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Researchers report that Venus might have been habitable for millions of years

Researchers report that Venus might have been habitable for years

Venus is poisonous and a super-heated for a planet that is named after a Roman goddess of love and beauty. All early missions to Venus have provided researchers with a valuable lesson: Venus is like a giant pressure cooker. Although the planet is the second closest planet to the sun, it’s considerably the hottest of the eight planets in our solar system. Its thick atmosphere is mostly made of carbon dioxide with clouds of sulfuric acid, which traps the sun’s heat and creates a runaway greenhouse effect.

But as it turns out; it hasn’t always been this way.

In a recent research study, submitted at the 2019 Joint Meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress, Division for Planetary Sciences, States that Venus possibly had stable temperatures and was home to “fluid water” for 2 to 3 billion years. This was until more than 700 million years ago, and then a drastic transition took place that reshaped the planet and resurfaced around 80 percent of it.

“We hypothesize that Venus may have had a stable climate for billions of years,” says planetary scientist Michael Way from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“It is possible that the near-global resurfacing event is responsible for its transformation from an Earth-like climate to the hellish hot-house we see today.”

This period of Earth-like climatic stability with the presence of water in Venusian oceans may have lasted for up to 3 billion years, the researchers think, based on several simulations of what the ancient planet’s climate conditions may have been like.

Across a number of hypothetical scenarios run at different points in history contemplating both deep (310-metre deep) and shallow (10-metre deep) affected oceans, and a water-world situation where an imaginary sea covered all of an ‘aquaplanet’ Venus ,the results suggest that Venus could have supported liquid water, with moderate surface temperatures on the planet of 20 to 40 degrees Celsius (68 to 104 Fahrenheit).

life on venus

Image credit: Pixabay

At least, this would have been the case as far back as 4.2 billion years ago, right up until about 700 million years ago. Somewhere around that time, something mysterious has happened on Venus, and eternally since the planet has been incredibly hot, with a toxic, heat-trapping ‘greenhouse effect’ atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

“Our models show that there is a real possibility that Venus could have been habitable and radically different from the Venus we see today,” way says.

“This opens up all kinds of associations for exoplanets found in what is called the ‘Venus Zone,’ which may result in host liquid water and temperate climates.”

The findings were presented at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Mass of Neutrinos that has perplexed the concepts of Physics has been narrowed down

Mass of Neutrinos, the perplexing concept of Physics has been narrowed down

An enormous experiment to pin down the mass of one of the most perplexing particles in the Universe has placed a cover on how massive the neutrino really might be.

What was once considered massless, is now thought that the mass of the particle weighs no more than one electronvolt. It may not be an accurate response, but it brings us one step closer to a satisfactory solution to one of the greatest secrets of modern physics.

Neutrinos are odd. They are among the Universe’s most abundant particles, yet challenging to identify. Because of their unique characteristics, they communicate very little with ordinary matter.

Billions of neutrinos are currently zipping through your body. You can see why it’s called’ particles of the ghost.’

After years of testing of their plant in Germany, the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) test started its test campaign to calculate the resting mass of the neutrino last spring.

At a meeting in Japan earlier this month, officials produced their first batch of results.

The findings have still not been released, and while there’s a long way to go, the researchers have divided estimates that were previously considered as possible, down from the previous upper limit of around 2 electronvolts to just 1.

Unlike units of pounds and kilograms, this measurement isn’t an easy one to picture. MIT physicist Joseph Formaggio and leading member of the KATRIN experimental group suggests starting tiny and then going more diminutive.

“Each virus is made up of roughly 10 million protons,” Formaggio said to MIT News writer, Jennifer Chu.

“Each proton weighs about 2,000 times more than each electron inside that virus. And what our results proved is that the neutrino has a mass less than 1/500,000 of a single electron!”

As it happens, nobody is astounded that the base mass of a neutrino may be so inconceivably low. When they were first recommended as part of the Standard Model of particle physics, it was assumed the particles didn’t have any mass at all.

This assumption was empirically challenged during the late 1990s by the results of a landmark experiment demonstrating neutrinos streaming from the Sun changed form in a way that meant their mass couldn’t be zero.

So if it’s not zero, what is it? For more than two decades, various experiments have done their best to constrain the limits on just how big or small it might be.

The main issue is that neutrinos do not interact with other particles. The only interaction they have is with the kind of particles we build measuring tools from via the nuclear force.

“Neutrinos are strange little particles,” says physicist Peter Doe from the University of Washington.

“They’re so universal, and there’s so much we can learn once we determine this value.”

 

New photos emerge of the bizarre substance found on the surface of the moon

New photos emerge of the bizarre substance found on the surface of the moon

The lunar exploration program of China has recently published pictures that offer us a glimpse of the strange material found on the far side of the moon.

Yutu-2, the Chang’e-4 mission’s lunar rover, caught notice last month after his drive team spotted something extraordinary while roving close to a tiny crater. Our Space, which announced the results on Aug 17th, used terms that can be translated as “gel-like”, as per the Chinese-language science outreach publication. This concept triggered widespread interest and speculation among lunar researchers.

Scientists have now seized a look at that curious material, thanks to a post released over the weekend by Our Space via its WeChat social media account. Along with new images of the stuff on the moon, the post details how the  Yutu-2 team carefully approached the crater to analyze the specimen, despite risks.

Last month, the team behind the lunar rover claimed it had found a “colored mysterious substance” as described in the rover’s diary, which claimed that the material’s shape and the color are significantly different from the surrounding lunar soil.”

The pictures were taken by the obstacle-avoidance camera of the rover, which ensures that nothing is bumped into by the rover. The red and green shapes in the above picture are the most presumable artifacts of the accounts of the rover’s Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer.

So what exactly is it? Give it a look…

 

The best guess we have so far is that it’s just a piece of lunar glass that was formed during a meteor impact.

The Chinese researchers will likely release more images and spectrometer readings of the mysterious substance in the future.

It will have to at the very least wait for the Sun to rise again to continue its investigation. And that’s roughly a week from now.

 

Researchers discover galaxies undergoing dramatic transitions

Researchers discover galaxies undergoing dramatic transitions

We tend to think of the galactic system occurrences as those that occur uncommonly slowly compared to our short human life. It’s not always the case, though.

Six galaxies have just experienced an enormous transformation in just a matter of months in a moving way. They have moved from relatively peaceful galaxies to active quasars-the brightest of all galaxies, blasting vast quantities of radiation into the Universe.

This is not only incredibly amazing, but these occurrences could assist resolve a long-standing discussion about what generates the light in a specific galaxy type. In reality, they may show a sort of galactic nucleus activity that was earlier unknown.

The six galaxies began as galaxies of the low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER); in terms of brightness, it’s kind of like being a galactic particle.

A third of all known galaxies are brighter than those with dormant supermassive black holes in the center, but not as bright as active galaxies (known as Seyfert galaxies), whose supermassive black holes are cosmic.

Now, the most brilliant of such active galaxies are quasar galaxies; indeed, they are among the most colorful objects in the Universe. The light and radio emissions we see are triggered by black hole material, called an accretion disk.

That disk includes dust and gas swirling at tremendous speeds like water running down a drain, creating enormous friction as it is pulled by the black hole’s substantial gravitational force in the center. This friction generates intense heat and light; large spray tanks emit radio waves from the polar regions of the black hole.

But when a team of astronomers led by the University of Maryland astronomer Sara Frederick walked through the first nine months of automated sky survey information from the Zwicky Transient Facility, they discovered six LINER galaxies doing something strange.

changes in galaxies

Image credit: Pixabay

“We first believed we observed a tidal disruption event for one of the six objects, which occurs when a star goes too close to a supermassive black hole and gets shredded,” Frederick said.

Frederick and her colleagues want to understand how a previously quiet galaxy with a calm nucleus can suddenly transition to a bright beacon of galactic radiation. To learn more, they performed follow-up observations on the objects with the Discovery Channel Telescope, which is operated by the Lowell Observatory in partnership with UMD, Boston University, the University of Toledo and Northern Arizona University. These observations helped to clarify aspects of the transitions, including how the rapidly transforming galactic nuclei interacted with their host galaxies.

 

jupiter flash

Astronomers reveal the mystery about the asteroid which smashed into Jupiter

On August 7, 2019, a large space rock slammed through Jupiter. It was a rare flash of light and was bright enough to be detected through telescopes. Texas-based astronomer Ethan Chappel detected it.

The cause of this smash was a tiny asteroid, which had a density consistent with that of meteors that are equal components of stone and iron, according to a new evaluation.

The meteor exploded in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, about 80 kilometres above the cloud, releasing energy equal to 240 kilotons of TNT-just over half of the power from the meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk in 2013.

According to an evaluation performed by Ramanakumar Sankar and Csaba Palotai of the Florida Institute of Technology, the impactor was probably 39 feet to 52 feet (12 to 16 meters) broad, with a mass of about 408 metric tons (450 tons).

Ricardo Hueso, who is a researcher at the University of the Basque Country, also analyzed the data of the impact event and arrived at similar conclusions about the size and mass of the asteroid. Hueso remarked that since 2010, the August incident was probably the second brightest of the six Jupiter effects that were observed.

“Many of these objects hit Jupiter without being spotted by observers on Earth,” Hueso reported in a statement. “However, we now estimate 20-60 similar objects and their impact with Jupiter each year. Because of Jupiter’s large size and gravitational field, this impact rate is 10,000 times larger than the impact rate of similar objects that hit Earth.”

The new studies were aided by an open-source software program called DeTeCt, which was explicitly designed to identify impacts on Jupiter. DeTeCt was developed by Hueso and French amateur astronomer Marc Delcroix.

Ethan Chappel used DeTeCt to analyze the flash. He then contacted Delcroix and Hueso, who reached out to their connections in the amateur astronomy community to see if anyone else had observed the impact.

“This event has galvanized the amateur community, and the number of observers and the volume of data being prepared is increasing rapidly,” Delcroix said in the same statement. “DeTeCt is a fantastic showcase for professional-amateur collaboration.”

The new results about the 7th August impact were conferred on Monday, September 16 at a joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences in Geneva.

International Space Agencies Are Going to Smash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid

Space agencies are going to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid

The time has come to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid to test the Earth’s defence capability.

The joint spacecraft mission known as the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA), will consult with specialists coming together from the United States Space Agency, NASA, and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The target asteroid is Didymos B, the smaller in the Didymos binary system. The spacecraft is the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) of NASA. The main reason behind this is to test whether an impact on a spaceship can deflect the trajectory of an asteroid as a means of protecting Earth from hazardous space rocks.

“It is important that Europe plays a leading role in AIDA, an innovative mission that was originally developed by the ESA research back in 2003, remarked Ian Carnelli from ESA.

“An international effort is an appropriate way forward and, the planetary defence is in everyone’s interest,” he further added.

There are currently 850 “near-Earth asteroids” (NEAs) on ESA’s list and over 18,000 known “near-Earth objects” (NEOs), as per the reports of the agency.

Impacts of small space rocks with Earth are comparatively common, and although more substantial consequences are rarer, they can cause catastrophic damage.

The impact of an asteroid collision on Earth depends on many factors, such as the position and location of impact, and the physical properties of the asteroid.

While we have the technology available with us to mitigate such a threat from an asteroid, it has never been tested in sensible conditions.

Researchers are examining the viability of diverting an asteroid by crashing a spacecraft to see if the technique is a feasible planetary defence method.


One of two Didymos double asteroids between Earth and Mars is under consideration, which they aim to deflect the orbit of using one spacecraft’s effect.

A second observation craft will examine the site of the crash and collect information on the impact of the collision.

NASA is providing the Double Asteroid Impact Test (DART) spacecraft, which is all set to collide with its target in September 2022 at a speed of at 6.6 km/s. It is already under development.

An Italian-made miniature CubeSat called LICIACube will record the moment of impact.

ESA will launch a Hera probe in October 2024 to study the target asteroid post-impact.

The results and observations of Hera will allow researchers to transform the experiment into a technique that could be repeated were there a real threat.

Researchers discover the Massive Neutron Star

Researchers discover the Massive Neutron Star

Researchers at West Virginia University have helped identify the most massive neutron star to date, and it is considered to be a breakthrough uncovered through the Green Bank Telescope in Pocahontas County.

According to a document released in Nature Astronomy on Monday, a team of astronomers has now effectively recognized the massive neutron star on record. The star, called J0740 + 6620, is 2.14 times as large as the Sun, measuring approximately 15 miles in diameter.

The neutron star, which is called as J0740 + 6620, is a fast-spinning pulsar that carries 2.17 times the Sun’s mass (which is 333,000 times the Earth’s mass) across a sphere of just 20-30 kilometers or about 15 miles. This measurement approaches the boundaries that a single object can become large and compact without crushing itself into a black hole.

The discovery is important because the maximum possible mass for neutron stars has yet to be identified by scientists. J0740 + 6620 is probably close to this threshold, which means it can shed light on the mysterious inner dynamics of neutron stars and give insight into the deaths and afterlife of massive stars.

The new mass detection “is interesting because it informs our understanding of how supernovae form neutron stars (and how massive the progenitor stars must be),” stated lead author Thankful Cromartie, a graduate student in astronomy at the University of Virginia.

neuron star

 

“To consider for neutron stars that are born extremely massive, we need to refine our models of stellar evolution and supernovae explosions,” she mentioned.

J0740+6620 is a pulsar, a particular type of neutron star that emits luminous beams of radiation out of its magnetic poles. Since these poles happen to be oriented toward Earth, scientists can discern it regularly blinking like a cosmic lighthouse, even though it is located 4,600 light-years away.

Because of their interactions with their companion white dwarf, the researchers were able to calculate the mass of the pulsar. As the two objects orbit each other, their immense gravity distorts the surrounding space that distorts the bright pulses emitted by J0740 + 6620.

Authors on the paper include Duncan Lorimer, an astronomy professor and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences associate dean for research; Eberly Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy Maura McLaughlin; Nate Garver-Daniels, a system administrator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; and postdocs and former students named Harsha Blumer, Paul Brook, Pete Gentile, Megan Jones and Michael Lam.

The discovery is one of many surprising results, McLaughlin said. She added that they have emerged during conventional observations taken as part of a search for gravitational waves.

The team used this exact time delay to estimate the mass of the white dwarf, which in turn enabled them to calculate the mass of the pulsar. The research unveiled that J0740+6620 is the most significant neutron star known to scientists.

The results “serve as a strong validation of the existence of high-mass neutron stars,” the team inferred in the paper. “Even small increases in the measured mass of the most massive neutron stars force a reconsideration of the underlying physics at play in their centers.

MIT Scientists Uncovers the Existence of A New Blackest Substance

MIT Scientists Uncovers the Existence of A New Blackest Substance

What’s the darkest kind of black in your imagination? Black noir, Coal Black, Jet Black or anything you can count on. MIT scientists have made the discovery of a super black material. It has been claimed that this black substance is by far more darker than Ventablack.

A trending study in journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces reveals that a material made up of carbon cylinders organized on an aluminum foil surface is able to absorb more than 99.995 percent of light form possible angle is nearly 10 times blacker than any other property ever found on the planet Earth.

This much darker foil is out for a public display at the New York Stock Exchange as a precious phase of an art exhibition called “The Redemption of Vanity.” It has been reported that foil hits the price of $2 million diamonds.

This blackest ever material was invented by a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT named Brian Wardle and a materials scientist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University named Kehang Cui when they both were making their collective attempts of fixing an issue in regards of carbon nanotubes.

Wardle and Cui were hitting efforts to produce carbon nanotubes on aluminum plains for the purpose of exaggerating the conductivity of the foil. But at the time of this experiment, a thin membrane of oxide kept arising on the aluminum that advanced its current.

Cui found that placing the aluminum to saltwater resulted in dissolving the oxide which helped the team to construct nanotubes with a combination of powerful electrical characteristics. They did it on a forecasting basis. It has been stated in the study.

” I remember noticing how black it was before growing carbon nanotubes on it, and then after growth, it looked even darker,” Cui admitted. “So I thought I should measure the optical reflectance of the sample”.

In the beginning, they had absolutely no clue that this action is going to end up revealing the blackest substance ever came into existence in this universe. As soon as they saw the incredible blackish properties of this material they approached Diemut Strebe, MIT artist in residence for exhibiting the darkened diamond. The reason behind this intense blackness is the high light absorption proficiency of CNT.,

“Our group does not usually focus on optical properties of materials, but this work was going on at the same time as our art-science collaborations with Diemut, so art influenced science in this case,” says Wardle.

“CNT forests of different varieties are known to be extremely black, but there is a lack of mechanistic understanding as to why this material is the blackest. That needs further study,” Wardle says.

For instance, this ultra-black foil might prove to be a precious detection for other scientific moves such as for fighting up the blackout, a path in the galaxy by preferring the use of striking shadow of this black element. It was completely an incidental finding but now is topping the charts of some actual amazements.

Journal Reference: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

Interstellar object approaching our solar system

Interstellar object approaching our solar system

In the year 2017, an interstellar space object spurted across our solar system. It was named Oumuamua. It was the first time we had ever detected an interstellar object passing through the solar system and its unusual shape was evocative of the artificial vessel in Rendezvous with Rama science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Presently, a Ukrainian has found an object zooming through our solar system that has been confirmed as a comet — and this is something that the sun is unlikely to capture.

The comet, named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), was caught on the night of September 9-10 by the Gemini North Telescope’s Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph. The picture manifested a very articulated tail indicating outgassing and confirming that the object is a comet. This is another first, with C/2019 Q4 being the first interstellar visitor to form a tail due to outgassing.

Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is likely our second interstellar visitor after Oumuamua. Gennady Borisov found it. The coma can already be detected by scientists— the blurred ice and dust trail that spins off the comet as it approaches the sun and starts to melt. And contrary to’ Oumuamua, Q4 is still approaching Earth. While it will not be nearer than 180 million miles, until December 7 it will not achieve that point. We have more time to watch this ancient visitor, and there are hopes that from the coma of debris it sheds we can detect hints about its origin. We didn’t identify Oumuamua until it was out of our solar system already, but C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) was picked up previously.

interstellar

“This is the first highly active object that we’ve seen coming in from something that formed around another star,” Michele Bannister, an astronomer at Queen’s University Belfast, explained to National Geographic.

Andrew Stephens, an astronomer who works with the Gemini Observatory, was responsible for coordinating the observations. As he remarked:

“This image was possible because of Gemini’s ability to rapidly adjust observations and observe objects like this, which have very short windows of visibility. However, we had to scramble for this one since we got the final details at 3:00 am and were observing it by 4:45!”

Comets such as C/2019 Q4 aren’t notable— at any given moment there are an estimated 10,000 bits of interstellar debris in orbit between here and Neptune. But this material is small and highly hard to observe. It is much more unusual to identify parts of incoming interstellar objects. We don’t have comprehensive comet pictures yet because the present core is so tiny in diameter ranging from 1.2 to 10 miles. It should be noticeable through April 2020 with mid-powered telescopes, but after that date only with professional telescopes will be observed. C/2019 Q4 is supposed to disappear from perspective by October 2020 — assuming, of course, it’s not something entirely different.

Regularly Feasting Black Hole

Astronomers Discover Supermassive Black Hole with Strict Feeding Schedule

Every day we are getting introduced with magnificent spectacles of the universe. Just a few months ago scientists captured a first-ever actual image of a black hole which proved the physical presence of black holes. Just as the world was hoarding over this impeccable achievement, a few days ago lead author of ESA Center for Astrobiology, Spain, Giovanni Miniutti made an announcement that a team of astronomers discovered a supermassive black hole, located 250 million light-years ahead of Earth with the mass of approximately 400,000 times that of the sun. While this can prove to be a stepping stone in the field of space exploration, it is a terrifying discovery because this supermassive black hole is regularly feasting at the interval of 9 hours.

Astronomers made the use of ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray space observatory to find this supermassive black hole. The discovery of supermassive black hole isn’t that astounding because in the past, two such flaring supermassive black holes have been already discovered but the thing that sets this one apart, in particular, is that it is regular in its schedule and such kind of thing wasn’t observed in previous cases.

Black holes have a property that they tend to sparkle up via X-Rays whenever they are being fed and these sparkles were observed in every 9 hours by astronomers with the use of equipment in assigned laboratories. If we size up the amount of mass that this supermassive black hole is feasting then it would be equivalent to about 4 moons for every interval of 9 hours. Giovanni Miniutti stated that “This black hole is on a meal plan like we’ve never seen before.”

This concern is probably an indication that there are still some frightening things out there lurking in the space which are beyond man’s reach. Though this ultimate discovery can be a pivotal step in getting more information over black holes, in general, it still has caused a sense of uncertainty among the authorities involved in space research because there is a possibility that black holes portraying similar characteristics might just be within our galaxy.

It is still not known what actually caused this sparkle up. The intensity of these sparks was 20 times more while feeding compared to what was observed in normal instances which is what actually led to this ultimate discovery. Researchers have proposed many theories explaining the possible reason for this phenomenon to occur. Margherita Guistini who is co-author at ESA said that “We think the origin of the X-ray emission is a star that the black hole has partially or completely torn apart and is slowly consuming bit by bit.”

Though, this doesn’t completely satisfy the cause of phenomenon because this feeding is being observed for every 9 hours constantly. All of this boils down to the fact that our walls of intelligence haven’t reached the mark where we can apply theoretical methods to find the solution. There is still a long way to go for humanity to strive in this endless universe.

Journal: arxiv