Tag: astronomy

One year on this giant, blistering hot planet is just 16 hours long

The hunt for planets beyond our solar system has turned up more than 4,000 far-flung worlds, orbiting stars thousands of  light years from Earth. These extrasolar planets are a veritable menagerie, from rocky super-Earths and miniature Neptunes to colossal gas giants. Among the more confounding planets discovered to date are “hot Jupiters” —  massive balls […]

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Mark Vogelsberger: Simulating galaxy formation for clues to the universe

For all its brilliant complexity, the Milky Way is rather unremarkable as galaxies go. At least, that’s how Mark Vogelsberger sees it. “Our galaxy has a couple features that might be a bit surprising, like the exact number of structures and satellites around it,” Vogelsberger muses. “But if you average over a lot of metrics, […]

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Neutron star collisions are a “goldmine” of heavy elements, study finds

Most elements lighter than iron are forged in the cores of stars. A star’s white-hot center fuels the fusion of protons, squeezing them together to build progressively heavier elements. But beyond iron, scientists have puzzled over what could give rise to gold, platinum, and the rest of the universe’s heavy elements, whose formation requires more […]

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Astronomers detect signs of an atmosphere stripped from a planet during giant impact

Young planetary systems generally experience extreme growing pains, as infant bodies collide and fuse to form progressively larger planets. In our own solar system, the Earth and moon are thought to be products of this type of giant impact. Astronomers surmise that such smashups should be commonplace in early systems, but they have been difficult […]

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Scientists find evidence the early solar system harbored a gap between its inner and outer regions

In the early solar system, a “protoplanetary disk” of dust and gas rotated around the sun and eventually coalesced into the planets we know today. A new analysis of ancient meteorites by scientists at MIT and elsewhere suggests that a mysterious gap existed within this disk around 4.567 billion years ago, near the location where […]

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SpaceX’s Satellite Megaconstellations Are Astrocolonialism, Indigenous Advocates Say

Tipping Point covers environmental justice stories about and, where possible, written by people in the communities experiencing the stark reality of our changing planet. Every time you go outside on a clear night to gaze at the constellations strewn across the sky, you are continuing a human tradition that reaches deep into the shadows of […]

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