This is our first “Science Month in Review”. In this “review”, we summarize all the major science (mainly Physics and Space related) breakthroughs and other science news in a single post.
So, this month was full of various science breakthroughs and research. Here is a brief version of everything!
(Please note that only For this science month review, our only source of information is UniverseToday.com, because we had to do it as quick as possible as we were inactive for so many days.)
Hubble has a Brand New Picture of the Massive Star Eta Carinae. It Could Detonate as a Supernova Any Day Now
7500 light years away is an object that (almost) needs no introduction: Eta Carinae. If you haven’t heard of it you should be following Universe Today more. Eta Carinae is a well-known and often-studied object in astronomy, partly because it’s prone to the kind of violent outbursts that really grab your attention.
NASA Telescopes Reveal the Atmosphere of A Strange Hybrid Exoplanet
Out there in space is an unusual exoplanet name Gliese 3470 b (GJ 3470 b.) It’s a strange world, kind of like a hybrid between Earth and Neptune. It has a rocky core like Earth, but is surrounded by an atmosphere made of hydrogen and helium. That combination is unlike anything in our own Solar System.
Where Does Mars’ Methane Go? New Study Provides Possible Answer, with Implications in the Search for Life.
For centuries, scientists have speculated about the existence of life on Mars. But it was only within the past 15 years that the search for life (past and present) really began to heat up. It was at this time that methane, an organic molecule that is associated with many forms of life here on Earth (i.e. a “biosignature”) was detected in Mars’ atmosphere.
Since that time, attempts to study Mars’ atmospheric methane have produced varying results. In some cases, methane has been found that was several times its normal concentrations; in others, it was absent. Seeking to answer this mystery, an interdisciplinary team from AarhusUniversity recently conducted a study where they investigated a possible mechanism for the removal of methane from Mars’ atmosphere.
NASA has Figured Out How to Extend the Lives of the Voyagers Even Longer
Voyagers 1 and 2 have the distinction of being in space for 42 years and still operating. And even though they’re 18 billion km (11 billion miles) from the Sun, they’re still valuable scientifically. But they’re running out of energy, and if NASA wants them to continue on much longer, they have some decisions to make.
Researchers May Have Found the Missing Piece of Evidence that Explains the Origins of Life
The question of how life first emerged here on Earth is a mystery that continues to elude scientists. Despite everything that scientists have learned from the fossil record and geological history, it is still not known how organic life emerged from inorganic elements (a process known as abiogenesis) billions of years ago.
One of the more daunting aspects of the mystery has to do with peptides and enzymes, which fall into something of a “chicken and egg” situation. Addressing this, a team of researchers from the University College London (UCL) recently conducted a study that effectively demonstrated that peptides could have formed in conditions analogus to primordial Earth.
Hubble Spots “Impossible” Debris Disk Around a Black Hole
The Hubble Space Telescope is like an old dog that is constantly teaching the astronomical community new tricks. In the course of its almost thirty years in operation, it has revealed vital data about the expansion of the Universe, its age, the Milky Way, supermassive black holes (SMBHs), other star systems and exoplanets, and the planets of the Solar System.
Most recently, an international team of researchers using Hubble made a discovery that was not only fascinating but entirely unexpected. In the heart of the spiral galaxy NGC 3147, they spotted a swirling thin disk of gas that was precariously close to a back hole that is about 250 million Solar masses. The find was a complete surprise since the black hole was considered too small to have such a structure around it.
First Ever Image of Quantum Entanglement
During the 1930s, venerable theoretical physicist Albert Einstein returned to the field of quantum mechanics, which his theories of relativity helped to create. Hoping to develop a more complete theory of how particles behave, Einstein was instead horrified by the prospect of quantum entanglement – something he described as “spooky action at a distance”.
Despite Einstein’s misgivings, quantum entanglement has gone on to become an accepted part of quantum mechanics. And now, for the first time ever, a team of physicists from the University of Glasgow took an image of a form of quantum entanglement (aka. Bell entanglement) at work. In so doing, they managed to capture the first piece of visual evidence of a phenomenon that baffled even Einstein himself.
India’s Chandrayaan-2 is Heading to the Moon
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has successfully launched their Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon. The mission, which includes an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, was launched into space on a GSLV Mk III rocket on July 22nd, after a week-long delay. On September 7th it will perform a soft-landing on the Moon.
Why Is The Moon’s South Pole So Important? It’s All About Water
As NASA prepares to return to the Moon by 2024 as part of its Artemis program, the agency is focusing its efforts on exploring the Moon’s polar regions. These are areas of the Moon which seem to have a lot of water mixed in with the regolith.
References and Image Sources
Madhur Sorout is currently a fifteen-year-old high school senior from India. His main fascination lies with the subject of physics, mainly in the field of the general theory of relativity and topics related to it like the Big Bang, black holes and the evolution of the universe. He likes to make sense of what he sees in this universe.
He has founded the (popular) science website – Maddyz Physics (maddyzphysics.com). He is also a physics and astrophysics editor for the Young Scientists Journal.
He loves to read books by Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other authors (and physicists). Inspired by their work, Madhur wrote Astrophysics Simplified: A Simple Guide to the Universe. He started to write this book when he was 14.
A diehard fan of fiction, Madhur also likes to play cricket and wants to continue down the route of research in theoretical astrophysics.