Hidden galaxies, a doomed Mars, and plenty of supernovae drive the week in science

In another week of space-filled science coverage, we got plenty of supernovae, one in the form of a long-standing science mystery and the other an unexpected discovery. 

We learned more about the institutional shake-up over at NASA as it reorganizes itself in preparation of a major push toward the Artemis moon mission – thanks in very large part to the success of SpaceX.

This week also revealed two of the oldest galaxies in the universe, shrouded behind an nearly impenetrable wall of cosmic dust, and their discovery is upending what we know about the earliest moments of the universe’s existence.

Finally, we also learned in a new study of Martian meteorites that the Red Planet was condemned to become a barren desert planet before it even really finished forming, with implications for our search for life elsewhere in the galaxy.

Mars was always going to die

(Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU BERLIN/CC BY-SA)

Mars was doomed from the start

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Mars was destined from the start to become a dusty, bone-dry desert of a planet, on account of its size.

In a new study that examined potassium deposits in Martian meteorites, as well as other meteorites sourced to asteroids and the moon, a team from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL) found a strong correlation between a space object’s size and the speed at which water and other volatiles were lost over time.

“Mars’ fate was decided from the beginning,” said assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences at WUSL, Kun Wang. “There is likely a threshold on the size requirements of rocky planets to retain enough water to enable habitability and plate tectonics, with mass exceeding that of Mars.”

Wang and his fellow researchers believe that measuring an exoplanet’s size should be an important factor when looking for life on other planets, since the presence of liquid water (we assume) is an essential ingredient to life on other worlds.

NASA Gives Private Space Stations Green Light

(Image credit: NASA)

NASA reorganizes its space mission directorate and gives green light to private space stations

NASA made news this week when it announced that it was giving the green light to private space companies to start establishing their own space stations in Low Earth Orbit, a plan that is expected to save NASA at least $1 billion a year.

The International Space Station is scheduled to end its mission by the end of the decade at the latest, and with the success of SpaceX, NASA believes commercial efforts can take over the problem of managing stations orbiting the Earth. This will hopefully allow NASA to focus on bigger challenges, like sending the next crewed mission to the moon, establishing a permanent base there, and beyond.

To that effect, NASA is splitting up the responsibility of crewed space operations into two new directorates to better manage its increasing responsibilities.

Chinese Guest Star Mystery Finally Solved

(Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC; Ultraviolet: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC; Optical: NASA/STScI(M. Meixner)/ESA/NRAO(T.A. Rector); Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su)

The 900-year-old mystery of the Chinese Guest Star finally solved

In 1181 CE, Chinese and Japanese astronomers recorded the sudden appearance of a new star in the night sky that remained for sixth months before fading away. Known as the “Chinese Guest Star”, astronomers have long believed it was a supernova that shined as bright as Saturn over the medieval astronomers, but unlike all other known supernova in the past millennium, the location of that supernova has eluded until this week.

A new study now puts that supernova in the Pa 30 molecular cloud, and using the expanding wave of material in the cloud – travelling at 1,100 kilometers a second, or about 2,500,000 mph – as a guide, they worked backward to its origin. Dating it to about 1,000 years ago, this put the supernova in the right place at the right time to be the one observed by astronomers nearly a millennium ago.

“It is the only such event where we can study both the remnant nebula and the merged star [that triggered the supernova], and also have a description of the explosion itself,” said University of Manchester Professor Albert Zijlstra, who led the team of astronomical detectives who solved the mystery.

Ancient Galaxies Hidden by Space Dust

(Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton)

Two newly discovered galaxies show early universe was likely full of galaxies from the start

Astronomers looking for the earliest galaxies in the universe thought they had a good idea of how many there were and where they could find them, but if a newly discovered pair of galaxies are any indication, they are badly mistaken.

The two galaxies are some of the most distant – and thus, oldest – galaxies ever identified, but more surprising was that they were almost entirely invisible owing to the amount of cosmic dust that was obscuring our view of them.

“These new galaxies were missed not because they are extremely rare, but only because they are completely dust-obscured,” said Yoshinobu Fudamoto, an astronomer at Waseda University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan who discovered the galaxies in what appeared to be entirely empty space. “It is possible that we have been missing up to one out of every five galaxies in the early universe so far.”

If true, then the earliest days of the universe were far more energetic and lively than we originally believed, which could have implications for our development of astronomical models of our universe today.

Supernova Tears a Hole in the Milky Way

(Image credit: Alyssa Goodman/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian)

A massive supernova might have cut a 500 light-year-wide hole in the Milky Way

Finally, a new paper published this week says that researchers trying to develop 3D maps of the Perseus and Taurus molecular clouds, located near their respectively named constellations, discovered a gaping, 500-light-year-wide cavity seemingly blown out of the Milky Way.

“Hundreds of stars are forming or exist already at the surface of this giant bubble,” said lead author Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics. “We have two theories — either one supernova went off at the core of this bubble and pushed gas outward, forming what we now call the ‘Perseus-Taurus Supershell,’ or a series of supernovae occurring over millions of years created it over time.”

The spherical hole is perfectly located between the two molecular clouds, indicating that the two colossal, star-forming structures were once a single cloud that was essentially torn in two.

“We’ve been able to see these clouds for decades,” said Catherine Zucker, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics who led a separate, related study on the 3D mapping process the researchers used, “but we never knew their true shape, depth or thickness. We also were unsure how far away the clouds were. Now we know where they lie with only 1 percent uncertainty, allowing us to discern this void between them.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Fireworks Lit as Fans Celebrate Atlanta Braves Advancement to World Series

The Atlanta Braves defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the National League Championship and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1999 on October 23, local ... Read more »

Worldcoin price: What is Worldcoin and why is it giving out free cryptocurrency?

Worldcoin has unveiled a new digital currency which could revolutionise the crypto market. Its Silicon Valley co-founders, Alex Blania and Sam Altman, want to give everyone in the world free ... Read more »

China EV war: Xpeng plans to upstage Tesla, local rivals with first full-scenario autonomous driving system in 2023

Xpeng Motors, which beat Tesla in a recent JD Power survey of electric cars on in-car technologies, is raising its game on autonomous driving with a full-scenario driver assistance system ... Read more »

The TouchBar was a missed opportunity for the MacBook

Apple’s MacBook Pro line is seeing another regeneration, with the introduction of the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) and the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), and the return of certain ports and ... Read more »

Which AirPods should I buy this Black Friday?

Black Friday is always a great time to pick up a pair of headphones or earbuds at a discount – especially if you’re on the hunt for some AirPods, which ... Read more »

Ugo Monye condemns 'vile and criminal' abuse aimed at his 'Strictly' co-stars

Watch: Who is Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ugo Monye? Strictly Come Dancing contestant and former rugby player Ugo Monye has hit out at the “vile and criminal” abuse his co-stars ... Read more »

Bergerac 2.0: Jersey detective's return is a remake too far

Photograph: News UK/Rex/Shutterstock Rebooting a popular entertainment franchise can look like a strong plan. For a start, producers and investors are more easily persuaded that there is an audience for ... Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra shows off a display notch in new unofficial renders

We’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series to break cover sometime early in 2022, and over the last few days we’ve got a much better idea of what the ... Read more »

Nonprofit websites are riddled with ad trackers

Last year, nearly visited the website of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that many people turn to for very private matters like sex education, access to contraceptives, and access to abortions. ... Read more »

France successfully launches cutting-edge military communications satellite

France has successfully launched a state-of-the-art satellite into orbit, designed to allow all of France's armed forces across the globe to communicate swiftly and securely. Paris created a space force ... Read more »

Nigella Lawson lasted just two weeks on vegan diet and confesses she doesn't 'see the point'

Nigella Lawson says she tried a vegan diet, but couldn’t stick to it. (David M. Benett/Getty Images) Nigella Lawson only managed two weeks of a vegan diet and says she ... Read more »

Strictly Come Dancing Fans Are All Saying The Same Thing About AJ Odudu And Kai Widdrington's 'Phenomenal' Argentine Tango

Whilst it is undoubtedly a fan favourite, the Argentine Tango can be a notoriously difficult dance for the Strictly Come Dancing celebrities to get right. Not only to they have ... Read more »

Black Friday Garmin deals 2021: early sales and what to expect

The best Garmin deals of the year are likely just around the corner, as Black Friday is on November 26, and it’s followed by Cyber Monday on November 29. These ... Read more »

Elon Musk's Starlink in talks with Vodafone for UK expansion

Elon Musk’s Starlink is eyeing a tie-up with Vodafone to expand its satellite broadband service in the UK. © BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP Elon Musk – BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP The US satellite company, ... Read more »

MotoGP Italy live stream 2021: how to watch Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix online from anywhere

We saw a glimpse of the old Marc Marquez a few weeks back in the US, but even at his talisman circuit the Spaniard could only put four seconds between ... Read more »

Raab's negligence over Kabul is now clear. If he had any honour, he'd quit

Dominic Raab is a clever man, but not perhaps a wise or especially honourable one. Chronic misjudgments over Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan necessitated his sacking as foreign secretary. Yet Boris ... Read more »

Google Pixel 6's in-app translation may be the travel dream you've been waiting for

The Google Pixel 6 has plenty of promising features, but one stuck with me more than others – mostly because it would have come in clutch when a massive thunderstorm ... Read more »

The small but effective plug heater to snap up for winter

Looking for a small at-home heater? We may have just found the solution. (Russell Hobbs) Yahoo Lifestyle is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We ... Read more »

Why Are There Christian Crosses in Jewish Graves From Ancient Rome?

Realy Easy Star /Toni Spagone/Alamy The most pervasive and well-known symbol for Christianity is, of course, the cross. If you walk into a place of worship and there’s a cross ... Read more »

Giant owl not seen for 150 years pictured in wild for first time

A giant owl that has gone almost unseen in African rainforests for 150 years has been photographed in the wild for the first time by British scientists working in Ghana. ... Read more »

SoftBank Ventures Asia signals greater focus on Chinese tech start-ups with new Beijing unit

SoftBank Ventures Asia has formed a new subsidiary in China this month, signalling a bigger commitment towards its early-stage venture investing in the country since launching a dedicated US$285 million ... Read more »

[News Focus] Samsung still lost a year after Lee Kun-hee's death

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung ElectronicsMonday marks the first anniversary of the death of Lee Kun-hee, the chief of South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung and its flagship unit Samsung ... Read more »

Why Galaxy Bespoke should have you excited for the Samsung Galaxy S22

At some point in the next few months Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S22, its new series of flagship smartphones, but if the jump from the Galaxy S10 ... Read more »

Compact SUVs gaining ground in Korea

Kia’s Sportage SUV / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group By Baek Byung-yeul C-segment or compact sport utility vehicles are gaining ground in Korea’s automobile market as their dimensions have grown ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Snapchat aims to improve its presence in Korea

A Google Pixel 6 phone user uses Snap’s photo messaging app, Snapchat. Courtesy of Snap By Baek Byung-yeul Nana Murugesan, managing director of international markets at Snap / Courtesy of ... Read more »

[Newsmaker] Authorities to begin looking into data to explain why Nuri launch failed

(Yonhap)South Korea’s Science Ministry said Sunday that researchers will begin looking into why the country’s first domestically-built rocket Nuri, or Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II, failed to put a dummy ... Read more »

All eyes on Samsung heir's next move on late chairman's death anniv.

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong enters the Seoul Central District Court for a hearing on illegal use of surgical anesthetic propofol on Oct. 12. Korea Times photo by Ko Young-kwon ... Read more »

[Battery+] Tesla's battery shift highlights K-battery's uncertain future

LG Energy Solution’s cylindrical lithium-ion batteries. (LG Energy Solution) To take initiative in the premium electric vehicle market, where longer driving ranges serve as the barometer of competitiveness, the South ... Read more »

Facebook Portal Go vs Facebook Portal: which smart display should you buy this Black Friday?

Facebook has been in the video calling game for a few years now, but its Portal displays have struggled to gain the traction that other brands have found during the ... Read more »

Judi Love pulls out of Strictly Come Dancing for health-related reasons

Photo credit: Eamonn McCormack – Getty Images Comedian and panelist, Judi Love, has had to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing this week after testing positive for COVID-19. Her partner, ... Read more »

Jamie Laing explains why he is one of Spencer Matthews' only friends

Jamie Laing and Spencer Matthews attend the “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” UK Premiere at in 2019. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) Yahoo Entertainment's editors are committed to ... Read more »

S. Korean defense firms clinch deals worth US$128 mln at ADEX: organizers

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) — South Korean defense companies have signed business contracts worth US$128 million in total during a biennial arms exhibition held south of Seoul last week, its ... Read more »

Melbourne ends one of the world's longest lockdowns

BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: NO USE AUSTRALIA Digital: NO USE AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN ... Read more »

India's Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, other stars eye NFTs amid global craze

Indian celebrities from the world of Bollywood and cricket are increasingly launching digital memorabilia through non-fungible tokens (NFT), hoping to rake in thousands of dollars by cashing in on growing ... Read more »

Oil refiners fear losing W800 trillion amid carbon neutral transition

Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Executive Vice Chairman Lee Dong-geun speaks during a discussion hosted by the KEF on the government’s carbon neutrality goal at the Press Center in central Seoul, ... Read more »

Mummy's older than we thought: new find rewrites the history books

The ancient Egyptians were carrying out sophisticated mummifications of their dead 1,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new evidence which could lead to a rewriting of the history ... Read more »

Microsoft is ‘sorry' for angering developers by removing a key feature

Microsoft apologised to the open source community after facing a severe backlash against removing an important feature in the upcoming .NET 6 release. The .NET open source community was angered ... Read more »

Drone Footage Captures Four Active Vents at La Palma Volcano

Four active vents on the Cumbre Vieja volcano were visible on October 22, spewing lava and other volcanic material over La Palma, in the Spanish Canary Islands. The following morning, ... Read more »

Marvin Vettori overcomes a 'massive' Paulo Costa, who blamed an injury for weight issue

LAS VEGAS — Paulo Costa entered the Octagon at Apex on Saturday, his grudge match with Marvin Vettori only moments away. In 90 seconds, maybe two minutes, he’d be able ... Read more »

When Elon Musk ‘trolled' Apple CEO Tim Cook over a piece of cloth

NEW DELHI: Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his witty, weird and all kinds of tweets. Musk, in a tweet, has now made fun of Apple. Apple CEO Tim ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic