At Horizon’s Edge…

An artist’s concept of New Horizons during the spacecraft’s planned encounter with Pluto and its moon Charon. The craft’s miniature cameras, radio science experiments, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers, and space plasma experiments would characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto’s atmosphere in detail. Credit: JohnsContinue reading “At Horizon’s Edge…”

Modified Gravity…

Rotation curve of the typical spiral galaxy M 33 (yellow and blue points with error bars) and the predicted one from the distribution of the visible matter (white line). The discrepancy between the two curves is accounted for by adding a dark matter halo surrounding the galaxy. Credit: Wikipedia Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Dark MatterContinue reading “Modified Gravity…”

Cosmic Family Portraits…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Space Exploration Jupiter’s rings, its moons Amalthea (bright point at left) and Adrastea (faint dot at left tip of rings), and even background galaxies are visible in this image from JWST’s NIRCam instrument. Whiter areas on the planet represent regions with more cloud cover, which reflects sunlight, especially Jupiter’s famousContinue reading “Cosmic Family Portraits…”

Death of Chrysalis…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, NASA, Planetary Science WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Call it the case of the missing moon. Scientists using data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and computer simulations said on Thursday the destruction of a large moon that strayed too close to Saturn would account both for the birth of the gas giantContinue reading “Death of Chrysalis…”

WASP-39b and CO2…

Topics: Astrophysics, Chemistry, ESA, Exoplanets, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA The James Webb Space Telescope — already famous for its mesmerizing images of the cosmos — has done it again. The telescope has captured the first unambiguous evidence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System. The finding not only provides tantalizingContinue reading “WASP-39b and CO2…”

Studying UAPs…

Topics: Astrophysics, NASA, SETI I was startled, to say the least, that this story appears in Scientific American, and that NASA and theoretical astrophysicist Avi Loeb is interested in it. The nut job “giggle factor” has given way to curiosity about things humans cannot explain, and that bothers us as a species. My concern isContinue reading “Studying UAPs…”

Martians and Vulcans…

Topics: Astrobiology, Astrophysics, Civilization, Existentialism, Philosophy, Special Relativity The Cold War was a genesis of angst about the future due to the detonation of the atomic bomb by the Soviet Union in Kazakstan in 1949. After WWII (WWI was originally called, “the war to END all wars,” until the sequel), the existential nervousness is understandable.Continue reading “Martians and Vulcans…”

Heart of Darkness…

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity In a triumph of observation and data processing, astronomers at the Event Horizon Telescope have captured the first-ever picture of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The black hole is named Sagittarius A* (pronounced “A-star”), and the reveal of its image received anContinue reading “Heart of Darkness…”

Rogue Singularity…

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity Each second, a brand new baby black hole is born somewhere in the cosmos as a massive star collapses under its own weight. But black holes themselves are invisible. Historically, astronomers have only been able to detect these stellar-mass black holes when they are acting on aContinue reading “Rogue Singularity…”

Proxima Oceans…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Exoplanets, Space Exploration, Spaceflight Astronomers have discovered a third planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun. Called Proxima Centauri d, the newly spotted world is probably smaller than Earth and could have oceans of liquid water. “It’s showing that the nearest star probably has a very rich planetary system,”Continue reading “Proxima Oceans…”