About 2.6 million years ago, an oddly bright light arrived in the prehistoric sky and lingered there for weeks or months. It was a supernova some 150 light years away from Earth. Within a few hundred years, long after the strange light in the sky had dwindled, a tsunami of cosmic energy from that same

A team led by Southwest Research Institute has concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres’s surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth. “Ceres is like a chemical

Although helium is a rare element on Earth, it is ubiquitous in the Universe. It is, after hydrogen, the main component of stars and gaseous giant planets. Despite its abundance, helium was only detected recently in the atmosphere of a gaseous giant by an international team including astronomers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland.

Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system – already serving users globally – has now provided a historic service to the physics community worldwide, enabling the most accurate measurement ever made of how shifts in gravity alter the passing of time, a key element of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. Two European fundamental physics teams working in

It’s the first time a visitor from another star system has been seen nearby. But what is it? An asteroid, a comet … or an alien artifact? Scientists at the SETI Institute have attempted to address this question by using the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) to observe ‘Oumuamua when it was about 170 million miles

Scientists at the University of Oxford may have solved one of the biggest questions in modern physics, with a new paper unifying dark matter and dark energy into a single phenomenon: a fluid which possesses ‘negative mass.” If you were to push a negative mass, it would accelerate towards you. This astonishing new theory may

A study led by Texas Tech University shows that supersoft X-ray emissions can come from accretion as well as nuclear fusion. For decades, astronomers and astrophysicists have used a specific type of supernova to measure the expansion of the universe. But a recent discovery led by Texas Tech University may turn that notion on its

By developing a new method for measuring isotopic ratios of water and carbon dioxide remotely, scientists have found that the water in Saturn’s rings and satellites is unexpectedly like water on the Earth, except on Saturn’s moon Phoebe, where the water is more unusual than on any other object so far studied in the Solar

An international team of scientists have detected ripples in space and time, known as gravitational waves, from the biggest known black-hole collision that formed a new black hole about 80 times larger than the Sun – and from another three black-hole mergers. The Australian National University (ANU) is playing a lead role in Australia’s involvement

Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), and the NASA Kepler space telescope A supernova discovered by an international group of astronomers including Carnegie’s Tom Holoien and Maria Drout, and led by University of Hawaii’s Ben Shappee, provides an unprecedented look at the first moments of a violent stellar explosion. The light from the explosion’s first

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