New data analysis has found that the sunlight filtering through Venus’ clouds could support Earth-like photosynthesis in the cloud layers and that chemical conditions are potentially amenable to the growth of microorganisms.
Hertz [NASA astrophysics division director Paul Hertz] says everyone is "eagerly" awaiting the astrophysics Decadal Survey, but NASA had to move on w/o it. Had to formulate FY2023 budget req already, so it obviously doesn't contain $ for anything it. Hope it's out in time to guide next call for tech proposals in mid-Dec.
Q-if Decadal recommends new flagship can it launch in 2030s?
Hertz-priority is launching the 2 flagships we already have, JWST and Roman, & demonstrate to stakeholders we can do these missions. Then will decide right time to start a new one. Don't know what'll be recommended.
Gamma rays are one of the most energetic forms of light, and gamma ray bursts release almost unimaginable quantities of them. First discovered during the cold war – by military satellites searching for the signs of nuclear tests in the upper atmosphere – gamma ray bursts are now thought to be caused by massive stars undergoing huge explosions when they run out of fuel. These events are rare, but so energetic they can be seen in galaxies many billions of light years away.
Recently, astronomers thought they had seen evidence for one of these explosions from the most distant galaxy every seen. But a recently published paper casts doubt on these claims, suggesting it might have been caused by a more mundane source much closer to home.
Around the time that the original team were studying the sky, a Russian proton rocket reached low Earth orbit and released its upper stages (dubbed Breeze-M), which then became space junk, orbiting the Earth. By looking at the orbit of the space debris and matching with the observations taken in the original study, the new team found the flash could be simply explained by the upper stage falling past the part of the sky the telescope was observing.
Across the vast desert plains of Western Australia, on the lands of the Wajarri Yamatji people, lies one of the most capable radio telescope arrays in the world. Containing 36 dish antennas, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, ASKAP, is an eye to the universe. The three dozen antennas watch for radio waves that crash over the Earth.
Over the last two years the antennas have, on occasion, been pointed toward the heart of the Milky Way, our home galaxy. And, on occasion, they've detected a highly unusual radio signal -- one that does not seem to fit with any object we currently know is lurking in the cosmos.
The detection of the signal appears in the Astrophysical Journal on Oct. 12. It was first published as a preprint on arXiv in September.
The name of the strange signal is a mouthful: ASKAP J173608.2-321635. We're going to call it the Ghost. Between April 2019 and August 2020, the Ghost was spotted 13 times but without any consistent timing.
In A.D. 993, a storm on the sun released an enormous pulse of radiation that was absorbed and stored by trees all over the Earth. Now, that solar event has proved a critical tool in pinpointing an exact year the Vikings were present in the Americas.
There was one more thing that stood out: Three of the wood samples were from trees alive during the solar event of 993, when the cosmic storm released a pulse of radiation so powerful that it was recorded in the rings of the world’s trees. Referred to by researchers as a “cosmogenic radiocarbon event,” the phenomenon has only happened twice in the last 2,000 years.