Typically it takes quite a few months before a submitted article in nature has passed the peer review process and has been accepted – and then until it is actually printed, it usually takes even more then a quarter of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lissauer JJ, Fabrycky DC, Ford EB, Borucki WJ, Fressin F, Marcy GW, Orosz JA, Rowe JF, Torres G, Welsh WF.... (2011) A closely packed system of low-mass, low-density planets transiting Kepler-11. Nature, 470(7332), 53-8. PMID: 21293371
In light of the recent solar flare, here's a breakdown of the radiation we're exposed to, how we're shielded, and how solar flares can actually protect our astronauts.... Read more »
B. F. Rauch, J. T. Link, K. Lodders, M. H. Israel, L. M. Barbier, W. R. Binns, E. R. Christian, J. R. Cummings, G. A. de Nolfo, S. Geier, R. A. Mewaldt, J. W. Mitchell, S. M. Schindler, L. M. Scott, E. C. Stone, R. E. Streitmatter, C. J. Waddington, M. E. (2009) Cosmic-ray origin in OB associations and preferential acceleration of refractory elements: Evidence from abundances of elements 26Fe through 34Se. Astrophys.J.697:2083-2088,2009. info:/arXiv:0906.2021v1
Svensmark, H., Bondo, T., & Svensmark, J. (2009) Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(15). DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038429
I’ve previously blogged about extreme particle acceleration producing gamma-rays in many different astrophysical contexts, including galactic binary systems & blazars, but I haven’t talked in any great depth about another source of extremely high energy particles: supernova remnants. The Crab Nebula: a typical supernova remnant (Image: NASA/STScI) A supernova remnant is the remains of a [...]... Read more »
Globular Clusters (GCs) Globular clusters are groups of roughly spherical, densely packed stars. They are thought to have formed at the same time as most galaxies and the stars which make them up are some of the oldest known–thus GCs are an excellent probe of galaxy formation and evolution. They have a high central stellar [...]... Read more »
A. P. Huxor, A. M. N. Ferguson, N. R. Tanvir, M. J. Irwin, A. D. Mackey, R. A. Ibata, T. Bridges, S. C. Chapman, & G. F. Lewis. (2011) Exploring the Properties of the M31 Halo Globular Cluster System. MNRAS. arXiv: 1102.0403v1
Abadi, M., Navarro, J., & Steinmetz, M. (2006) Stars beyond galaxies: the origin of extended luminous haloes around galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 365(3), 747-758. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09789.x
Galaxy clusters are some of the largest structures in the universe. Astronomers have found these clusters, which are large groups of galaxies bound together by gravity, as far back as only 4 billion years after the Big Bang (less than … Continue reading →... Read more »
Capak PL, Riechers D, Scoville NZ, Carilli C, Cox P, Neri R, Robertson B, Salvato M, Schinnerer E, Yan L.... (2011) A massive protocluster of galaxies at a redshift of z ≈ 5.3. Nature, 470(7333), 233-5. PMID: 21228776
Its the 14th of February, or at least thats what the calendar on the wall says, you have been out in deep space heading towards that new colony for so long each day pretty much blurs in to the next. Despite how cold it is outside (and believe me its cold), today is a day [...]... Read more »
Tore Straume, Steve Blattnig, & Cary Zeitlin. (210) Radiation Hazards and the Colonization of Mars: Brain, Body, Pregnancy, In-Utero Development, Cardio, Cancer, Degeneration. Journal of Cosmology, 3992-4033. info:/
Frame Dragging, an effect spinning black holes have on spacetime and on the light in its vicinity, is causing a measurable corkscrew effect on photons, newly discovered and published in this issue of Nature Physics. "Twisting of light around rotating black holes"... Read more »
QFT I’m lucky to have a job in which I can take two weeks of mornings of work to study a nominally tangential subject in greater depth. These past two weeks I attended a series of lectures at the ETH on physics beyond the standard model, the first week was very technical but exciting to [...]... Read more »
F. I. Cooperstock, & S. Tieu. (2005) General Relativity Resolves Galactic Rotation Without Exotic Dark Matter. arXiv. arXiv: astro-ph/0507619v1
he research into the nature and properties of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy is one of the highlights of astronomical discovery of the last two decades. Using the biggest telescopes on the planet and state of the art observing technology, we’ve been able to track the young massive stars that are whizzing around the black hole in a dense cluster, and shown with a high level of certainty that the galaxy’s central object really is a supermassive black hole, referre........ Read more »
F. H. Vincent, T. Paumard, G. Perrin, L. Mugnier, F. Eisenhauer, & S. Gillessen. (2011) Performance of astrometric detection of a hotspot orbiting on the innermost stable circular orbit of the galactic centre black hole. MNRAS. arXiv: 1011.5439v1
Ariel Goobar and Bruno Leibundgu have recently submitted an article to Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science summing up our current understanding of physics from the current set of supernova data. We have accrued quite a lot of supernova data over the years and so it is interesting to take a look at how much we have learned. I will not report everything but will post a few interesting
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In continuing this review and analysis of the film 'Knowing', we must absolutely address the numeric sequence which was obsessively scribed by the character Lucinda Embry. The sheet of paper containing several hundred seemingly random digits was placed into an elementary school's 'time capsule' to be opened some 50 years later. Upon opening and rediscovery of this number sequence, we are taken on a thrilling journey to unlock the secrets embedded in this sequence of digits - which as i........ Read more »
Sitler, R. (2006) The 2012 Phenomenon New Age Appropriation of an Ancient Mayan Calendar. Nova Religio, 9(3), 24-38. DOI: 10.1525/nr.2006.9.3.024
In the news this month we roundup of some highlights from the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Seattle during January. The annual meetings of the American Astronomical Society are the largest gatherings of astronomers on the planet, and the presentations cover topics across the whole field of astronomy and astrophysics, including observational results, theoretical studies and simulations. Here are some of the highlights from this year's meeting.Starting big, astronomers........ Read more »
SDSS-III collaboration: Hiroaki Aihara, Carlos Allende Prieto, Deokkeun An, Scott F. Anderson, Éric Aubourg, Eduardo Balbinot, Timothy C. Beers, Andreas A. Berlind, Steven J. Bickerton, Dmitry Bizyaev.... (2011) The Eighth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: First Data from SDSS-III. Astrophysical Journal Supplements. arXiv: 1101.1559v1
Wyithe JS, Yan H, Windhorst RA, & Mao S. (2011) A distortion of very-high-redshift galaxy number counts by gravitational lensing. Nature, 469(7329), 181-4. PMID: 21228870
In a trillion years we will be sitting in a big blob of a galaxy with no extragalactic sources to observe. I know what you are thinking, what about all the unemployed cosmologists in the far future? But don’t start a collection for the hardship fund just yet, luckily a new paper by a researcher at Harvard has come up with a way for astronomers in the far future to measure the parameters of the universe.... Read more »
Abraham Loeb. (2011) On the Importance of Hypervelocity Stars for the Long-Term Future of Cosmology. ApJ. arXiv: 1102.0007v1
As photons move through the universe they get gravitationally lensed as the pass by large clumps of matter. (As shown in the image above.) Dark matter, being the dominant form of matter, lenses these photons more than anything. Therefore, by studying the lensing properties of incoming photons, in principle we can reconstruct what the profiles of the dark matter doing that lensing.
Now, put (
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Michael L. Brown, & Richard A. Battye. (2011) Mapping the dark matter with polarized radio surveys. E-Print. arXiv: 1101.5157v1
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's remember that dark energy being a cosmological constant fits the data very well and has for years. That said, experimental constraints allow for dark energy actually being an exotic form of phantom energy. (So for the time being we have to allow for the possibility and work out the details.) This was recently done by Dabrowski and Denkiewicz.
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Yesterday I came across this article, proclaiming to the world that "Saturn’s icy moon Rhea has an oxygen and carbon dioxide atmosphere that is very similar to Earth’s. Even better, the carbon dioxide suggests there’s life – and that possibly humans could breathe the air."
Say what? Ok. There's so much badness packed into those two lede sentences that I feel dirty just reprinting them here.... Read more »
Teolis BD, Jones GH, Miles PF, Tokar RL, Magee BA, Waite JH, Roussos E, Young DT, Crary FJ, Coates AJ.... (2010) Cassini finds an oxygen-carbon dioxide atmosphere at Saturn's icy moon Rhea. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6012), 1813-5. PMID: 21109635
In the morning when I get into lab, around 10 in the morning, I have a set routine. Make a cup of coffee or tea, update my research wiki with a new entry corresponding to the day’s tasks, write/reply to work related emails, admin phygg.com (spam management etc.), scan/vote on papers of interest. Finally I [...]... Read more »
C. Y. Hui, K. S. Cheng, Y. Wang, P. H. T. Tam, A. K. H. Kong, D. O. Chernyshov, & V. A. Dogiel. (2011) The Fundamental Plane of Gamma-ray Globular Clusters. Astrophysical Journal, Volume 726, Page 100 (2011). arXiv: 1101.4107v1
R. van de Weygaert, K. Kreckel, E. Platen, B. Beygu, J. H. van Gorkom, J. M. van der Hulst, M. A. Aragon-Calvo, P. J. E. Peebles, T. Jarrett, G. Rhee.... (2011) The Void Galaxy Survey. "Environment and the Formation of Galaxies: 30 years later", Proceedings of Symposium 2 of JENAM 2010,. arXiv: 1101.4187v1
Today, we’re going back to my old frienemy, the arXiv blog. Even though I tend to beat up on it quite a bit, the preprint archive does have some interesting papers, even if the only interesting part about them is shredding them for a skeptical post. Then again, this sort of constant criticism of scientific [...]... Read more »
Science tends to grow organically, branching out in new directions driven by new discoveries and new technology. But every once in a while, scientists feel the need to take stock of where their subject is going, and make some changes to keep things consistent. The most famous example of this is when the International Astronomical [...]
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Gliese 581g, we hardly knew you. After a grand announcement, nearly immediate colonization plans from a leading sci-fi blog, and even a tale of supposed alien signals emanating from the newly discovered world, which was actually just an invention of the Daily Mail, rumors started surfacing that this planet wasn’t being detected in subsequent reviews [...]... Read more »
Philip C. Gregory. (2011) Bayesian Re-analysis of the Gliese 581 Exoplanet System. n/a. arXiv: 1101.0800v1
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