A new MIT study supports the theory that tellurium, along with even heavier elements in the periodic table, likely originated from a very rare type of supernova during a rapid process of nuclear fusion.
Nearly 13.7 billion years ago, the universe was made of only hydrogen, helium and traces of lithium — byproducts of the Big Bang. Some 300 million years later, the very first stars emerged, creating additional chemical elements throughout the universe. Since then, giant stellar explosions, or supernovas, have given rise to carbon, oxygen, iron and the rest of the 94 naturally occurring elements of the periodic table.
Continue reading "Rare Earth Element Detected for the First Time in 12-Billion-Year-Old Stars in Milky Way's Halo" »
The outer edges of the Milky Way's appear to be orbited by innumerable invisible galaxies, one of which appears to be crashing into our own. In 2005 astronomers discovered the first evidence of mysterious dark galaxies with no starlight - VirgoHI 21 - a mysterious cloud of hydrogen in the Virgo Cluster 50 million light-years from the Earth found to be colliding with our galaxy. Virgohi 21 revealed its existence from radio waves from neutral hydrogen coming from a rotating cloud containing enough hydrogen gas to spawn 100 million stars like the sun and fill a small galaxy.
Continue reading "The "Dark Galaxies" Orbiting the Milky Way" »
"There could be billions of Earthlike planets in the Universe but a great majority of them may have a totally different internal and atmospheric structure. Building planets in chemically non-solar environments (which are very common in the Universe) may lead to the formation of strange worlds, very different from the Earth! The amount of radioactive and some refractory elements (especially Si) may have drastic implications for planetary processes such as plate tectonics and volcanic activity," says Garik Israelian, one of the team members of a new study. Israelian is an astrophysicist who led the team which found the first observational evidence that supernova explosions are responsible for the formation of black holes.
Continue reading ""Billions of Earth-like Planets will have Chemical Makeups that Create Strange Worlds"" »
While studying the globelike supernova remnant, astronomers discovered a new pulsar spinning once every 0.9 seconds, orbiting 22.8 light-years from the sun in the Scutum-Centaurus spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. After shining for at least a year, the pulsar, located inside the white circle in the image above, suddenly vanished.
Continue reading "The Mystery of the Vanishing Pulsar 23,000 Light Years Distant" »
"Dr. Kaku uses a critical term, 'chances…' in his thesis about what ET might be like and I appreciate and understand his pulling punches about characterizing the ET we have not yet met. I tend to go along with Dr Kaku that predation is a likely early stage of resource competition in an ET evolutionary path from primitive micro-organism to space travel, but I feel, as other commentators here do, that actual predation is left behind as it is learned/experienced that a consequence of having the predator trait can be species self-destruction as weaponry advances.
Continue reading "Monday's 'Comment of the Day': Michio Kaku on Extraterrestrial Life" »
This image shows central region of the spiral galaxy NGC 4631 as seen edge-on from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. The Chandra data (shown in blue and purple) provide the first unambiguous evidence for a halo of hot gas surrounding a galaxy that is very similar to our Milky Way. So many supernovae have exploded in the central region of NGC 4631 that they have created a superwind of gas blowing out of the plane of the galaxy, which has produced a giant, diffuse corona or halo of hot, X-ray emitting gas around the entire galaxy
Continue reading "Image of the Day: Gigantic Cosmic Bubbles" »
'I don't believe for a second that highly sophisticated technological advancement (like interstellar travel) will make us less predators towards others.'
"Yes, technological progress per se does not change our primitive instincts of aggressiveness, anger and domination. But evolution is also at the level of intelligence, which is crucial for survival. Intelligence, as it evolves, discovers futility of certain primitive behavior and that is how slavery, racism and territorial expansionism do not have the same respectability as in the past. Civilizations progress means enhancement of the ability to subdue or outgrow from the primitive urges.
Continue reading "Sunday's 'Comment of the Day': Michio Kaku on the Threat of Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life" »
This gorgeous island universe just begs the question: "are we alone?" With an estimated 200 billion galaxies in the known Universe, we think not. Well, perhaps in the Milky Way. NGC 7331, 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, is often touted as a twin spiral analog to our Milky Way.
Arthur C Clarke once wrote that a trillion years from now an advnaced civilization will look back at us with envy and say "They knew the Universe when it was young."
Continue reading "Weekend Feature: "Coming of Age in the Young Universe" --Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (VIDEO)" »
"Chances are, when we meet intelligent life forms in outer space, they're going to be descended from predators."
- Michio Kaku
Continue reading "Weekend Debate: What Do You Think?" »