Heavens

Did the LIGO gravitational waves originate from primordial black holes?

Did the LIGO gravitational waves originate from primordial black holes?

Binary black holes recently discovered by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration could be primordial entities that formed just after the Big Bang, report Japanese astrophysicists.

If further data support this observation, it could mark the first confirmed finding of a primordial black hole, guiding theories about the beginnings of the universe.

In February, the LIGO-Virgo collaboration announced the first successful detection of gravitational waves.

Watering solar cells makes them grow ... in power!

Watering solar cells makes them grow ... in power!

Perovskite solar cells are the rising star in the photovoltaic landscape. Since their invention, less than ten years ago, their efficiency has doubled twice and it is now over 22% - an astonishing result in the renewable energy sector. Taking the name 'perovskite' from the light-harvesting layer that characterizes them, these solar cells are lighter, cheaper, and more flexible than the traditional crystalline silicon-based cells.

New University of Montana study quantifies morel mushroom abundance after wildfire

New University of Montana study quantifies morel mushroom abundance after wildfire

MISSOULA - University of Montana forest ecology Professor Andrew Larson recently published research estimating the abundance of morel mushrooms after a wildfire in California's Sierra Nevada.

"So many people love to harvest and eat morel mushrooms," Larson said, "but there is very little research that measures the abundance of morels after a forest has burned. We wanted to give forest managers concrete data on morel abundance."

Ancient eye in the sky

Ancient eye in the sky

Light from a distant galaxy can be strongly bent by the gravitational influence of a foreground galaxy. That effect is called strong gravitational lensing. Normally a single galaxy is lensed at a time. The same foreground galaxy can - in theory - simultaneously lens multiple background galaxies. Although extremely rare, such a lens system offers a unique opportunity to probe the fundamental physics of galaxies and add to our understanding of cosmology. One such lens system has recently been discovered and the discovery was made not in an astronomer's office, but in a classroom.

The case of the missing craters

The case of the missing craters

When NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived to orbit the dwarf planet Ceres in March 2015, mission scientists expected to find a heavily cratered body generally resembling the protoplanet Vesta, Dawn's previous port of call.

Instead, as the spacecraft drew near to Ceres, a somewhat different picture began to emerge: Something has happened to Ceres to remove its biggest impact basins.

Light shed on a superluminous supernova which appears to have exploded twice

Light shed on a superluminous supernova which appears to have exploded twice

Supernovae are among the most violent phenomena in the universe. They are huge explosions which put an end to the lives of certain types of stars. These explosions release immense amounts of energy, so much that sometimes we can see them from Earth with the naked eye, as points of light which for a short time are brighter than all the millions of stars in the galaxies where they are found. After an intense burst of light lasting a few weeks, supernovae start to fade gradually until they have effectively burned out,

A famous supermassive black hole 'spied on' with the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS

A famous supermassive black hole 'spied on' with the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS

Cygnus A is an elliptical galaxy at around 600 million light years from the Earth, which has a supermassive black hole at its centre. It is one of the brightest sources of radio waves in the sky and featured in Contact, the famous science fiction novel by Carl Sagan which was made into a film. It has an active galactic nucleus which means that the black hole is "swallowing" material from its surroundings.

Hot flash: Women who start menstruation and menopause later more likely to live to 90

The number of women living to age 90 in the United States has increased significantly in the past century. Currently estimated at 1.3 million, this demographic is expected to quadruple by 2050. A new study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that women who start menstruation and experience menopause later in life may have increased chances of surviving nine decades.

SwRI-led study shows puzzling paucity of large craters on dwarf planet Ceres

San Antonio -- July 26, 2016 -- A team of scientists led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) made a puzzling observation while studying the size and distribution of craters on the dwarf planet Ceres.

How to sound the alarm

A group of risk experts is proposing a new framework and research agenda that they believe will support the most effective public warnings when a hurricane, wildfire, toxic chemical spill or any other environmental hazard threatens safety. Effective warnings are a growing need as expanding global populations confront a wide range of hazards.