Space news stories

For The First Time, Physicists Have Observed a Giant Magnetic ‘Bridge’ Between Galaxies
20th May 2017 | | Space

For the first time, scientists have detected evidence of a magnetic field that’s associated with the vast intergalactic ‘bridge’ that links our two nearest galactic neighbours.

Scientists just heard something really weird in space, and can’t figure out where it came from
18th May 2017 | | Space

Researchers from around the world are scratching their heads over a newly discovered radio burst detected on Earth, but with a completely unknown origin. A new report describing the event and the subsequent investigation is now available online, but the key takeaway is that despite our best efforts and wealth of technology employed to discover the source, humanity has simply come up short. What’s even more bizarre is that this isn’t the first time it’s happened.

Heavy Rains Reshaped Early Mars
18th May 2017 | | Space

Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet’s impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study published in Icarus. In the paper, researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet’s surface as we see on Earth.

Related: The Mars Mystery: The Secret Connection Between Earth and the Red Planet, by Graham Hancock

Mars May Have Been Born in the Asteroid Belt
18th May 2017 | | Space

Research suggests that gravitational interactions forced Mars out of the asteroid belt and toward the sun about 120 million years after the birth of the solar system.

Finding Alien Megastructures Around Nearby Pulsars
18th May 2017 | | Space

During the 1960s, Freeman Dyson and Nikolai Kardashev captured the imaginations of people everywhere by making some radical proposals. Whereas Dyson proposed that intelligent species could eventually create megastructures to harness the energy of their stars, Kardashev offered a three-tiered classification system for intelligent species based on their ability to harness the energy of their planet, solar system and galaxy, respectively.

First evidence of the multiverse? Scientists think Cold Spot in space could be colliding universes
18th May 2017 | | Space

A curious chilly area of space may have been created when a parallel universe crashed into our own, scientists have suggested, the first evidence that we may be part of a multiverse.

Distance at which supernova would spark mass extinctions on Earth
17th May 2017 | | Space

KU researcher Adrian Melott examines the effects of a supernova on Earth’s biology in new research to appear in Astrophysical Journal. The KU researcher and colleagues argue the estimated distance of the supernova thought to have occurred roughly 2.6 million years ago should be cut in half.

An Asteroid May Kill Us All. Congress Is Pinching Pennies
17th May 2017 | | Space

Spending $50 million a year is a pittance in terms of managing this existential risk.

When the asteroid named 2014 J025 passed by the Earth in April, it came within 1.1 million miles of the planet — a close shave by cosmic standards and also the nearest in more than a decade. And J025 was big. At nearly a mile across, it could have killed tens of millions if it had hit a heavily populated area.

Not So Fast: Magnetic Mystery of Sun’s ‘Stealth’ Eruptions Uncovered
17th May 2017 | | Space

Solar astronomers have uncovered the magnetic secrets behind one of the sun’s most mysterious eruptions: a coronal mass ejection that seems to come from nowhere.

Comet 67P Found to Be Producing Its Own Oxygen in Deep Space
17th May 2017 | | Space

The finding shows that oxygen can be generated in space without the need for life, and could influence how researchers search for signs of life on exoplanets.

Waves surge in opposite directions around Io’s largest lava lake
17th May 2017 | | Space

Surf’s up on Jupiter’s moon. Magma waves travelling both clockwise and anticlockwise have been spotted on the surface of a lava lake on Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system.

Related: Saturn’s mysterious hexagonal storm gets its moment in the sun: Stunning new Cassini image shows giant jet stream twice the diameter of the Earth

Unbreakable quantum entanglement
17th May 2017 | Space, Tech

Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” persists even at high accelerations, researchers of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna were able to show in a new experiment

Related: New materials bring quantum computing closer to reality

Gravitational waves could show hints of extra dimensions
16th May 2017 | | Space

Signatures of extra dimensions that don’t normally affect the four dimensions we can observe could show up in the way they warp ripples in space-time

Physicists have long wondered why gravity is so weak compared with the other fundamental forces. This may be because some of it is leaking away into extra dimensions beyond the three spatial dimensions we experience.

Alt: Epic Discovery of Gravitational Waves –“Echoes of Hidden Dimensions in the Cosmos”

The Search for Life on Mars Is about to Get Weird
16th May 2017 | | Space

As the search becomes more heated (some would say more desperate), scientists are entertaining an ever-increasing number of possible explanations for Martian biology as a no-show. For example, could there be a “cover up” whereby the harsh Martian environment somehow obliterates all biosignatures—all signs of past or present life? Or perhaps life there is just so alien its biosignatures are simply unrecognizable to us, hidden in plain view.

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object
16th May 2017 | | Space

Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet — or planet-like anyway. A team discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is in fact a planetary mass object.

Primitive atmosphere discovered around ‘Warm Neptune’
16th May 2017 | Space

A pioneering new study uncovering the ‘primitive atmosphere’ surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.

Alt: Water vapor found in the atmosphere of a hot, Neptune-sized planet

NASA’s Mars Plan May Include Yearlong Mission to the Moon
16th May 2017 | | Space

A group of astronauts may spend a year in orbit around the moon in the late 2020s as part of NASA’s plan to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, agency officials said today.

News stories covering Space, from the macro to the micro, including Space exploration, quantum physics and quantum weirdness.