Heavens

In interstellar dust clouds, turbulence must first dissipate before a star can form through gravity. A German-French research team has now discovered that the kinetic energy of the turbulence comes to rest in a space that is very small on cosmic scales, ranging from one to several light-years in extent. The group also arrived at new results in the mathematical method: Previously, the turbulent structure of the interstellar medium was described as self-similar - or fractal.

Electrical engineers at the University of California San Diego developed a technology that improves the resolution of an ordinary light microscope so that it can be used to directly observe finer structures and details in living cells.

The technology turns a conventional light microscope into what's called a super-resolution microscope. It involves a specially engineered material that shortens the wavelength of light as it illuminates the sample--this shrunken light is what essentially enables the microscope to image in higher resolution.

Computational tools are indispensable in almost all scientific disciplines. Especially in cases where large amounts of research data are generated and need to be quickly processed, reliable, carefully developed software is crucial for analyzing and correctly interpreting such data. Nevertheless, scientific software can have quality quality deficiencies. To evaluate software quality in an automated way, computer scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have designed the SoftWipe tool.

For the first time, researchers have observed plasma jets interacting with magnetic fields in a massive galaxy cluster 600 million light years away, thanks to the help of radio telescopes and supercomputer simulations. The findings, published in the journal Nature, can help clarify how such galaxy clusters evolve.

Analyzing data obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers found a galaxy with a spiral morphology by only 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. This is the most ancient galaxy of its kind ever observed. The discovery of a galaxy with a spiral structure at such an early stage is an important clue to solving the classic questions of astronomy: "How and when did spiral galaxies form?"

When scientists hunt for life, they often look for biosignatures, chemicals or phenomena that indicate the existence of present or past life. Yet it isn't necessarily the case that the signs of life on Earth are signs of life in other planetary environments. How do we find life in systems that do not resemble ours?

May 20, 2021 - Comets that circle the Sun in very elongated orbits spread their debris so thin along their orbit or eject it out of the solar system altogether that their meteor showers are hard to detect. From a new meteor shower survey published in the journal Icarus, researchers now report that they can detect showers from the debris in the path of comets that pass close to Earth orbit and are known to return as infrequent as once every 4,000 years.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have traced the locations of five brief, powerful radio blasts to the spiral arms of five distant galaxies.

China's Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO)--one of the country's key national science and technology infrastructure facilities--has found a dozen ultra-high-energy (UHE) cosmic accelerators within the Milky Way. It has also detected photons with energies exceeding 1 peta-electron-volt (quadrillion electron-volts or PeV), including one at 1.4 PeV. The latter is the highest energy photon ever observed.

The first-ever discovery of an extraterrestrial radioactive isotope on Earth has scientists rethinking the origins of the elements on our planet.

The tiny traces of plutonium-244 were found in ocean crust alongside radioactive iron-60. The two isotopes are evidence of violent cosmic events in the vicinity of Earth millions of years ago.

Star explosions, or supernovae create many of the heavy elements in the periodic table, including those vital for human life, such as iron, potassium and iodine.

Compared with the superresolution microscopy that bases on squeezing the point spread function in the spatial domain, the superresolution microscopy that broadens the detection range in the spatial frequency domain through the spatial-frequency-shift (SFS) effect shows intriguing advantages including large field of view, high speed, and good modularity, owing to its wide-field picture acquisition process and universal implementation without using special fluorophores labeling.

Diamonds are sometimes described as messengers from the deep earth; scientists study them closely for insights into the otherwise inaccessible depths from which they come. But the messages are often hard to read. Now, a team has come up with a way to solve two longstanding puzzles: the ages of individual fluid-bearing diamonds, and the chemistry of their parent material. The research has allowed them to sketch out geologic events going back more than a billion years--a potential breakthrough not only in the study of diamonds, but of planetary evolution.

This overlay shows radio (orange) and infrared images of a giant molecular cloud called W49A, where new stars are being formed. A team of astronomers led by Chris DePree of Agnes Scott College used the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to make new, high-resolution radio images of this cluster of still-forming, massive stars. W49A, 36,000 light-years from Earth, has been studied for many decades, and the new radio images revealed some tantalizing changes that have occurred since an earlier set of VLA observations in 1994 and 1995.

Scientists from the National Centre for radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR) Pune used the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) to determine that AT 2018 cow, the first of a newly discovered class of cosmic explosions, has an extremely patchy environment. Sources like AT 2018cow release an enormous amount of energy, nonetheless fade extremely rapidly. This along with their extremely blue color has led to them being called FBOTs for Fast Blue Optical Transient.

The detection of the axion would mark a key episode in the history of science. This hypothetical particle could resolve two fundamental problems of Modern Physics at the same time: the problema of Charge and Parity in the strong interaction, and the mystery of dark matter. However, in spite of the high scientific interest in finding it, the search at high radio frequency -above 6 GHz- has been almost left aside for the lack of the high sensitivity technology which could be built at reasonable cost. Until now.