Cosmos (category filter × )

Ringing of global atmosphere confirmed in UH research
  • The Earth’s entire atmosphere has rings similarly to a bell - at a low-pitched fundamental tone and many higher-pitched overtones.
  • We can’t hear it, but it happens in the form of large-scale waves of atmospheric pressure travelling east-to-west and vice-versa around the equator.
  • It is the first time that these waves have been observed, but the theory behind them has been refined over the past two centuries.
  • This opens up a new avenue of research that will lead to a better understanding of how this atmospheric ringing happens.

How small satellites are radically remaking space exploration
  • It used to take decades, and billions of $s, for NASA to plan and organize discovery missions - now it might take a few years, and tens of millions of $s.
  • Satellite parts are being miniaturized, and new types of rockets for small satellites have lowered the costs of launching (~$10 million).
  • MarCO, a NASA mission that sent two small satellites towards Mars, has already proven that these devices are capable of great things.
  • This new way of exploring space may enable scientists in small countries, like Poland, to organize discovery missions without having to partner with bigger projects.
  • Whereas NASA is becoming open to accept failures in smaller missions, and adopting an agile, startup-like mindset, which was not an option in the past.

Astronomers detect regular rhythm of radio waves, with origins unknown
  • Unknown source is emitting repeatable Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) 500,000 light years from Earth.
  • Over 100 FRBs have been observed before, but never repeatable and never in a specific pattern.
  • The pattern is 4 days of noise and 12 days of silence, it’s been repeating itself consistently over 500 days.
  • Experts say that it’s a new phenomenon in astrophysics.
  • It could be a neutron star or a magnetar, which is a less understood type of neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field.

Black holes are like a hologram
  • Italian scientists theorize that black holes could be a two-dimensional surface which produces a three-dimensional image.
  • In other words, black holes would be incredibly large hard drives that store information about the universe.
  • This hypothetical conclusion comes from applying a 30-year old idea, called the “holographic principle”, to studying black holes.
  • The approach unified theory of relativity (black holes are spherical, smooth and simple) and quantum theory (black holes are full of information).

Huge explosion, second only to the Big Bang, discovered 390 million light years from Earth
  • Astronomers have detected the second largest explosion in the universe after the Big Bang.
  • It happened 390 million light years from Earth, and was so powerful that you could “fit 15 Milky Way galaxies” into the cosmic hole that it created.
  • Four radio telescopes in different locations across the Earth were necessary to uncover this, and it’s compared to the discovery of the first dinosaur bones.
  • The telescopes aren’t even at full capacity yet, and once they are, astronomers predict they’ll discover more cosmic events like this.