Astronomers report tremendous quantities of warm dusty debris surrounding a star with luminosity and mass similar to the suns, but located 300 light-years from Earth. The extraordinary nature of the dust indicates a violent history of cosmic collisions between asteroids and comets, or perhaps even between planets. The discovery is published July 21 in Nature.
"What is so amazing is that the amount of dust around this star is approximately 1 million times greater than the dust around the sun," said Eric Becklin, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, member of NASAs Astrobiology Institute, and co-author of the Nature paper. "Its likely there was a cosmic catastrophe, and a time of heavy bombardment, where large asteroids collided in the last few thousand years or less. Its incredible what must be going on."
Unlike hundreds of other stars with dust, where the dust is far from the star -- equivalent to beyond the orbit of Pluto -- this dust is orbiting in close to the star, where Earth-like planets are most likely to be, said Inseok Song, a former UCLA research scientist who is now an astronomer with the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, and lead author of the paper.
Stuart Wolpert | EurekAlert!
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02.12.2016 | University of Toronto
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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