A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, Yale University in New Haven, CT, and Gemini Observatory in Hilo, HI, report the discovery of a new planet in the outer solar system. Officially designated 2003 UB313, the new planet is intrinsically brighter than Pluto and three times farther away. Assuming the reflectivity of the surface is the same as Plutos, it is the largest object detected in the solar system since the discovery of Neptune and its moon Triton in 1846.
The discovery team consists of Michael Brown at Caltech, David Rabinowitz at Yale, and Chad Trujillo at the Gemini Observatory. This is the same team that a year ago announced their discovery of Sedna, a smaller body also at the distant edges of our solar system. The team has since discovered several other Pluto-scale bodies including 2005 FY9 and 2003 EL61, both objects in the outer solar system comparable in size to Pluto but smaller. 2003 EL61 was independently discovered by Spanish astronomers and reported today.
All of the new discoveries have been made with the Palomar QUEST camera, a gigantic digital camera built at Yale University and mounted on the 48-inch-diameter telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. With this camera, observers can search the entire northern sky multiple times with greater sensitivity than any other telescope in the world. The Palomar Quest camera is currently being used by researchers at Yale, Caltech, and the University of California at Berkeley to search not only for new planets, but also for supernovae, distant galaxies, and variable stars.
David Rabinowitz | EurekAlert!
Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University
Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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