The Story of the Cosmos - News

 

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Possible vestiges of a universe previous to the Big Bang

 

Although for five decades, the Big Bang theory has been the best known and most accepted explanation for the beginning and evolution of the Universe, it is hardly a consensus among scientists.

 

 

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big bang

Black hole breakthrough: New insight into mysterious jets

 

Supercomputer power enables advanced simulations of relativistic jets' behavior


The many aspects of the Cosmos are melded, in a headline driven style, to paint a cohesive picture as well as allowing the reader choose to delve further where they may choose to paint their personal picture.

 

 

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Black Holes

Dawn of the cosmos: Seeing galaxies that appeared soon after the Big Bang

 

Arizona State University astronomers Sangeeta Malhotra and James Rhoads, working with international teams in Chile and China, have discovered 23 young galaxies, seen as they were 800 million years after the Big Bang. The results from this sample have been recently published in the Astrophysical Journal.

 

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Astronomers reveal evidence of dynamical dark energy

 

 

Astronomers found that the nature of dark energy may not be the cosmological constant introduced by Albert Einstein 100 years ago. This is crucial for the study of dark energy.

 

An international research team, including astronomers from the University of Portsmouth, has revealed evidence of dynamical dark energy.

 

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Hunt for dark matter is narrowed

 

Physicists hunting for dark matter in the universe have been sent 'back to the drawing board' after a new study has ruled out the existence of a sought-after particle in a wide range of masses.

 

Scientists have disproved the existence of a specific type of axion -- an important candidate 'dark matter' particle -- across a wide range of its possible masses.

 

 

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Physicist builds on Einstein and Galileo's work

 

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Sixteenth century scientist Galileo Galilei threw two spheres of different mass from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to establish a scientific principle. Now nearly four centuries later, a team of physicists has applied the same principle to quantum objects.

 

Sixteenth century scientist Galileo Galilei threw two spheres of different mass from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to establish a scientific principle.

 

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Einstein

Cosmic velocity web: Motions of thousands of galaxies mapped

 

 

The cosmic web -- the distribution of matter on the largest scales in the universe -- has usually been defined through the distribution of galaxies. Now, a new study by a team of astronomers demonstrates a novel approach. Instead of using galaxy positions, they mapped the motions of thousands of galaxies.

 

The cosmic web -- the distribution of matter on the largest scales in the universe -- has usually been defined through the distribution of galaxies. Now, a new study by a team of astronomers from France, Israel and Hawaii demonstrates a novel approach. Instead of using galaxy positions, they mapped the motions of thousands of galaxies. Because galaxies are pulled toward gravitational attractors and move away from empty regions...

 

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More proof of Einstein's general theory of relativity

 

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A high-performance computing researcher has predicted a physical effect that would help physicists and astronomers provide fresh evidence of the correctness of Einstein's general theory of relativity.

 

A Florida State University high-performance computing researcher has predicted a physical effect that would help physicists and astronomers provide fresh evidence of the correctness of Einstein's general theory of relativity.

 

 

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General Relativity
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Gravity waves influence weather and climate

 

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Gravity waves form in the atmosphere as a result of destabilizing processes. The effects of gravity waves can only be taken into consideration by including additional special components in the models

 

Gravity waves form in the atmosphere as a result of destabilizing processes, for example at weather fronts, during storms or when air masses stroke over mountain ranges. They can occasionally be seen in the sky as bands of cloud. For weather forecast and climate models...

 

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Scientists slow down the speed of light travelling in free space

 

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Scientists have managed to slow photons in free space for the first time. They have demonstrated that applying a mask to an optical beam to give photons a spatial structure can reduce their speed.

 

Scientists have long known that the speed of light can be slowed slightly as it travels through materials such as water or glass.

 

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Light Speed

Chasing dark matter with oldest stars in the Milky Way

 

 

How an international team of researchers is constraining the speed of invisible and undetectable dark matter

 

Just how quickly is the dark matter near Earth zipping around? The speed of dark matter has far-reaching consequences for modern astrophysical research, but this fundamental property has eluded researchers for years. Researchers have now provided the first clue: The solution to this mystery, it turns out, lies among some of the oldest stars in the galaxy

 

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Milky Way

The strange structures of the Saturn nebula

 

 

The spectacular planetary nebula NGC 7009, or the Saturn Nebula, emerges from the darkness like a series of oddly-shaped bubbles, lit up in glorious pinks and blues. This colourful image was captured by the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The map -- which reveals a wealth of intricate structures in the dust, including shells, a halo and a curious wave-like feature -- will help astronomers understand how planetary nebulae develop their strange shapes and symmetries.

 

 

 

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New research reveals plant wonderland inside China's caves

 

 

 

Over five years (2009-2014) researchers have delved into the depths of some of China's most unexplored and unknown caves in the largest ever study on cave floras. Surveying over 60 caves in the Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan regions, they were able to assess the vascular plant diversity of cave flora in more detail than ever before.

 

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'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts

 

 

 

The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according to the new research.

 

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Humans have been altering tropical forests for at least 45,000 years

 

Tens of thousands of years of controlled burns, forest management and clear-cutting have implications for modern conservation efforts and shatter the image of the 'untouched' tropical forest

 

 

 

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Vast freshwater reserves found beneath the oceans

 

 

 

Scientists have discovered huge reserves of freshwater beneath the oceans kilometers out to sea, providing new opportunities to stave off a looming global water crisis. A new study reveals that an estimated half a million cubic kilometers of low-salinity water are buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves around the world.

 

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Groundwater pumping drying up Great Plains streams, driving fish extinctions

 

 

Groundwater pumping from the the High Plains Aquifer has led to long segments of rivers drying up and the collapse of large-stream fishes.

 

Farmers in the Great Plains of Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and the panhandle of Texas produce about one-sixth of the world's grain, and water for these crops comes from the High Plains Aquifer -- often known as the Ogallala Aquifer -- the single greatest source of groundwater...

 

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Toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers

 

 

 

About 12,800 years ago, thanks to fragments of a comet, humans saw an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth's land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, consumed by fires.

 

On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated.

 

 

 

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ice worlds

Carbon nanotube jungles created to better detect molecules

 

 

Researchers have developed a new method of using nanotubes to detect molecules at extremely low concentrations enabling trace detection of biological threats, explosives and drugs.

 

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich have developed a new method of using nanotubes to detect molecules at extremely low concentrations enabling trace detection of biological threats, explosives and drugs.

 

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jungles

Moon has a water-rich interior

 

 

Using satellite data, researchers have for the first time detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the moon, suggesting that its interior contains substantial amounts of indigenous water.

 

A new study of satellite data finds that numerous volcanic deposits distributed across the surface of the Moon contain unusually high amounts of trapped water compared with surrounding terrains.

 

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Better predicting mountains' flora and fauna in a changing world

 

 

 

Climbing a mountain is challenging. So, too, is providing the best possible information to plan for climate change's impact on mountain vegetation and wildlife. Scientists show that using several sources of climate measurements when modeling the potential future distributions of mountain vegetation and wildlife can increase confidence in the model results and provide useful guidance for conservation planning.

 

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The ocean is losing its breath -- here's the global scope

 

In broadest view yet of world's low oxygen, scientists reveal dangers and solutions

 

In the past 50 years, the amount of water in the open ocean with zero oxygen has gone up more than fourfold. In coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, low-oxygen sites have increased more than tenfold since 1950. Scientists expect oxygen to continue dropping even outside these zones as Earth warms.

 

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Ancient Earth's Magnetic Field Was Structured Like Today's Two-pole Model

 

 

 

Scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth's magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate. The findings may lead to a better understanding of historical continental movement, which relates to changes in climate

 

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Shallow Water Corals Evolved From Deep Sea Ancestors

 

 

New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters. Stylasterids, or lace corals, diversified in deep waters before launching at least three successful invasions of shallow water tropical habitats in the past 40 million years. This finding provides the first strong evidence that a group of deep-sea animals invaded and diversified in shallow waters.

 

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Moon's slow retreat from frozen Earth

 

 

Researchers provide new insight into the moon's excessive equatorial bulge, a feature that solidified in place over four billion years ago as the moon gradually distanced itself from the Earth.

 

A study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers provides new insight into the Moon's excessive equatorial bulge, a feature that solidified in place over four billion years ago as the Moon gradually distanced itself from the Earth.

 

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Extreme Jupiter weather and magnetic fields

 

Astronomers publish predictions of planetary phenomena on Jupiter that informed spacecraft's arriva

 

New observations about the extreme conditions of Jupiter's weather and magnetic fields by astronomers have contributed to the revelations and insights coming from the first close passes of Jupiter by NASA's Juno mission.

 

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Mars: Not as dry as it seems

 

Water on Mars absorbed like a sponge, new research suggests

 

 

Two new articles have shed light on why there is, presumably, no life on Mars. Although today's Martian surface is barren, frozen and uninhabitable, a trail of evidence points to a once warmer, wetter planet, where water flowed freely -- and life may have thrived. The conundrum of what happened to this water is long standing and unsolved. However, new research suggests that this water is now locked in the Martian 

 

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Mercury's poles may be icier than scientists thought

 

 

A new study identifies three large surface ice deposits near Mercury's north pole, and suggests there could be many additional small-scale deposits that would dramatically increase the planet's surface ice inventory.

 

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Twilight observations reveal huge storm on Neptune

 

Storm's surprise appearance in area where no such cloud has been seen before

 

 

 

Striking images of a storm system nearly the size of Earth have astronomers doing a double-take after pinpointing its location near Neptune's equator, a region where no bright cloud has been seen before. The discovery was made at dawn on June 26 as researchers were testing the Keck telescope to see whether it could make useful observations during twilight, a time most astronomers consider unusable because it's not dark enough.

 

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Saturn's moon Titan sports Earth-like features

 

 

 

Using the now-complete Cassini data set, astronomers have created a new global topographic map of Saturn's moon Titan that has opened new windows into understanding its liquid flows and terrain.

 

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Uranus may have two undiscovered moons

 

 

 

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus 30 years ago, but researchers are still making discoveries from the data it gathered then. A new study led by University of Idaho researchers suggests there could be two tiny, previously undiscovered moonlets orbiting near two of the planet's rings.

 

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Venus's turbulent atmosphere

 

International research team sheds light on the Earth's 'twin planet'

 

 

Astronomers shed light on the so far unexplored nightside circulation at the upper cloud level of Venus. Researchers have discovered unexpected patterns of slow motion and abundant stationary waves in Venus's nighttime sky.

 

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Citizen scientists discover five-planet system

 

 

In its search for exoplanets -- planets outside of our solar system -- NASA's Kepler telescope trails behind Earth, measuring the brightness of stars that may potentially host planets. The instrument identifies potential planets around other stars by looking for dips in the brightness of the stars that occur when planets cross in front of, or transit, them. Typically, computer programs flag the stars with these brightness dips, then astronomers look at each one and decide whether or not they truly could host a planet candidate

 

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Primordial asteroids discovered

 

Discoveries include a void in the main belt and the oldest family of asteroid

 

 

Astronomers recently discovered a relatively unpopulated region of the main asteroid belt, where the few asteroids present are likely pristine relics from early in solar system history. The team used a new search technique that also identified the oldest known asteroid family, which extends throughout the inner region of the main asteroid belt.

 

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Relationships between chemicals found on comets

 

 

A new study has revealed similarities and relationships between certain types of chemicals found on 30 different comets, which vary widely in their overall composition compared to one another. The research is part of ongoing investigations into these primordial bodies, which contain material largely unchanged from the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

 

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Perseid meteors could see 'surge in activity'

 

 

Friday, Aug. 12, sees the annual maximum of the Perseid meteor shower. This year, as well as the normal peak on the night of Aug. 12-13, meteor scientists are predicting additional enhanced activity in the shower the night before, as Earth passes through a dense clump of cometary debris.

 

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NASA investigates invisible magnetic bubbles in outer solar system

 

 

Forty years ago, the twin Voyagers spacecraft were launched to explore the frontiers of our solar system, and have since made countless discoveries, including finding magnetic bubbles around two of the outer planets.

 

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Solar System

Quantum theory and Einstein's special relativity applied to plasma physics issues

 

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Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars -- collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky. Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma that surrounds these pulsars, which can be millions of times greater than the density of plasma in stars like the sun. Researchers have developed a theory of plasma waves that can infer these properties in greater detail than in standard approaches.

 

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Special Relativity

Discovery of a blue supergiant star born in the wild

 

 

Astronomers have discovered a blue supergiant star located far beyond our Milky Way Galaxy in the constellation Virgo. Over 55 million years ago, the star emerged in an extremely wild environment, surrounded by intensely hot plasma (a million degrees centigrade) and amidst raging cyclone winds blowing at four million kilometers per hour

 

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How massive can neutron stars be?

 

 

Astrophysicists set a new limit for the maximum mass of neutron stars: It cannot exceed 2.16 solar masses.

 

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Accretion-powered pulsar reveals unique timing glitch

 

 

The discovery of the largest timing irregularity yet observed in a pulsar is the first confirmation that pulsars in binary systems exhibit the strange phenomenon known as a 'glitch.'

 

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pulsar

Biggest structure in universe: Large quasar group is 4 billion light years across

 

 

Astronomers have found the largest known structure in the universe. The large quasar group (LQG) is so large that it would take a vehicle traveling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it. Quasars are the nuclei of galaxies from the early days of the universe that undergo brief periods of extremely high brightness that make them visible across huge distances. These periods are ‘brief’ in astrophysics terms but actually last 10-100 million years

 

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Red giant star gives a surprising glimpse of the sun's future

 

 

Astronomers have for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the sun. ALMA's images show that the star is a giant, its diameter twice the size of Earth's orbit around the sun, but also that the star's atmosphere is affected by powerful, unexpected shock waves.

 

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Astronomers discover a star that would not die

 

 

 

Supernova discovery challenges known theories of the death of stars

 

Astronomers have made a bizarre discovery; a star that refuses to stop shining.

 

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Brown dwarfs found sprinkled among newborn stars in Orion Nebula

 

 

Astronomers have uncovered the largest known population of brown dwarfs sprinkled among newborn stars in the Orion Nebula.

 

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Astrophysicist predicts detached, eclipsing white dwarfs to merge into exotic star

 

 

Astrophysicists have discovered two detached, eclipsing double white dwarf binaries with orbital periods of 40 and 46 minutes, respectively. White dwarfs are the remnants of Sun-like stars, many of which are found in pairs, or binaries.

 

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Sun's core rotates four times faster than its surface

 

 

 

Surprising observation might reveal what the sun was like when it formed

 

The sun's core rotates nearly four times faster than the sun's surface, an international team of astronomers reports. The most likely explanation is that this core rotation is left over from the period when the sun formed, some 4.6 billion years ago

 

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Supernova collides with nearby star, taking astrophysicists by surprise

 

 

In the 2009 film 'Star Trek,' a supernova hurtles through space and obliterates a planet unfortunate enough to be in its path. Fiction, of course, but it turns out the notion is not so farfetched.

 

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What lit up the universe? Black holes may have punctured darkened galaxies, allowing light to escape

 

 

Researchers have a new explanation for how the universe changed from darkness to light. They propose that black holes within galaxies produce winds strong enough to fling out matter that punctures holes in galaxies, allowing light to escape.

 

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