aftermath of the Big Bang that could provide clues into the birth of the universe. Though the research presented requires further verification, many are optimistic that the results put forth today are accurate. The New Scientist reports: 

"No experiment should be taken too seriously until there's more than one that can vouch for it," says Alan Guth at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "But it does seem to me that this is a very reliable group and what they've seen is very definitive.

Marc Kamionkowski at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, is even more effusive. "This is the greatest discovery of the century," he says. "If it sticks, which I think it will, it's Nobel-prize material.”

The signal at the heart of the new research was detected by a special telescope set-up in the South Pole known as Bicep (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) that, as The Guardian points out, “scans the sky at microwave frequencies, where it picks up the fossil energy from the big bang.” 

EinsteinThe discovery is also significant in that if gravitational waves are found to exist it would prove “the last untested prediction of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity”:

"[Gravitational waves] are minuscule ripples in the fabric of the universe that carry energy across space, somewhat similar to waves crossing an ocean.

For decades, cosmologists have thought that the signature of primordial gravitational waves could be imprinted on this radiation. "It's been called the Holy Grail of cosmology," says Peiris, "It would be a real major, major, major discovery.” […]

According to theory, the primordial gravitational waves will tell us about the first, infinitessimal moment of the universe's history. Cosmologists believe that 10-34 seconds after the big bang (a decimal point followed by 33 zeros and a one) the universe was driven to expand hugely.

Known as inflation, the theory was dreamed up to explain why the universe is so remarkably uniform from place to place. But it has always lacked some credibility because no one can find a convincing physical explanation for why it happened."

Check out the full results from the scientists’ findings HERE. Warning: strong scientific language and graphic charts.


Oklahoma City FOX Affiliate 'Accidentally' Cuts Human Evolution from 'Cosmos' Broadcast: VIDEO

Comingup

An Oklahoma City FOX affiliate cut 15 seconds from the broadcast of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson on Sunday night when an 'operator error' (according to its explanation on Twitter) interrupted it with a local news promotion.

The 15 seconds that were cut were the only part of the series that mentions human evolution:

"Three and a half million years ago our ancestors, yours and mine, left these traces. We stood up, and parted ways from them. Once we stood on two feet, our eyes were no longer fixated on the ground. Now we were free to look up, and wonder."

Watch the broadcast, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via crooks and liars)

Continue reading "Oklahoma City FOX Affiliate 'Accidentally' Cuts Human Evolution from 'Cosmos' Broadcast: VIDEO" »


Asteroid Break-Up Captured On Film For The First Time: VIDEO

ASTEROID

NASA’s Hubble Telescope captured pictures of the P/2013 R3 asteroid breaking up into 10 pieces between October last year and mid-January, The Guardian reports. Though “fragile comet nuclei have been seen falling apart as they near the sun, nothing resembling this type of breakup has been observed before in the asteroid belt.”

The largest four pieces among the group are approximately 200 yards in radius.

“[The astronomers] said it was unlikely that the asteroid is breaking up because of a collision with another, because that would have caused an "instantaneous and violent" break up.

They said that the break up is also unlikely to have been caused by interior ices warming and vapourising because it is too cold – being nearly 300 million miles from the sun.

Professor Jewitt, who led the astronomical forensics investigation into the asteroid, said that it could have disintegrated due to a "subtle effect of sunlight".

He said that this can cause the rate of rotation to increase slightly, which causes the asteroid's component pieces to gently pull apart due to "centrifugal force".

This type of disruption has been discussed by experts for several years but has never been reliably observed.

The disparate parts of the once unified asteroid have since released a joint statement saying they are never, ever getting back together.

Watch the asteroid break-up for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Asteroid Break-Up Captured On Film For The First Time: VIDEO" »


Kepler Telescope Reveals 715 New Planets, a 'Bonanza' for NASA Scientists: VIDEO

Goldilocks

GlobalPost

Four of the 715 new planets discovered by NASA's Kepler are less than 2 1/2 times the size of Earth and orbit in their sun’s 'Goldilocks' zone.

Using statistics and data from the Kepler telescope, NASA announced on Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets, a “bonanza” likely to continue for years to come.

KeplerThe newest discoveries increase the known planets outside the Milky Way to 1,700 from about 1,000.

To verify this bounty of planets, a research team co-led by planetary scientist Jack Lissauer analyzed stars with more than one potential planet.

“Four years ago, Kepler began a string of announcements of first hundreds, then thousands, of planet candidates — but they were only candidate worlds,” Lissauer said online.

“We’ve now developed a process to verify multiple planet candidates in bulk to deliver planets wholesale, and have used it to unveil a veritable bonanza of new worlds.”

The newly verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system, NASA said.

Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is still almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known small-sized planets more akin to Earth than previously identified exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system.

The research team used a technique called verification by multiplicity, which relies in part on probability. Kepler observes 150,000 stars and has found a few thousand of those to have planet candidates.

If the candidates were randomly distributed among Kepler’s stars, only a handful would have more than one planet candidate. However, Kepler observed hundreds of stars that have multiple planet candidates.

Four of the new planets are less than 2 1/2 times the size of Earth and orbit in their sun’s “Goldilocks” zone, or the distance from a star that’s “just right” for liquid water.

One of these new planets, called Kepler-296f, orbits a star half the size and five percent as bright as our sun. It’s twice the size of Earth, but scientists do not know whether the planet is a gaseous world, with a thick hydrogen-helium envelope, or it is a water world surrounded by a deep ocean.

“From this study we learn planets in these multi-systems are small, and their orbits are flat and circular — resembling pancakes —not your classical view of an atom,” said Jason Rowe, co-leader of the research.

“The more we explore the more we find familiar traces of ourselves amongst the stars that remind us of home.”

Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the first NASA mission to find potentially habitable Earth-size planets. Discoveries include more than 3,600 planet candidates, of which 961 have been verified as bona-fide worlds.

An animation of the Kepler system, AFTER THE JUMP...

Exoplanet

Continue reading "Kepler Telescope Reveals 715 New Planets, a 'Bonanza' for NASA Scientists: VIDEO" »


See Beautiful First-Person Footage Of Felix Baumgartner's Space Fall To Earth: VIDEO

Freefall

On October 9 2012, Australian daredevil Felix Baumgartner successfully completed a 24-mile free-fall to Earth. And though we've seen first-person and multiple POV videos from the stunt, this newly released video recaptures the drama and beauty of Baumgartner's tumble in breathtaking sharpness, audio, and music to boot!

See the video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "See Beautiful First-Person Footage Of Felix Baumgartner's Space Fall To Earth: VIDEO" »


Bright New Supernova Star Blows Up in a Galaxy Next Door: PHOTO

  M82

Stargazer Steve Fossey had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time when, using a modest telescope in foggy north London, he witnessed this bright and rare Type 1a supernova. The stellar explosion occurred in the nearby M82 Galaxy, nicknamed the Cigar Galaxy, which is about 12 million light years away.

Nature reports that a type 1a supernova is thought to form when "stellar material piles onto a white dwarf — an old dim star that has already shed excess mass — and passes a critical threshold, igniting a thermonuclear explosion."

Scientists say that it will be visible in the sky soon, as it brightens up.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged