7 things that might just surprise you about the universe! Click here
As reported in the Journal Nature and featured on UW Madison's webpage and UW Madison astronomy department website. Click here
"The space between the stars in the Milky Way and all other galaxies is full of dust and gas, the raw materials from which stars and planets are made. But the dynamics of these galactic mosh pits, which are perhaps best known through the spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope of towering nebulas caught in the act of churning out stars, are still mysterious...."
First, we couldn't tell if they had mass or not...
Then, they decide to change their flavor on us...
Now the neutrinos are at it again! This time they want to travel faster than light, or so one group at CERN is claiming.
UW Madison scientists are involved in this research also, and not just at CERN. The IceCube detector in Antarctica is able to verify the results and to test the dependency on the speed with very high energy neutrinos. It will be interesting to see results from here hopefully in the near future.
Regardless of whether this is a major shift for physics in the 21st century or just a measurement error, what we are witnessing right now is nothing less then science getting done! A result that calls into question a major paradigm is a challenge to the scientific community as a whole to either verify it or to show it is incorrect. If it can not be reproduced, then it will not be considered valid. If it is verified, then physicists will be very busy in the next decades coming up with new theories to trump Einstein's. Many people in the Midevil ages were so attached to the idea that the Earth was flat that they would kill those who presented evidence to the contrary. Even though scientsits are attached to their ideas and theories, they are more attached to science as a process, and are willing to modify or give up their theories when the evidence presents itself contrary to them. This is how science works and this is why science works.
Nerd joke of the day:
"i'm sorry, we don't serve neutrinos who are faster than light here," says the barkeeper.
A neutrino walks into a bar.
Brand new supernova is peaking in intensity now and is visible with a small telescope or good pair of binoculars.
Click here for the story!
The entire particle physics world seems to be centered in Europe these days with the LHC finally up and running. However, don't count the USA's Tevatron out of the partical physics world just yet!
The Tevatron seems to have found a mass detection that does not match any models or prediction of the Standard Particle and Field model of particle physics. That is to say, this is not a detection of a known particle or an expected one...such as the Higgs boson. If it is a real detection, it would be the first sign of a particle that is 'beyond the standard model.'
Astronomy is all about beautiful images! Check this compilation out!
The NASA Kepler mission, designed to find planets orbiting distant stars, has found over 1200 planets as of February 2011. Using images of transits of these alien worlds around their host suns, one can see the silhouettes of these planets, some of which could support alien life. Check out this striking image from astronomy picture of the day:
For size comparison, the sun is shown in the top/mid right by itself.
As always, Astro Babble is giving you the weirdest latest astronomy ....and today there as a real gem!
Check out: Dark Matter And The Habitability of Planets
New today on the astronomy archive
In rare cases it may be possible for a super massive planet to be heated by dark matter anihiliation in its core rather then thermonuclear fusion in a star. Heated enough to sustain life (so the authors claim)! What kind of 'dark life' would exist on
The UW Madison Astronomy Graduate Student run blog!