The space of night is infinite,
The blackness and emptiness
Crossed only by thin bright fences
Of logic

— Kenneth Rexroth
"Theory of Numbers"

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About 3.5 Million Years Ago, a Stream of Gas Outside the Milky Way Would Have Lit Up the Night Sky

Universe Today - 5 hours 49 min ago

It’s a truism to point out that modern humans have only been around for the blink of an eye, relative to the age of the Universe. But the Universe was an active place long before we were around to observe all of that activity. And about 3.5 million years ago, it’s possible—if only remotely—that our …

The post About 3.5 Million Years Ago, a Stream of Gas Outside the Milky Way Would Have Lit Up the Night Sky appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Hubble Makes Surprising Find in the Early Universe

Hubblesite Newscenter - 6 hours 35 min ago

In Greek mythology the first deities born from the universe's origin in "the Chaos," created a race of Titans. The powerful Titans were eventually superseded by the gods of Olympus. In modern cosmology, the stellar equivalent of the legendary Titans are so-called Population III stars, that would have been the very first stars born after the big bang. These hypothetical stars are as elusive as the Titans. Unlike the stars of today—like our Sun (that contains heavier elements, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and iron)—the Population III stars would have been solely made out of the few primordial elements first forged in the seething crucible of the big bang. Much more massive and brighter than our Sun, they would have defiantly blazed as lords over the inky void of the newborn universe.

A team of European researchers, led by Rachana Bhatawdekar of the European Space Agency, set out to find the elusive first-generation stars by probing from about 500 million to 1 billion years after the big bang. In their quest they used observations from Hubble, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and the ground-based Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory. They used the gravitational lensing power of a massive foreground galaxy cluster (that acts as a giant magnifying lens in space) to find brightened images of far more distant background galaxies 10 to 100 times fainter than any previously observed. Unfortunately, the team found no evidence of these first-generation Population III stars in this cosmic time interval they explored. These results are nevertheless important because they show that galaxies must have formed even earlier after the big bang than previously thought.

Categories: NASA

Covid-19 news: NHS Test and Trace not tracing enough to be effective

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic
Categories: Astronomy

Evenings with the Ring Nebula

Everyone loves this cosmic donut. Like Saturn, the Ring Nebula is a must-see for beginners and seasoned amateurs alike. Whether you're just cutting your deep-sky teeth or attempting to see its central star — one of visual astronomy's Holy Grails — the Ring has it all.

The post Evenings with the Ring Nebula appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

Categories: Astronomy

What are the Odds of Life Emerging on Another Planet?

Universe Today - 8 hours 6 min ago

A new study by Prof. Kipping of Columbia University indicates that extraterrestrial life should be statistically significant, even if intelligent life is rare.

The post What are the Odds of Life Emerging on Another Planet? appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

First life on Earth may actually have been built from both RNA and DNA

Many biologists suspect that the first life on Earth was based on RNA, but a new study suggests DNA could have been in the mix right from the start
Categories: Astronomy

We've just found the largest and oldest Mayan monument yet

The 3000-year-old site of Aguada Fénix is the oldest and largest Mayan monument to be discovered and dates from a time before the society had a powerful ruling class
Categories: Astronomy

Two-sided solar panels that track the sun produce a third more energy

Double-sided solar panels that track the sun as it moves in the sky would produce 35 per cent more energy and reduce the average cost of electricity by 16 per cent
Categories: Astronomy

Study of 200,000 Galaxies Reveals the Entire Universe Might Have Been Spinning in One Direction Early On

Universe Today - 9 hours 55 min ago

A new study finds evidence that the universe as a whole is rotating, and that could have big implications for cosmology.

The post Study of 200,000 Galaxies Reveals the Entire Universe Might Have Been Spinning in One Direction Early On appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Barred Spiral NGC 3895 Captured by Hubble

Universe Today - 10 hours 2 min ago

NGC 3895 is a barred spiral galaxy in the Ursa Major constellation. It’s about 145 million light years away from our home, the Milky Way, and its diameter is about 45,000 light years. William Herschel discovered it way back in 1790. Now the Hubble Space Telescope has given us another gorgeous image of it. Thanks …

The post Barred Spiral NGC 3895 Captured by Hubble appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

A Hydrogen Iceberg from a Failed Star Might Have Passed through Our Solar System

Space - SciAm - 10 hours 50 min ago
The interstellar visitor ‘Oumuamua, discovered in 2017, may represent an entirely new type of astrophysical object, two astronomers say

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
Categories: Astronomy

NASA Assigns Astronaut Kate Rubins to Expedition 63/64 Space Station Crew

NASA - Breaking News - 11 hours 35 min ago
NASA has assigned astronaut Kate Rubins to a six-month mission to the International Space Station as a flight engineer and member of the Expedition 63/64 crew.
Categories: NASA

Why have there been so many coronavirus deaths in the UK?

How the UK’s handling of testing, contact tracing, protective equipment and lockdown led to one of the highest covid-19 death tolls in the world
Categories: Astronomy

124 coronavirus vaccines are in development – but will any work?

Ten experimental vaccines for covid-19 are already being trialled in people but we don’t know yet if it’s possible to induce long-lasting immunity with a vaccine
Categories: Astronomy

Huge amounts of carbon from forest fires ends up in the ocean

About a third of the black carbon created when plants are partially burned ends up in oceans via rivers, a finding that helps us model carbon storage and climate change
Categories: Astronomy

Huge amounts of carbon from forest fires ends up in the ocean

New Scientist Space - Cosmology - 15 hours 34 min ago
About a third of the black carbon created when plants are partially burnt ends up in oceans via rivers, a finding that helps us model carbon storage and climate change
Categories: Astronomy

Why the universe I invented is right – but still not the final answer

New Scientist Space - Cosmology - 19 hours 35 min ago
Nobel prizewinner Jim Peebles introduced dark matter and dark energy into our standard model of the cosmos – but that is only an approximation to a deeper truth, he says.
Categories: Astronomy

Why the universe I invented is right – but still not the final answer

Nobel prizewinner Jim Peebles introduced dark matter and dark energy into our standard model of the cosmos – but that is only an approximation to a deeper truth, he says.
Categories: Astronomy

The Lively Center of the Lagoon Nebula

APOD - 21 hours 35 min ago

The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Aurora over Sweden

APOD - 21 hours 35 min ago

It was bright and green and stretched across the sky.


Categories: Astronomy, NASA