As we return from our mini-break, we bring you some highlights of stories that happened while we were away, including black holes spiraling toward each other, the possible origin of a fast radio burst, and more information on the demise of the dinosaurs. Plus, Erik Madaus brings us updates on quite a few rocket launches.
The inner solar system was a wild and wooly place as the planets were forming, and new research shows that the collisions that formed Earth and Venus were likely of the hit-and-run variety. Plus, polar ice loss warps the planet, and a black hole eats a star.
Based on X-ray detections from the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, scientists used the Chandra X-ray Observatory and found rings called light echoes moving out from a black hole and its companion star, reflecting off the surrounding dust clouds. Plus, solving the puzzle of the Sun and using glassy nodules to find a meteorite impact.
Using data collected by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, scientists have found four free-floating, or rogue, planets near the core of the Milky Way. These planets formed in discs in other planetary systems and were thrown out by gravitational interactions with larger planets. Plus, the early solar system, including ancient Earth, Jupiter’s chemistry, and Mercury’s core.
The fossilized teeth and bones of baby dinosaurs found in northern Alaska may indicate that dinosaurs didn’t just summer in the Arctic but nested and raised their young there. Plus, the cosmic dawn, a cosmic hand, black holes, and preserving core samples for the future of science.
Two new studies are attempting to solve a couple of big puzzles in astrophysics: Is the Hubble constant actually constant? And why do galaxies have flat rotation curves? Plus, a young star’s circumstellar disk, the search for stellar-mass black holes, magnesium in the deep waters of Neptune and Uranus, and an interview with PSI scientist David Horvath regarding possibly active volcanism on Mars.