The National Science and Technology Council released a report Wednesday calling for improved asteroid detection, tracking and deflection. NASA is participating, along with federal emergency, military, White House and other officials. For now, scientists know of no asteroids or comets heading our way. But one could sneak up on us, and that's why the government wants a better plan.
The solar system just got a bit stranger. As astronomers continue their ongoing quest to find the elusive Planet Nine, a team found a space rock that lends credence to the idea that a huge super-Earth planet really exists in the outer reaches of our solar system.
The James Webb Space Telescope is intended as the successor to Hubble, which is now more than 25 years old. Hubble was last services during one of the final Space Shuttle missions, and there are no plans to make another visit. When it stops working, that will be the end of the mission. The JWST was already supposed to be in space at this point, but it’s a complicated project costing more than $8 billion to date. NASA wants to get it right, and that has led to the latest delay.
In 1933, Fritz Zwicky first predicted the existence of invisible “dark matter” when he noticed galaxies were spinning faster than their masses predicted. Decades later, Vera Rubin found more evidence of dark matter in other galaxies. Physicists now think dark matter makes up 85 percent of the universe’s mass.Still, no one has seen the stuff down on Earth.
Scientists used to wonder how common planets were throughout the universe, and now we know. They’re extremely common. They’re so common, in fact, it’s possible just to find another one while you’re trying to gather data on the one you already knew about. That’s what happened when astronomers recently turned their attention to the star K2-18. They found a bonus planet.
The 54-year-old observatory, with a fixed dish built into a depression in the karst hills of western Puerto Rico, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world—at least until a larger rival in China becomes fully operational. It is used for a range of sciences, including radio astronomy in deep space and radar studies of planets, asteroids and Earth’s atmosphere.
Stargazers have discovered 20 worlds "hiding in plain sight" which they believe could be habitable. Analysis of data from the Kepler space telescope revealed a list of planets that orbit stars like our own sun.
For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves -- ripples in space-time -- in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been observed in both gravitational waves and light.
The Pale Red Dot campaign aimed to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and the team did indeed find a planet. Even more excitingly, the planet, Proxima b, falls within the habitable zone of its host star. The newly discovered Proxima b is by far the closest potential abode for alien life.
Where are all the aliens? The universe is too big and too old, why have we not met aliens yet? Do they live in computers? Were they wiped out by an ancient super intelligence? Or are we just to primitive to understand their motives? Whatever the answer is, it is incredibly important for our own future.