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astrophysics, cosmology, the universe...

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Upgrade to Mars rovers could aid discovery on more distant worlds

Mars rovers, such as Curiosity, currently can't make science decisions on their own. That has to change if future rover missions are to make discoveries further out in the solar system, scientists say. To help future rover missions spend less time waiting for instructions from Earth, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., developed an advanced two-lens camera, called TextureCam, that can think about the pictures it snaps and make science-based decisions.

Posted: Sep 9th, 2013

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Reflecting on Earth's albedo

The amount of sunlight being absorbed or reflected by Earth is one of the driving forces for weather and climate. Satellites are providing this information with unprecedented accuracy.

Posted: Sep 6th, 2013

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A radiating beauty on Mars

Exceptional structures deposited and shaped by water and winds adorn these interlocking craters and sculpt radiating patterns in the sands of Mars.

Posted: Sep 6th, 2013

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The quasar and its Fata Morgana

Astronomers discover how the image of a distant quasar splits into multiple images by the effects of a cloud of ionized gas in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Such events were predicted as early as in the 1970s, but the first evidence for one now has come from observations performed with the telescope array VLBA and analysed in the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

Posted: Sep 6th, 2013

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Powerful jets blowing material out of galaxy

Astronomers using a worldwide network of radio telescopes have found strong evidence that a powerful jet of material propelled to nearly light speed by a galaxy's central black hole is blowing massive amounts of gas out of the galaxy. This process, they said, is limiting the growth of the black hole and the rate of star formation in the galaxy, and thus is a key to understanding how galaxies develop.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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Coldest brown dwarfs blur lines between stars and planets

Astronomers are constantly on the hunt for ever-colder star-like bodies, and two years ago a new class of such objects was discovered. However, until now no one has known exactly how cool their surfaces really are -- some evidence suggested they could be room temperature. A new study shows that while these brown dwarfs, sometimes called failed stars, are warmer than previously thought with temperatures about 250-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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No evidence of planetary influence on solar activity

In 2012, Astronomy and Astrophysics published a statistical study of the isotopic records of solar activity, in which Abreu et al. claimed that there is evidence of planetary influence on solar activity. A+A is publishing a new analysis of these isotopic data by Cameron and Schuessler. It corrects technical errors in the statistical tests performed by Abreu et al. They find no evidence of any planetary effect on solar activity.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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New groundbreaking research may expose new aspects of the universe

No one knows for sure, but it is not unlikely that the universe is constructed in a completely different way than the usual theories and models of today predict. The most widely used model today cannot explain everything in the universe, and therefore there is a need to explore the parts of nature which the model cannot explain. This research field is called new physics, and it turns our understanding of the universe upside down. New research now makes the search for new physics easier.

Posted: Sep 4th, 2013

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