The news about the first stars in the universe always seemed a little off. Last July, Rennan Barkana, a cosmologist at Tel Aviv University, received an email from one of his longtime collaborators, Judd Bowman. Bowman leads a small group of five astronomers who built and deployed a radio telescope in remote western Australia. Its goal: to find the whisper of the first stars. Bowman and his team had picked up a signal that didn’t quite make sense. He asked Barkana to help him think through what could possibly be going on. Quanta Magazine About Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. For years, as radio telescopes scanned the sky, astronomers have hoped to glimpse signs of the first stars in the universe. Those objects are too faint and, … [Read more...] about Whisper From the First Stars Sets Off Loud Dark Matter Debate
Star Wars fans may want to make room in their homes for one of the most ambitious collectibles yet -- Jabba's sail barge known as the Khetanna. Thanks to Hasbro's new campaign called HasLab the company aims to give hardcore fans the chance to get their hands on highly-detailed and very large collectibles.Fans back the toy -- much like one would financial back a project on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. When the proposed collectible gets 5,000 backers or more, it goes into production. But it's no cheap investment. The first collectible from HasLab is a massive replica of Jabba the Hutt's luxury sail barge as from "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," that has an equally massive price tag of $500 (approx. £357, AU$652) for preorders. In the film, Jabba's massive transport vehicle could hold up to 500 passengers and 26 crew members who were traveling across the sand dunes on the planet, Tatooine. It also served as the scene of the crime where Jabba was murdered … [Read more...] about Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge is the biggest Star Wars toy yet
Daily news 29 March 2018 By Leah CraneAstronomers have spotted what appears to be a star being torn up and devoured by a black hole just over 1 billion light years away. A star being ripped apart is a rare event – we’ve only seen it happen around 20 times – but it might be happening in a distant galaxy right now, as we watch. In the centre of every large galaxy lies a supermassive black hole with a mass up to billions of times larger than that of the … … [Read more...] about Far-off black hole appears to be shredding and devouring a star
The Milky Way is the galaxy in which the Earth resides. Part of it is visible on a clear night from Earth, as a thick band of stars stretching across the sky. We can see thousands of these stars with the naked eye, and many more in a telescope. But how many stars are in the Milky Way? "It's a surprisingly difficult question to answer. You can't just sit around and count stars, generally, in a galaxy," said David Kornreich, an assistant professor at Ithaca College in New York. He was the founder of the "Ask An Astronomer" service at Cornell University. Even in the Andromeda Galaxy — which is bright, large and relatively close by Earth, at 2.3 million light-years away — only the largest stars and a few variable stars (notably Cepheid variables) are bright enough to shine in telescopes from that distance. A sun-size star would be too difficult for us to see. So astronomers estimate, using some of the techniques below. The Milky Way's structure From observations, astronomers … [Read more...] about How Many Stars Are in the Milky Way?
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fans of geeky science and science fiction alike will find plenty to stoke their imaginations at Future Con, part of the Awesome Con pop culture event taking place in Washington, D.C., this weekend, beginning on Friday (March 31). Over three days, Future Con, a celebration of all the marvelous ways in which science drives the made-up worlds and technologies of speculative fiction, brings science-centric programs, special guests and exhibits to Awesome Con, also known as "Washington DC's Comic Con," according to the Awesome Con website. And Live Science will be on hand to share a glimpse of Future Con highlights, from the droids of "Star Wars" — especially fan-favorite newcomer, BB-8 — to the sophisticated, vibranium-infused technology of Wakanda, featured in the blockbuster film "Black Panther." [Nanotech's Big Ideas: From Tumor Zappers to Space Elevators] But there will be plenty of real-world science and scientists on hand as well. NASA experts … [Read more...] about Discover the Science of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Black Panther’ at Future Con