Heavens

Quantum mechanics boasts all sorts of strange features, one being quantum superposition - the peculiar circumstance in which particles seem to be in two or more places or states at once. Now, an international group of physicists led by Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Vienna and University of Queensland flip that description on its head, showing that particles are not the only objects that can exist in a state of superposition - so can time itself.

Microbial life on Mars may potentially be transported across the planet on dust particles carried by wind, according to a study conducted in the Atacama Desert in North Chile, a well-known Mars analogue. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

Armando Azua-Bustos and colleagues investigated whether microbial life could move across the Atacama Desert using on wind-driven dust particles They sought to determine where these microorganisms originate, which may have implications for microbial life in extreme environments.

A colossal, head-on collision between Jupiter and a still-forming planet in the early solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, could explain surprising readings from NASA's Juno spacecraft, according to a study this week in the journal Nature.

Astronomers from Rice University and China's Sun Yat-sen University say their head-on impact scenario can explain Juno's previously puzzling gravitational readings, which suggest that Jupiter's core is less dense and more extended that expected.

New research from astronomers at the University of Washington uses the intriguing TRAPPIST-1 planetary system as a kind of laboratory to model not the planets themselves, but how the coming James Webb Space Telescope might detect and study their atmospheres, on the path toward looking for life beyond Earth.

The existing astronomical observatories on Maunakea returned to operations this weekend, and it didn't take long for a significant result to be achieved, not only for science, but for assuring the safety of the Earth.

Observations of the near-Earth asteroid 2006 QV89 made on August 11 with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) have ruled out any potential future impact threat to the Earth by this asteroid for the next century.

Neutron stars are not only the most dense objects in the Universe, but they rotate very fast and regularly.

Until they don't.

Occasionally these neutron stars start to spin faster, caused by portions of the inside of the star moving outwards. It's called a "glitch" and it provides astronomers a brief insight into what lies within these mysterious objects.

Wind erosion has been ruled out as the primary cause of methane gas release on Mars, Newcastle University academics have shown.

Methane can be produced over time through both geological and biological routes and since its first detection in the Martian atmosphere in 2003, there has been intense speculation about the source of the gas and the possibility that it could signal life on the planet.

How do galaxies such as our Milky Way come into existence? How do they grow and change over time? The science behind galaxy formation has remained a puzzle for decades, but a University of Arizona-led team of scientists is one step closer to finding answers thanks to supercomputer simulations.

The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission -- MMS -- has spent the past four years using high-resolution instruments to see what no other spacecraft can. Recently, MMS made the first high-resolution measurements of an interplanetary shock.

These shocks, made of particles and electromagnetic waves, are launched by the Sun. They provide ideal test beds for learning about larger universal phenomena, but measuring interplanetary shocks requires being at the right place at the right time. Here is how the MMS spacecraft were able to do just that.

What's in a Shock?

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals the intricate, detailed beauty of Jupiter's clouds in this new image taken on 27 June 2019 [1]. It features the planet's trademark Great Red Spot and a more intense colour palette in the clouds swirling in the planet's turbulent atmosphere than seen in previous years.

Gravitational wave researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a new model that could help astronomers track down the origin of heavy black hole systems in the Universe.

Black holes are formed following the collapse of stars and possibly supernova explosions. These colossally dense objects are measured in terms of solar masses (M?) - the mass of our sun.

Typically, stars will only form black holes with masses of up to 45 M?. These systems then pair and merge together, producing gravitational waves that are observed by the LIGO and Virgo detectors.

The main components of the Seagull are three large clouds of gas, the most distinctive being Sharpless 2-296, which forms the "wings". Spanning about 100 light-years from one wingtip to the other, Sh2-296 displays glowing material and dark dust lanes weaving amid bright stars.

What happens inside a black hole stays inside a black hole, but what happens inside a black hole's "sphere of influence" - the innermost region of a galaxy where a black hole's gravity is the dominant force - is of intense interest to astronomers and can help determine the mass of a black hole as well as its impact on its galactic neighborhood.

An international team of astrophysicists from Southampton, Oxford and South Africa have detected a very hot, dense outflowing wind close to a black hole at least 25,000 light-years from Earth.

Astronomers are planning to hunt for cores of exoplanets around white dwarf stars by 'tuning in' to the radio waves that they emit.

In new research led by the University of Warwick, scientists have determined the best candidate white dwarfs to start their search, based upon their likelihood of hosting surviving planetary cores and the strength of the radio signal that we can 'tune in' to.