Cosmos (category filter × )

Astronauts mix cement on ISS, pave way for future space colonies

astronomy.com
  • For the first time ever, space cement has been successfully mixed on the International Space Station.
  • On one hand, it seems stronger than Earthly cement because of its surprisingly uniform density, caused by lack of strong gravity.
  • On the other hand, it may be weaker because it develops large air pockets, making it more porous than Earthly cement.
  • The material will be tested further.
  • This research paves the way towards finding out how to create concrete structures on the Moon and Mars.

New date for 'Late Heavy Bombardment' may change life's timeline on Earth

astronomy.com
  • There might have been no extraordinary asteroid bombardment -- new theory questions the nature of the event and proposes new date.
  • Implications are big, as this would push back the age of hospitable Earth.
  • First hints of life appeared up to 3.9 billion years ago, so it’s unlikely that the storm happened then.
  • Also, it may have been no extraordinary storm, but just the aftermath of the chaos that occured in the young solar system.
  • Ultimately, the new theory states that Earth couldn’t suffer ocean-boiling, surface-liquifying asteroid strikes since 4.48 billion years ago.

Crab Nebula blasts Earth with highest-energy photons ever recorded

astronomy.com
  • The Tibet AS-gamma Experiment has picked up the highest-energy light ever measured.
  • Signal measured at over 100 tera-electronvolts (TeV) is 10 times the maximum energy the Large Hadron Collider sees when smashing particles.
  • Sending the signal might be a pulsar, the core of a post-supernova star, deep inside the Crab Nebula.
  • In total, 24 events greater than 100 TeV were picked up, the most powerful reached 450 TeV.
  • The next challenge for astronomers will be finding signals stronger than 1,000 TeV.

Study suggests frozen Earthlike planets could support life

blogs.agu.org
  • Discovery of warm temperature zones on ‘snowball’ planets suggests that they might have areas with life on them.
  • They are the second type of planets, next to warm and temperate ones like Earth, which float around in the habitable zones of galaxies.
  • Earth might have gone through up to three snowball phases in the past, too.
  • Planets become snowballs when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels drop too low, but some were found to have areas warm enough for liquid water and life.
  • The border between a habitable and uninhabitable planet might not be as definite as geologists once thought.

Pair of supermassive black holes discovered on a collision course

eurekalert.org
  • 2 supermassive black holes, 2.5 billion light-years from Earth, might help solve a long-standing mystery - the final parsec problem.
  • As their galaxies are merging, gas and stars pass between the black holes, stealing energy - which stops when they get close enough.
  • Theory suggests that they stall at ~1 parsec (~3.2 light-years) apart; it’s unknown how often galaxies merge and if the holes really merge (or ‘waltz’ around each other).
  • During the collision, black holes emit powerful gravitational waves - this pair won’t for 2.5 billion years, but it still helps astronomers find others that emit them.
  • It is predicted there may be ~112 supermassive black holes emitting gravitational waves nearby, which might be detected in the next 5 years.

Newsletter

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Categories

  • Science Science (43) Discovery of periodic tables for molecules
  • Psychology Psychology (46) Does testosterone impair men's cognitive empathy? Evidence from two large-scale randomized controlled trials
  • Cosmos Cosmos (21) Astronauts mix cement on ISS, pave way for future space colonies
  • History History (14) Humans survived off rodents in the mountains during the last ice age, study says
  • Society Society (53) Association of Parental Incarceration With Psychiatric and Functional Outcomes of Young Adults
  • Medicine Medicine (40) Periodontitis Bacteria Love Colon and Dirt Microbes
  • Technology Technology (47) Artificial leaf produces first drugs using sunlight
  • Nature Nature (37) We can tell where a whale has travelled from the themes in its song