Science

SpaceX President updates schedule for Starship’s orbital launch debut

SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell says that the company now expects Starbase to be ready for Starship’s first orbital launch attempt as early as June or July, pushing the schedule back another month or two. To accomplish that feat, SpaceX will need to more or less ace a wide range of challenging and unproven …

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NASA ICON Finds Effects of Massive Tonga Volcano Eruption Reached Space

The GOES-17 satellite captured images of an umbrella cloud generated by the underwater eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on January 15, 2022. Crescent-shaped bow shock waves and numerous lighting strikes are also visible. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens using GOES imagery courtesy of NOAA and NESDIS When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga …

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Incredible Image Has Us So Excited For What The James Webb Space Telescope Can Do

All four science instruments on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have achieved “perfect alignment” in advance of the telescope’s official debut this summer, project officials said in a news teleconference on Monday (May 9). “I’m delighted to report that the telescope alignment has been completed with performance even better than we had anticipated,” Michael McElwain, …

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Astronomers see a big boom when a black hole’s magnetic field suddenly flips over

Two hundred thirty-six million light-years away, and hence 236 million years ago, a strange and intense light erupted from a distant astronomical object. The intergalactic rumble was detected here on Earth, where astronomers rapidly ascertained that the flare originated around a supermassive black hole. A spontaneous reversal of the black hole’s magnetic poles could be …

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Sizing Up the “Shadows” of Two Supermassive Black Holes in the Process of Colliding

In this simulation of a supermassive black hole merger, the blue-shifted black hole closest to the viewer amplifies the red-shifted black hole in the back through gravitational lensing. The researchers discovered a distinct dip in brightness when the closest black hole passed in front of the shadow of its counterpart, an observation that could be …

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Computational sleuthing confirms first 3D quantum spin liquid

A 3D representation of the spin-excitation continuum—a possible hallmark of a quantum spin liquid—observed in 2019 in a single crystal sample of cerium zirconium pyrochlore. Credit: Tong Chen/Rice University Computational detective work by US and German physicists has confirmed that cerium zirconium pyrochlore is a 3D quantum spin liquid. Despite the name, quantum spin liquids …

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If there are Dyson spheres around white dwarfs, we should be able to detect them

Artist depiction of a Dyson sphere. Credit: Kevin McGill Searching for Dyson spheres, rings or swarms remains a preoccupation of many astronomers. If there are any out there, they will eventually be found, and the person or research team to do so will go down in history for making one of the most momentous discoveries …

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Sky to put on a show Sunday with total lunar eclipse visible in Louisville

As summer approaches and the weather warms up, our nearest celestial neighbor has a special treat for sky watchers – a total lunar eclipse visible across North and South America on the night of Sunday, May 15. The eclipse will begin when the Earth’s shadow appears on the moon at 10:27 pm EDT Sunday night. …

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Humans are causing the ocean to lose its memory, study shows: “It’s almost as if the ocean is developing amnesia”

Earth’s oceans are feeling the wrath of human-induced climate change. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and reefs are dying – and now, according to a new study published in Science Advances, the sea is losing its memory altogether. Unlike weather, which can change wildly and rapidly day-to-day, Earth’s oceans usually only have slight …

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Watch the Event Horizon Telescope’s Milky Way discovery reveal online

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has spotted something incredible in the Milky Way galaxy — something its team is calling “groundbreaking.” But what exactly that discovery is, we won’t find out until Thursday (May 12). The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team has teased the discovery online, but the full announcement will come during a set …

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