Did monster black holes pull the first galaxies together, or were they born inside those galaxies? According to current theories, most large galaxies harbor supermassive black holes at their core. But When these galaxies collide and their black holes merge into one massive object, they yield no information about the original black holes.
Continue reading "Monster Black Holes --"Did They Pull the 1st Galaxies Together or Born Inside?" (Weekend Feature)" »
The “information loss paradox” in black holes — a problem that has plagued physics for nearly 40 years — may not exist. That’s what some physicists have argued for years: That black holes are the ultimate vaults, entities that suck in information and then evaporate without leaving behind any clues as to what they once contained. A new University at Buffalo study finds that — contrary to what some physicists have argued for the years — information is not lost once it has entered a black hole. The research presents explicit calculations showing how information is, in fact, preserved..
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed a set of wispy, goblin-green objects that are the ephemeral ghosts of quasars that flickered to life and then faded. The glowing structures have looping, helical, and braided shapes. "They don't fit a single pattern," said Bill Keel of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, who initiated the Hubble survey. Keel believes the features offer insights into the puzzling behavior of galaxies with energetic cores. Keel said that one possible explanation is that pairs of co-orbiting black holes are powering the quasars, and this could change their brightness, like using the dimmer switch on a chandelier.
Continue reading "Colossal Ghostly Structures Found Shrouding Galaxies --Powered by Ancient Quasars" »
Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets — tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity — might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, University of Washington astronomers have found.
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Many, perhaps most, stars in the Universe live their lives with companions by their sides -- in so-called binary systems. Until recently, however, the ancient RR Lyrae stars appeared, for mysterious reasons, to live their lives all alone. A recent study led by Chilean astronomers shows that RR Lyrae stars may not be as lonely as previously thought. The new research is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters.
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By combining observations of the distant Universe made with ESA's Herschel and Planck space observatories, cosmologists have discovered what could be the precursors of the vast clusters of galaxies that we see today. Galaxies like our Milky Way with its 100 billion stars are usually not found in isolation. In the Universe today, 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang, many are in dense clusters of tens, or even hundreds of galaxies.
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"Planck detects, then Herschel analyzes". That's how Gianfranco De Zotti, professor at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste and at INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padova, summarizes the rationale of the study just published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. "As Mattia Negrello had already suggested in 2005, it is precisely Planck's low resolution - optimized for the study of the cosmic microwave background but a major limitation for identifying extragalactic sources - which makes the satellite a powerful tool in the search for large-scale structures. And today we finally have the first experimental proof".
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"We've revealed a major unknown in the evolution of our planet," says Esteban Gazel, an assistant professor of geology with Virginia Tech. An international research team, led geoscientist Gazel, has revealed information about how continents were generated on Earth more than 2.5 billion years ago -- and how those processes have continued within the last 70 million years to profoundly affect the planet's life and climate.
Continue reading "Mystery of Extreme Continent Building Solved --A Key to Life on Earth and Beyond" »
Luke Skywalker’s home in “Star Wars” is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers believe rocky planets cannot form there. Now, mathematical simulations show that Earthlike, solid planets such as Tatooine likely exist and may be widespread.
Continue reading "Habitable Alien Planets of Binary Stars --"They May Be Hidden Behind Gas Giants"" »