A Transparent, Seemingly Impossible Galaxy Discovered

Despite how little we know about dark matter, we can tell when it’s there, from the way it impacts galaxies and causes strange movements that don’t fit the laws of gravity. Which means we can also tell when it’s not there. For the first time, astronomers using the Dragonfly Telephoto Array in New Mexico (and eventually the Hubble Space Telescope) discovered a distant galaxy […]

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A planet with no home

NASA just discovered a new lonely planet with no host star. To make sense of space, we tend to group things up. For example, our planet is a part of the Solar System, which is part of the Milky Way galaxy, which sits in the Laniakea region of the Universe, and so on. These groups […]

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Cassini Solstice Mission: Saturn’s Rings: Less than Meets the Eye?

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Some parts of Saturn’s B ring are up to 10 times more opaque than the neighboring A ring, but the B ring may weigh in at only two to three times the A ring’s mass.Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

It seems intuitive that an opaque material should contain more stuff than a more translucent substance. For example, muddier water has more suspended particles of dirt in it than clearer water. Likewise, you might think that, in the rings of Saturn, more opaque areas contain a greater concentration of material than places where the rings seem more transparent.

But this intuition does not always apply, according to a recent study of the rings using data from NASA’s Cassini mission. In their analysis, scientists found surprisingly little correlation between how dense a ring might appear to be — in terms of its opacity and reflectiveness — and the amount of material it contains.

Read more: Cassini Solstice Mission: Saturn’s Rings: Less than Meets the Eye?

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Galactic ‘burp’ shows black holes can also create, not just destroy

Excuse you. Scientists have discovered evidence of a powerful galactic blast produced by a comparatively nearby supermassive black hole located some 26 million light-years away from Earth. The black hole, centred in a small galaxy called NGC 5195, is the nearest of its kind to Earth undergoing such violent outbursts, which the researchers have likened […]

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Dark matter may power supernovae

Stellar explosions known as type Ia supernovae could be triggered by dark matter. So says a physicist in the US, who has worked out how certain burnt-out stars can explode even though they lack the mass to generate fusion reactions. According to the new research, the stars ignite because they accumulate so-called asymmetric dark matter, […]

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