Ingredients crucial for the origin of life on Earth, including the simple amino acid glycine and phosphorus, key components of DNA and cell membranes, have been discovered at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
A distant 'super-Earth' size planet known as Kepler-62f could be habitable, a team of astronomers reports. The planet, which is about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Lyra, is approximately 40 percent larger than Earth. At that size, Kepler-62f is within the range of planets that are likely to be rocky and possibly could have oceans.
In contradiction to the long-standing idea that larger planets take longer to form, astronomers have announced the discovery of a giant planet in close orbit around a star so young that it still retains a disk of circumstellar gas and dust.
Black holes are still very mysterious celestial bodies which, according to the majority of physicists, do not, however, escape the laws of thermodynamics. As a result, these physical systems possess an entropy though no real agreement has been reached about the microscopic origin of this propriety and how it should be calculated. Scientists have now achieved important results in this calculation by applying a new formalism (Group Field Theory) of Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG), a very popular approach in the area of quantum gravity.
Fewer than predicted planets may be capable of harboring life because their atmospheres keep them too hot, new research suggests.
Scientists are solving one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in galaxy evolution. Scientists have uncovered a new class of galaxies, called "red geysers," with supermassive black hole winds so hot and energetic that stars can't form. Over the last few billion years, a mysterious kind of "galactic warming" has caused many galaxies to change from a lively place where new stars formed every now and then to a quiet place devoid of fresh young stars. But the mechanism that produces this dramatic transformation and keeps galaxies quiet has been one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in galaxy evolution.
A new analysis of the ALMA data for a young star HL Tauri provides yet more firm evidence of baby planets around the star. Researchers uncovered two gaps in the gas disk around HL Tauri. The locations of these gaps in the gas match the locations of gaps in the dust. This discovery supports the idea that planets form in much shorter timescales than previously thought and prompts a reconsideration of alternative planet formation scenarios.
An intriguing alternative view is that dark matter is made of black holes formed during the first second of our universe's existence, known as primordial black holes. A scientist suggests that this interpretation aligns with our knowledge of cosmic infrared and X-ray background glows and may explain the unexpectedly high masses of merging black holes detected last year.
Astrophysicists have taken a major step forward in understanding how supermassive black holes formed. Using data from Hubble and two other space telescopes, researchers have found the best evidence yet for the seeds that ultimately grow into these cosmic giants.
Astronomers have detected for the first time the most luminous gamma-ray emission from the merging galaxy Arp 220 -- the nearest ultraluminous infrared galaxy to Earth reveals the hidden extreme energetic processes in galaxies. Luminous infrared galaxies and ultraluminous infrared galaxies are the most luminous of all galaxies.
Scientists have detected and confirmed the faintest early-universe galaxy ever, using the W. M. Keck Observatory on the summit on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The team detected the galaxy as it was 13 billion years ago.
Scientists have discovered two geologically young craters -- one 16 million, the other between 75 and 420 million, years old -- in the Moon's darkest regions.