Space & Exploration:
The prospect of artificial gravity on space stations is actually possible, but highly expensive and resource-demanding
The most accepted theory of the origin of the universe is still the Big Bang. The theory proposes the universe started from a small singularity (the gravitational kind), then began to expand over the succeeding 13.8 billion years. Although this expansion has its own issues, a bigger question remains: what preceded the Big Bang?
A unique opportunity to study the dwarf planet Haumea has led to an intriguing discovery: Haumea is surrounded by a ring.
For decades, astronomers have known that Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) reside at the center of most massive galaxies. These black holes, which range from being hundreds of thousands to billions of Solar masses, exert a powerful influence on surrounding matter and are believed to be the cause of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). For as long as astronomers have known about them, they have sought to understand how SMBHs form and evolve.
For decades, the predominant cosmological model used by scientists has been based on the theory that in addition to baryonic matter – aka. “normal” or “luminous” matter, which we can see – the Universe also contains a substantial amount of invisible mass. This “Dark Matter” accounts for roughly 26.8% of the mass of the Universe, whereas normal matter accounts for just 4.9%.
According to current estimates, there could be as many as 100 billion planets in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. Unfortunately, finding evidence of these planets is tough, time-consuming work. For the most part, astronomers are forced to rely on indirect methods that measure dips in a star’s brightness (the Transit Method) of Doppler measurements of the star’s own motion (the Radial Velocity Method).
NASA has stated that it's quite likely that our solar system is home to a massive, distant ninth planet. Its existence could shed light on some burning questions about the cosmos.
There's no map showing all the billions of exoplanets hiding in our galaxy -- they're so distant and faint compared to their stars, it's hard to find them. Now, astronomers hunting for new worlds have established a possible signpost for giant exoplanets.
Today, it is well understood that Mars is a cold, dry, and geologically dead planet. However, billions of years ago when it was still young, the planet boasted a denser atmosphere and had liquid water on its surface. Millions of years ago, it also experienced a significant amount of volcanic activity, which resulted in the formation of it’s massive features – like Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the Solar System.
The last picture taken of the Mars lander Beagle 2 showed it being successfully ejected from Mars Express on Christmas Day in 2003. But sadly, we never got a signal back from the lander and have ever since tried to work out what happened, and where it is. Eventually we made a breakthrough – and our findings have now been published in Royal Society Open Science.