Researchers have shown that they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity, a key step towards solving a much bigger mystery.
What is our universe made of, and has its composition changed over time? Scientists have new insights about these fundamental questions, thanks to an international collaboration of more than 400 scientists called the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Three scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are part of this group that is helping to further our understanding of the structure of the universe.
When you consider that age of the Universe – 13.8 billion years by our most recent counts – and that which is “observable” to us measures about 27.6 billion light years in diameter, you begin to wonder why we haven’t found signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI) beyond our Solar System. To paraphrase Enrico Fermi, the 20th century physicists who advanced the famous Fermi Paradox – “where the heck are all the aliens?”
In the past few decades, astronomers and geophysicists have benefited immensely from the study of planetary magnetic fields. Dedicated to mapping patterns of magnetism on other astronomical bodies, this field has grown thanks to missions ranging from the Voyager probes to the more recent Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission.
There’s been a whirlwind of commentary of late speculating that the acceleration of the expanding universe might not be real after all. It follows the publication this month of a new look at supernovae in our universe, which the researchers say give only a “marginal detection” of the acceleration of the universe.
A new photo album made from hundreds of images of more than 70,000 galaxies represents one of the most detailed galaxy studies ever compiled, spanning a period of 12 billion years. The album, which my colleagues and I compiled, allows us to track the family tree of galaxies over more than 90% of the age of the universe.
ETH researchers studying how stars are formed in distant galaxies have made an unexpected discovery: a correlation that exists today between the proportion of heavy chemical elements in a galaxy and the rate at which new stars are formed in this galaxy did not apply 10 billion years ago. This observation helps scientists understand how galaxies with their stars and planets were formed over billions of years.
Philosophy asks some fundamental and probing questions of itself. What is it? Why do we do it? What can it achieve? As a starting point, the word “philosophy” comes from the Greek words meaning a love of wisdom. And anyone who does it is trying to make sense of the world around them. In that way, philosophers are a bit like scientists.