Astronomers have used modern techniques to visualise data from ESA's Hipparcos space astrometry mission in three dimensions. The treatment of the data has offered insights into the distribution of nearby stars and uncovered new groupings of stars in the solar neighborhood, shedding light on the origins of the stars in Orion and calling into question the existence of the Gould Belt – an iconic ring-shaped structure of stars in the Milky Way.
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“The Higgs mass that we measure is consistent with the Standard Model if the parameters of the model are carefully tuned to something like 30 decimal places,” said Joe Incandela, a UC Santa Barbara physics professor and scientist in CERN's Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, one of four detectors located along the LHC 16-mile collider tunnel. “This seems very unnatural to us. When you introduce new physics, like supersymmetry, things come into balance and you do not have to tune anymore. We’re trying to find the evidence for supersymmetry for this reason, and because we know there’s dark matter, which is also predicted in supersymmetry models. So all in all, we’re looking for the bridge to the next chapter of the story.”
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Water covers more than two-thirds of Earth’s surface, but its exact origins are still something of a mystery. Scientists have long been uncertain whether water was present at the formation of the planet, or if it arrived later, perhaps carried by comets and meteorites. Now researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, using advanced ion-microprobe instrumentation, have found that rocks from Baffin Island in Canada contain evidence that Earth’s water was a part of our planet from the beginning.
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5400 mph winds have been discovered hurtling around planet outside our solar system. New research provides first ever exo-planet weather map, with winds over 2 km per second observed flowing around the planet.
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Researchers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have discovered the first gamma-ray pulsar, J0540, in a galaxy other than our own. The object sets a new record for the most luminous gamma-ray pulsar known. J0540 is a rare find, with an age of roughly 1,700 years, about twice that of the Crab Nebula pulsar. By contrast, most of the more than 2,500 known pulsars are from 10,000 to hundreds of millions of years old.
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Einstein was wrong about at least one thing: There are, in fact, “spooky actions at a distance,” as now proven by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Einstein used that term to refer to quantum mechanics, which describes the curious behavior of the smallest particles of matter and light. He was referring, specifically, to entanglement, the idea that two physically separated particles can have correlated properties, with values that are uncertain until they are measured. Einstein was dubious, and until now, researchers have been unable to support it with near-total confidence.
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"These pristine stars are among the oldest surviving stars in the Universe, and certainly the oldest stars we have ever seen," said Louise Howes from The Australian National University (ANU), lead author of the study published in the latest issue of Nature. "These stars formed before the Milky Way, and the galaxy formed around them."
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"When we looked at the infrared data, this ice cloud stood out like nothing we've ever seen before," said Carrie Anderson of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center about the new Titan discovery. "It practically smacked us in the face."
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Astrophysicists have discovered a new exoplanet thta could be crucial to understanding the habitability of worlds in other solar systems. Researchers have discovered an exoplanet just slightly bigger than Earth and located much closer to our Solar System than any other terrestrial, alien world. Called GJ 1132b, it orbits a tiny red, dwarf star just 39 light-years away. Though too hot for life, GJ 1132b is large relative to its close-by star, which nevertheless makes it an ideal planetary laboratory.
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The collection of rocky planets orbiting distant stars has just grown by one, and the latest discovery is the most intriguing one to date. The newfound world, although hot as an oven, is cool enough to potentially host an atmosphere. If it does, it's close enough (only 39 light-years away) that we could study that atmosphere in detail with the Hubble Space Telescope and future observatories like the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Continue reading "Alien Venus Found 39-Light Years Away --"Will Be a Favorite of Astronomers for Years to Come"" »