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Author Topic: Astronomical news  (Read 19132 times)

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #200 on: November 05, 2019, 12:01:27 AM »
Look Far Enough and You'll See the Back of Your Head: The Universe Might Be a Giant Loop
https://www.livescience.com/amp/universe-may-be-curved.html

Everything we think we know about the shape of the universe could be wrong. Instead of being flat like a bedsheet, our universe may be curved, like a massive, inflated balloon, according to a new study.

If the universe is curved, according to the new paper, it curves gently. That slow bending isn't important for moving around our lives, or solar system, or even our galaxy. But travel beyond all of that, outside our galactic neighborhood, far into the deep blackness, and eventually — moving in a straight line — you'll loop around and end up right back where you started. Cosmologists call this idea the "closed universe."



That's the upshot of a new paper published today (Nov. 4) in the journal Nature Astronomy, which looks at data from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the faint echo of the Big Bang.

... There's an anomaly in the CMB. The CMB is the oldest thing we see in the universe, made of ambient microwave light that suffuses all of space when you block out the stars and galaxies and other interference. It's one of the most important sources of data on the universe's history and behavior, because it's so old and so spread throughout space. And it turns out, according to the latest data, that there's significantly more "gravitational lensing" of the CMB than expected — meaning that gravity seems to be bending the microwaves of the CMB more than existing physics can explain.

To explain that extra lensing, the Planck Collaboration has just tacked on an extra variable, which the scientists are calling "A_lens," to the group's model of the universe's formation, "This is something that you put there by hand, trying to explain what you see. There's no connection with physics," Melchiorri said, meaning there's no A_lens parameter in Einstein's theory of relativity. "What we found is that you can explain A_lens with a positively curved universe, which is a much more physical interpretation that you can explain with general relativity."

Melchiorri pointed out that his team's interpretation isn't conclusive. According to the group's calculations, the Planck data point to a closed universe with a standard deviation of 3.5 sigma (a statistical measurement that means about 99.8% confidence that the result isn't due to random chance). That's well short of the 5 sigma standard physicists usually look for before calling an idea confirmed.

Eleonora Di Valentino, et.al. Planck evidence for a closed Universe and a possible crisis for cosmology, Nature Astronomy (2019)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #201 on: November 05, 2019, 01:21:41 AM »
And I thought the universe was like a Möbius strip, well actually a kleinbottle.  Nevin's response to the question "Is the universe like a Möbius strip?" - (3rd response quoted)
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Craig Nevin - Answered Jan 13, 2017

A Mobius strip has one edge. Does the universe have an edge? Probably not. Two Mobius strips of opposite chirality, however, can be combined into an edgeless surfce known as a kleinbottle. A kleinbottle has no inside nor outside. Therefore you can never be outside such an universe. Since the word universe means everything in space without edge, this makes logical sense. A model of the universe that imagines it as a sphere or torus or topological equivalent, raises the issue of there being a place outside of the universe, which quite frankly deflates the everday notion of the word “universe”. My answer is therefore definitely YES.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #202 on: November 05, 2019, 02:56:46 AM »
I'm going with multidimensional brane cosmology ...



or multiverse ...



Of course, both of them are as easy to illustrate as a Klien bottle.

Maybe it's turtles all the way down.  ;)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

wili

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #203 on: November 05, 2019, 05:03:22 AM »
"Look Far Enough and You'll See the Back of Your Head"

This is not a new idea. I remember talking about it with my nerdy friends in HighSchool in the very early '70s (friends who went on to  become astrophysicists, mathematicians, and computer program designers, while I wallowed in the humanities :) ).
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #204 on: November 05, 2019, 02:38:35 PM »
I remember a children's story about some siblings, one with eyesight so keen, their eyes could see things clearly a few times 'round the world.  Or something like that.
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wili

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #205 on: November 05, 2019, 03:01:54 PM »
Me too. I remember them being animals. The rabbit, as I recall, could also hear things from a very far distance. The moral of the story is now lost to me, though.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

johnm33

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #206 on: November 05, 2019, 03:21:58 PM »
We're clearly inside a black hole watching the energetic em storm being brought to order by integration of all it's information and the shock into conciousness that the phase shift to singularity caused. Give it another week, in outside time, and it'll all start to make sense. Though from here we should be able to see the axis of rotation if not the backs of our heads.

Ranman99

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #207 on: November 06, 2019, 01:36:18 PM »
;-) It will happen but no sense is true sense ;-)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #208 on: November 06, 2019, 06:25:28 PM »


A new mosaic of the southern sky produced from a year of observations by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #209 on: November 07, 2019, 04:13:40 PM »
Galactic Order Emerges from Chaos
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-galactic-fountains-carousels-emerging-chaos.html

Scientists from Germany and the United States have unveiled the results of a newly-completed, state of the art simulation of the evolution of galaxies. TNG50 is the most detailed large-scale cosmological simulation yet. It allows researchers to study in detail how galaxies form, and how they have evolved since shortly after the Big Bang. For the first time, it reveals that the geometry of the cosmic gas flows around galaxies determines galaxies' structures, and vice versa. The researchers publish their results in two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

... In a simulated cube of space that is more than 230 million light-years across, TNG50 can discern physical phenomena that occur on scales one million times smaller, tracing the simultaneous evolution of thousands of galaxies over 13.8 billion years of cosmic history.



The formation of a single massive galaxy through time, from early cosmic epochs until the present day, in the TNG50 cosmic simulation. The main panel shows the density of the cosmic gas (high in white, low in black). Insets show large-scale dark matter and then gas (lower left), and small-scale stellar and gaseous distributions (lower right). This TNG50 galaxy will be similar in mass and shape to Andromeda (M31) by the time the movie reaches the current epoch. Its progenitor experiences rapid star formation in a turbulent gas reservoir which settles into an ordered disc after a couple of billion years of cosmic evolution. A rather quiet late time assembly history without major mergers allows the galaxy to relax into an equilibrium balance of gas outflows from supernova explosions and gas accretion from its surroundings

Annalisa Pillepich et al. First results from the TNG50 simulation: the evolution of stellar and gaseous discs across cosmic time, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019)

Dylan Nelson et al. First results from the TNG50 simulation: galactic outflows driven by supernovae and black hole feedback, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #210 on: November 08, 2019, 05:39:50 PM »
Researchers Investigate Interstellar Bodies Originating from Beyond Our Solar System
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-interstellar-bodies-solar.html



The Dynamics of Interstellar Asteroids and Comets within the Galaxy: an Assessment of Local Candidate Source Regions for 1I/`Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov

-------------------------------------

Hubble Captures a Dozen Sunburst Arc Doppelgangers
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-hubble-captures-dozen-sunburst-arc.html

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a galaxy in the distant regions of the Universe which appears duplicated at least 12 times on the night sky. This unique sight, created by strong gravitational lensing, helps astronomers get a better understanding of the cosmic era known as the epoch of reionisation.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 05:54:01 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #211 on: November 12, 2019, 09:57:32 PM »
With Mars Methane Mystery Unsolved, Curiosity Serves Scientists a New One: Oxygen
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-mars-methane-mystery-unsolved-curiosity.html



Over the course of three Mars years (or nearly six Earth years) an instrument in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) portable chemistry lab inside the belly of NASA's Curiosity rover inhaled the air of Gale Crater and analyzed its composition. The results SAM spit out confirmed the makeup of the Martian atmosphere at the surface: 95% by volume of carbon dioxide (CO2), 2.6% molecular nitrogen (N2), 1.9% argon (Ar), 0.16% molecular oxygen (O2), and 0.06% carbon monoxide (CO). They also revealed how the molecules in the Martian air mix and circulate with the changes in air pressure throughout the year. These changes are caused when CO2 gas freezes over the poles in the winter, thereby lowering the air pressure across the planet following redistribution of air to maintain pressure equilibrium. When CO2 evaporates in the spring and summer and mixes across Mars, it raises the air pressure.

Within this environment, scientists found that nitrogen and argon follow a predictable seasonal pattern, waxing and waning in concentration in Gale Crater throughout the year relative to how much CO2 is in the air. They expected oxygen to do the same. But it didn't. Instead, the amount of the gas in the air rose throughout spring and summer by as much as 30%, and then dropped back to levels predicted by known chemistry in fall. This pattern repeated each spring, though the amount of oxygen added to the atmosphere varied, implying that something was producing it and then taking it away.

Quote
... "We're struggling to explain this," ... "The fact that the oxygen behavior isn't perfectly repeatable every season makes us think that it's not an issue that has to do with atmospheric dynamics. It has to be some chemical source and sink that we can't yet account for."

- Melissa Trainer - planetary scientist - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

... They considered the possibility that CO2 or water (H2O) molecules could have released oxygen when they broke apart in the atmosphere, leading to the short-lived rise. But it would take five times more water above Mars to produce the extra oxygen, and CO2 breaks up too slowly to generate it over such a short time. What about the oxygen decrease? Could solar radiation have broken up oxygen molecules into two atoms that blew away into space? No, scientists concluded, since it would take at least 10 years for the oxygen to disappear through this process.

"We have not been able to come up with one process yet that produces the amount of oxygen we need, but we think it has to be something in the surface soil that changes seasonally because there aren't enough available oxygen atoms in the atmosphere to create the behavior we see," ... "We're beginning to see this tantalizing correlation between methane and oxygen for a good part of the Mars year," Atreya said. "I think there's something to it. I just don't have the answers yet. Nobody does."

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #212 on: November 13, 2019, 03:42:35 PM »
NASA's Mars 2020 Will Hunt for Microscopic Fossils
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-nasa-mars-microscopic-fossils.html



Scientists with NASA's Mars 2020 rover have discovered what may be one of the best places to look for signs of ancient life in Jezero Crater, where the rover will land on Feb. 18, 2021.

A paper published today in the journal Icarus identifies distinct deposits of minerals called carbonates along the inner rim of Jezero, the site of a lake more than 3.5 billion years ago. On Earth, carbonates help form structures that are hardy enough to survive in fossil form for billions of years, including seashells, coral and some stromatolites—rocks formed on this planet by ancient microbial life along ancient shorelines, where sunlight and water were plentiful.

... "The orbiter's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars instrument, or CRISM, spotted carbonates here years ago, but we only recently noticed how concentrated they are right where a lakeshore would be," said the paper's lead author, Briony Horgan of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. "We're going to encounter carbonate deposits in many locations throughout the mission, but the bathtub ring will be one of the most exciting places to visit."

The possibility of stromatolite-like structures existing on Mars is why the concentration of carbonates tracing Jezero's shoreline like a bathtub ring makes the area a prime scientific hunting ground.


Color has been added to highlight minerals in this image of Jezero Crater on Mars, the landing site for NASA's Mars 2020 mission. The green color represents minerals called carbonates, which are especially good at preserving fossilized life on Earth.

Jezero's former lake shoreline isn't the only place scientists are excited to visit. A new study in Geophysical Research Letters points to a rich deposit of hydrated silica on the edge of the ancient river delta. Like carbonates, this mineral excels at preserving signs of ancient life. If this location proves to be the bottom layer of the delta, it will be an especially good place to look for buried microbial fossils.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #213 on: November 13, 2019, 03:43:19 PM »
Japan's Hayabusa-2 spacecraft has departed from a faraway asteroid and begun its yearlong journey back to Earth.
Quote
...
The Hayabusa-2 is expected to return to Earth in December 2020, dropping a capsule containing the rock samples in the South Australian desert.
...
While asteroids are some of the oldest objects in space, Ryugu belongs to a particularly primitive type of space rock, and may contain clues about the conditions and chemistry of the early days of the Solar System - some 4.5 billion years ago.
[1st link to BBC article; 2nd link to Wikipedia article]
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blumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #214 on: November 13, 2019, 07:53:47 PM »
Amazing!
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