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Thread: Current Events in Astronomy

  1. #171
    Looks like TESS finally found a planet in the habitable zone. It looks to be right on the inner edge though rather than comfortably in the middle.

    From astrobiology.com
    Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Finds An Earth-Size Habitable-Zone World

    From space.com
    NASA's TESS Planet Hunter Finds Its 1st Earth-Size World in 'Habitable Zone'
    My inner Mulder wants to believe, but my inner Scully remains skeptical.

  2. #172
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Cannot help but wonder if there is some intelligence behind the signal.

    A Rare Fast Radio Burst has been Found that Actually Repeats Every 16 Days
    by Evan Gough

    A team of scientists in Canada have found a Fast Radio Burst (FRB) that repeats every 16 days. This is in stark contrast to other FRBs, which are more sporadic. Some of those sporadic FRBs occur in clusters, and repeat irregularly, but FRBs with a regular, repeatable occurrence are rare.

    A Fast Radio Burst is a pulse of radio emissions that lasts only milliseconds. The first one was discovered in 2007 by astrophysicist Duncan Lorimer and his student David Narkevic, and is called the Lorimer Burst. Since that time, many more have been discovered, but their origin is still unclear, though we know their source is extra-galactic.

    The team of scientists have published a paper presenting their findings. It’s titled “Periodic activity from a fast radio burst source.” They’re working with data from CHIME, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment.
    Story Continues
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
    Attachment 1008

  3. #173
    LMH covered FRBs on her weekly chat-cast last night. (Among other topics)

    Starting at 14:20 to about 18:17



    One might enjoy the entire hour . . .

  4. #174
    Earth has acquired a brand new moon that's about the size of a car.


    Space 26 February 2020
    By Leah Crane


    Earth might have a tiny new moon. On 19 February, astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona spotted a dim object moving quickly across the sky. Over the next few days, researchers at six more observatories around the world watched the object, designated 2020 CD3, and calculated its orbit, confirming that it has been gravitationally bound to Earth for about three years.


    Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article...#ixzz6FAhkQyIZ

  5. #175
    Last edited by calikid; 04-16-2020 at 01:03 AM. Reason: add photo
    My inner Mulder wants to believe, but my inner Scully remains skeptical.

  6. #176
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Fast Radio Burst detected within our galaxy for the first time.

    Radio Signal Coming from Inside the Milky Way Detected by Astronomers
    By Hannah Osborne

    A radio signal coming from a source within the Milky Way has been detected by astronomers.

    The signal is a fast radio burst (FRB), bright radio bursts that last milliseconds and appear to come from deep space. Because they are short-lived, they were often only identified in satellite data after the signal was recorded. Finding where they came from and what produced them has been largely a mystery.

    The first FRBs were discovered over a decade ago. Since then, scientists have been trying to work out what is causing them. Suggestions have included cataclysmic events, such as the collision of two neutron stars or a collapsing black hole. But these hypotheses were questioned when a repeating FRB was uncovered. A black hole can only collapse once, because when the FRB repeated scientists realized either there must be another explanation, or more than one source can produce these bursts.
    Story Continues
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
    Attachment 1008

  7. #177
    My inner Mulder wants to believe, but my inner Scully remains skeptical.

  8. #178
    My inner Mulder wants to believe, but my inner Scully remains skeptical.

  9. #179

  10. #180
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    A Cable Snapped, and the Arecibo Observatory Went Dark. Here’s Why That Matters
    An accident in the middle of the night damaged one of the world’s most important observatories—and scientists still don’t know what caused it.
    By Nora McGreevy

    Since it was installed in 1963, the gargantuan Arecibo Observatory has played a key role in the study of the universe. Formally known as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, the radio telescope consists of a huge saucer-like construction, suspended by cables 500 feet above a 1,000-foot-wide dish, all overlooking a panoramic view of the Puerto Rican rainforest.

    At 2:45 a.m. in the morning on August 10, one of those supporting cables snapped. The three-inch-wide cable flailed around wildly, damaging the telescope’s Gregorian dome and slashing a 100-foot-long gash through the dish below, reports Dennis Overbye for the New York Times.

    Luckily, no one was hurt, reports Daniel Clery for Science magazine. However, the observatory will be shut down temporarily for repairs, scientists announced in a statement from the University of Central Florida (UCF), which manages the observatory for the National Science Foundation.

    Officials do not yet know what caused the damage. In a news conference on August 14, researchers said they still needed to assess the full scope of the damage. Subsequent repairs could mean that the observatory is closed for weeks or possibly months, reports Hanneke Weitering for Space.com.

    “We have a team of experts assessing the situation,” says Francisco Córdova, observatory director, in the UCF statement. “Our focus is assuring the safety of our staff, protecting the facilities and equipment, and restoring the facility to full operations as soon as possible, so it can continue to assist scientists around the world.”

    Ramon Lugo, director of the Florida Space Institute at UCF and principal investigator on the Observatory, tells Science that the cable in question had been added to stabilize the telescope when the Gregorian dome, a large antenna, was installed in the 1990s. The cable had been designed to last for 15 to 20 years, so it’s unclear why it failed, reports Space.com.

    As NASA researcher Ed Rivera-Valentín tells Maddie Sofia of NPR’s Short Wave, the Arecibo Observatory has been used for nearly 60 years to track asteroids as they careen toward Earth—a key part in our defense strategy against the interstellar objects, and a practice that helps us avoid the same fate as the dinosaurs.
    Story Continues
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    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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