A new report indicates that Tabby’s Star is dramatically decreasing in brightness, raising more questions about the mechanism behind the fluctuations. A STRANGE STAR Last fall, an unassuming star called KIC 8462852 became a hot topic among astronomers and astronomy fans after the planet-hunting Kepler telescope showed unusual light fluctuations in the area. At the […]Read more "No Signs of Aliens Yet, But This Mysterious Star Continues to Baffle Astronomers"
Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws and principles that appear to explain the physics of relatively large objects at human scale. However, quantum mechanics, the […]Read more "Seeing quantum motion"
Astronomers using data from NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b. Kepler-7b (left), which is 1.5 times the radius of Jupiter (right), is the first exoplanet to have its clouds mapped. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT. The planet is […]Read more "Telescopes Reveal Patchy Clouds on Exotic World"
The lightweight skeletons of organisms such as sea sponges display a strength that far exceeds that of manmade products constructed from similar materials. Scientists have long suspected that the difference has to do with the hierarchical architecture of the biological materials—the way the silica-based skeletons are built up from different structural elements, some of which […]Read more "Fabrication and Deformation of Three-Dimensional Hollow Ceramic Nanostructures"
Some galaxies hit a point in their lives when their star formation is snuffed out, and they become “quenched”. Quenched galaxies in the distant past appear to be much smaller than the quenched galaxies in the Universe today. This has always puzzled astronomers — how can these galaxies grow if they are no longer forming […]Read more "When galaxies switch off"
In order to build the next generation of nuclear reactors, materials scientists are trying to unlock the secrets of certain materials that are radiation-damage tolerant. Now researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have brought new understanding to one of those secrets—how the interfaces between two carefully selected metals can absorb, or heal, radiation […]Read more "Nano Insights Could Lead to Improved Nuclear Reactors"