Quite a bit of scientific literature on astrobiology is filled with references to very exacting criteria for exoplanets capable of sustaining alien ecosystems. They have to be just the right distance from their suns, have the right kind of atmosphere, fall in the right temperature range, and hopefully, have a large stabilizing moon to counter [...]... Read more »
This article first appeared in Guru Magazine.
Please listen carefully. There is life on Europa. I repeat: there is life on Europa…like huge strands of wet seaweed, crawling along the ground…Imagine an oak tree…flattened out by gravity…Tendrils, stamens, waving feebly…... Read more »
Kivelson MG, Khurana KK, Russell CT, Volwerk M, Walker RJ, & Zimmer C. (2000) Galileo Magnetometer Measurements: A Stronger Case for a Subsurface Ocean at Europa. Science (New York, N.Y.), 289(5483), 1340-3. PMID: 10958778
Schmidt BE, Blankenship DD, Patterson GW, & Schenk PM. (2011) Active formation of 'chaos terrain' over shallow subsurface water on Europa. Nature, 479(7374), 502-5. PMID: 22089135
Since it is currently, and for the foreseeable future, not possible to actually observe what the first stars in the universe were like when they formed, the only way to answer this question is by detailed calculations from first principles. In other words, by computer simulations. Until very recently, such simulations couldn’t be very conclusive, [...]... Read more »
Hosokawa, T., Omukai, K., Yoshida, N., & Yorke, H. (2011) Protostellar Feedback Halts the Growth of the First Stars in the Universe. Science, 334(6060), 1250-1253. DOI: 10.1126/science.1207433
An violent explosion appears to come from one of the most stunning astronomical objects in the sky. But what can a lab looking for one of Einstein's great predictions seeing nothing tell us about it?... Read more »
The LIGO Scientific Collaboration, J. Abadie, B. P. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, R. Abbott, M. Abernathy, C. Adams, R. Adhikari, C. Affeldt, P. Ajith.... (2012) Implications For The Origin Of GRB 051103 From LIGO Observations. Preprint. arXiv: 1201.4413v1
According to string theorists, our universe is just one of many in an otherwise infinite cosmos and that all the different universes don't just sit quietly in a vacuum, but actively interact with each other when space and time bend and fold to create the right conditions for different forces and particles to jump between [...]... Read more »
Michael Sarrazin, Guillaume Pignol, Fabrice Petit, & Valery V. Nesvizhevsky. (2012) Experimental limits on neutron disappearance into another braneworld. n/a. arXiv: 1201.3949v1
This year 134 suspect new journals have appeared from the abyss, all published by the same clandestine company “Scientific & Academic Publishing, USA“. Scientists have been quick to raise the alarm and ruthless in their response.... Read more »
Morrison, Heather. (2012) Scholarly Communication in Crisis. Freedom for scholarship in the internet age. Simon Fraser University School of Communication. info:/
Drone patrols are nothing new. By now, they're fairly humdrum stuff come to think of it. But what about a drone patrol on an alien world, one that could potentially last for decades and bring us a constant stream of data on everything we wanted to know about the world in question? Well, that's the [...]... Read more »
Barnes, J., Lemke, L., Foch, R., McKay, C., Beyer, R., Radebaugh, J., Atkinson, D., Lorenz, R., Le Mouélic, S., Rodriguez, S.... (2011) AVIATR — Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance. Experimental Astronomy. DOI: 10.1007/s10686-011-9275-9
Underneath Titan’s dense atmosphere lies something rather unusual, by terrestrial standards. Some features of the Saturnian moon, at first glance, might look similar to some features we have on Earth — it is the only other body in the solar system with lakes, and appears to have an active weather system. But instead of water, it’s methane that rains from the skies to fill Titan’s vast lakes, before it evaporates to form clouds that cover the surface. Curiously similar to ........ Read more »
Schneider, T., Graves, S., Schaller, E., & Brown, M. (2012) Polar methane accumulation and rainstorms on Titan from simulations of the methane cycle. Nature, 481(7379), 58-61. DOI: 10.1038/nature10666
Astronomers have found that the core of a red giant, the type of star that our Sun will eventually become, spins ten times as fast as its surface. And it happens because of a phenomenon we can see here on Earth, too.... Read more »
Beck, P., Montalban, J., Kallinger, T., De Ridder, J., Aerts, C., García, R., Hekker, S., Dupret, M., Mosser, B., Eggenberger, P.... (2011) Fast core rotation in red-giant stars as revealed by gravity-dominated mixed modes. Nature, 481(7379), 55-57. DOI: 10.1038/nature10612
Active galaxies contain a supermassive black hole (SMBH) that causes vigorous radiation of electromagnetic energy as a result of rapid accretion of gas and dust. While almost all galaxies except dwarfs contain an SMBH in the center, active galaxies are rare – fewer that 1% of galaxies in the present universe. A very few active [...]... Read more »
Schawinski, K., Urry, M., Treister, E., Simmons, B., Natarajan, P., & Glikman, E. (2011) EVIDENCE FOR THREE ACCRETING BLACK HOLES IN A GALAXY AT z~1.35: A SNAPSHOT OF RECENTLY FORMED BLACK HOLE SEEDS? . The Astrophysical Journal, 743(2). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/743/2/L37
To astronauts, science fiction writers, and entrepreneurs selling tickets on private space flights, the question of how weightlessness affects an organism is crucial. Our cells and organs are fine-tuned for life within the comfortable harness of Earth's gravity, so what happens to them when we're cut loose? There's at least one way to study this question without the prohibitive price tag of sending something all the way to space. A group of magnetically levitated fruit flies, though they couldn'........ Read more »
Hill, R., Larkin, O., Dijkstra, C., Manzano, A., de Juan, E., Davey, M., Anthony, P., Eaves, L., Medina, F., Marco, R.... (2012) Effect of magnetically simulated zero-gravity and enhanced gravity on the walk of the common fruitfly. Journal of The Royal Society Interface. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2011.0715
Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) can get to be pretty large. Astrophysicists don’t really know what the upper limit is, if any. But before some recent research, the mass of the largest SMBH yet determined was 6.3×109 M⊙ (solar masses). That value is known fairly precisely, since the SMBH is in the nearby giant elliptical galaxy [...]... Read more »
McConnell, N., Ma, C., Gebhardt, K., Wright, S., Murphy, J., Lauer, T., Graham, J., & Richstone, D. (2011) Two ten-billion-solar-mass black holes at the centres of giant elliptical galaxies. Nature, 480(7376), 215-218. DOI: 10.1038/nature10636
Where do you get your facts?
Hopefully, a reliable source.
So what's an online reliable source, and how can a regular Joe get a hold of this information?
A very easy way to be confident is to make sure that you're reading from an .edu or .gov page. One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to find your topic is through the citations on Wikipedia. Some people doubt the validity of Wikipedia in fear of hecklers. The nature or self-maintaining issue of Wikipedia aside, the citation........ Read more »
Bonhoeffer J, & Heininger U. (2007) Adverse events following immunization: perception and evidence. Current opinion in infectious diseases, 20(3), 237-46. PMID: 17471032
Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Rivetti A, & Price D. (2005) Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 16235361
Committee on Revising Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2008) Science, Evolution, and Creationism. The National Academies Press. info:/9780309105866
Boykoff, M., & Boykoff, J. (2004) Balance as bias: global warming and the US prestige press. Global Environmental Change, 14(2), 125-136. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.10.001
How do we teach students that creativity is important to science, and how do we then teach that creativity?... Read more »
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, after thirty years of silence, authors of a standard clinical psychiatric bedside test have issued take down orders of new medical research.... Read more »
When a star becomes a white dwarf — an old, extremely dense star that would have once been similar to our own Sun — the eventful part of its life is over. It releases what heat and light it has left over billions of years, slowly cooling until it no longer shines. Usually. Some white dwarfs, however, are not content with this ending....... Read more »
Li W, Bloom JS, Podsiadlowski P, Miller AA, Cenko SB, Jha SW, Sullivan M, Howell DA, Nugent PE, Butler NR.... (2011) Exclusion of a luminous red giant as a companion star to the progenitor of supernova SN 2011fe. Nature, 480(7377), 348-50. PMID: 22170681
Nugent PE, Sullivan M, Cenko SB, Thomas RC, Kasen D, Howell DA, Bersier D, Bloom JS, Kulkarni SR, Kandrashoff MT.... (2011) Supernova SN 2011fe from an exploding carbon-oxygen white dwarf star. Nature, 480(7377), 344-7. PMID: 22170680
Cosmic rays were discovered almost 100 years ago (1912), yet astrophysicists are still uncertain about where they come from or how they acquire their extremely high energies. Research recently published gives strong evidence that the Cygnus X region, which contains hundreds of very hot, massive, young stars, is a source of cosmic rays and has [...]... Read more »
Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Allafort, A., Baldini, L., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Belfiore, A., Bellazzini, R., Berenji, B.... (2011) A Cocoon of Freshly Accelerated Cosmic Rays Detected by Fermi in the Cygnus Superbubble. Science, 334(6059), 1103-1107. DOI: 10.1126/science.1210311
Pre- and post-supernova observations of a Type Ia supernova provide clues about the nature of white dwarfs' companions before their explosions.... Read more »
Nugent, P., Sullivan, M., Cenko, S., Thomas, R., Kasen, D., Howell, D., Bersier, D., Bloom, J., Kulkarni, S., Kandrashoff, M.... (2011) Supernova SN 2011fe from an exploding carbon–oxygen white dwarf star. Nature, 480(7377), 344-347. DOI: 10.1038/nature10644
Li, W., Bloom, J., Podsiadlowski, P., Miller, A., Cenko, S., Jha, S., Sullivan, M., Howell, D., Nugent, P., Butler, N.... (2011) Exclusion of a luminous red giant as a companion star to the progenitor of supernova SN 2011fe. Nature, 480(7377), 348-350. DOI: 10.1038/nature10646
Although there is very good indirect evidence for the existence of dark matter, it’s an understatement to say that actual detection of dark matter particles has not been easy. Recent research results from two different teams that both studied gamma rays from dwarf galaxy neighbors of the Milky Way provide an illustration of the difficulty. [...]... Read more »
Geringer-Sameth, A., & Koushiappas, S. (2011) Exclusion of Canonical Weakly Interacting Massive Particles by Joint Analysis of Milky Way Dwarf Galaxies with Data from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. Physical Review Letters, 107(24). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.241303
Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Albert, A., Atwood, W., Baldini, L., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Bechtol, K., Bellazzini, R.... (2011) Constraining Dark Matter Models from a Combined Analysis of Milky Way Satellites with the Fermi Large Area Telescope. Physical Review Letters, 107(24). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.241302
Ed Yong recently started a fun new Tumblr blog called Nature Wants To Eat You, showing pictures of scary-looking animal mouths that may or may not be out to gobble us up. But the scariest and most inescapable example of Nature Wanting To Eat Us is the stuff of astrophysics – in the way that astrophysics tends to kill all the sciences, really: black holes. This week, a team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching posted their Nature paper........ Read more »
S. Gillessen, R. Genzel, T. K. Fritz, E. Quataert, C. Alig, A. Burkert, J. Cuadra, F. Eisenhauer, O. Pfuhl, K. Dodds-Eden.... (2011) A gas cloud on its way towards the super-massive black hole in the Galactic Centre. Nature. arXiv: 1112.3264v1
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