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EnolaGaia

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A strange white dwarf star is racing the wrong way through the Milky Way at circa 2 million miles per hour. Recent research findings suggest it's a fragment of a star that underwent a supernova explosion.
Runaway star caught streaking across Milky Way at 2 million mph ... in the wrong direction

In 2017, astronomers noticed a star streaking out of the Milky Way at nearly 2 million mph (3.2 million km/h) — roughly four times faster than our sun orbits — and flying against the direction in which most stars trek around the galactic center. It's also made of completely different star stuff, mostly heavy, "metallic" atoms rather than the usual light elements. LP 40-365, as it was called, was as eye-catching as a wooden car barreling up the interstate against traffic at hundreds of miles per hour.

"It is exceptionally weird in a lot of different ways," said study lead author J.J. Hermes, an astronomer at Boston University. ...

The star moves so quickly that it's headed out of our galaxy for good, which astronomers have taken as evidence that the metallic explorer was launched here by a cosmic catastrophe — a supernova. But they couldn't tell how the supernova had sent it flying. Was LP 40-365 a piece of the exploded star itself? Or was it a partner star flung clear by the shockwave associated with star explosions? A new analysis of old data finds that the star — called a white dwarf — spins about its axis at a leisurely pace — a hint that it is indeed a piece of stellar debris (not a partner star) that managed to survive one of the galaxy's most violent and mysterious events. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/runaway-star-streaks-milky-way.html

PUBLISHED REPORT (Bibliographic Details & Abstract) https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ac00a8
 

uair01

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Strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way has scientists stumped​

By Brandon Specktor about 23 hours ago
It's not a fast radio burst, pulsar or low-mass star. So what in the heavens is it?
The center of the Milky Way, as seen by NASA's Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.
The center of the Milky Way, as seen by NASA's Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.(Image credit: NASA / JPL)
Astronomers have detected a strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way, and it's unlike any other energy signature ever studied.
According to a new paper accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and posted on the preprint server arXiv, the energy source is extremely finicky, appearing bright in the radio spectrum for weeks at a time and then completely vanishing within a day. This behavior doesn't quite fit the profile of any known type of celestial body, the researchers wrote in their study, and thus may represent "a new class of objects being discovered through radio imaging."
The radio source — known as ASKAP J173608.2−321635 — was detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, situated in the remote Australian outback. In an ASKAP survey taken between April 2019 and August 2020, the strange signal appeared 13 times, never lasting in the sky for more than a few weeks, the researchers wrote. This radio source is highly variable, appearing and disappearing with no predictable schedule, and doesn't seem to appear in any other radio telescope data prior to the ASKAP survey.
 

Gizmos Mama

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Not sure if anybody has heard about this yet, as it was a while ago. Hubble took some time lapse shots of a variable star/nebula, and it might be the most beautiful thing ever.

https://esahubble.org/videos/heic1323a/

Also, if anyone has a largish telescope and camera, and is interested in joining doing some citizen science on an apparently very under studied area of astronomy, (variable nebula) or just wants to see another clip of the time lapse, check out this guys YouTube and science efforts here.
 

eburacum

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I love the Hubble's Variable Nebula. The shadows inside it travel much faster than light. This doesn't break relativity, of course, because darkness travels faster than light, as any fule kno.

Light thinks it travels faster than anything, but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
Terry Pratchett.
 

maximus otter

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Objects at the Solar System’s Edge Are Being Influenced by Something Mysterious


Scientists have discovered hundreds of new objects in the outer solar system using an instrument designed to probe an unexplained source of energy in the universe. The results reveal new insights about the mysterious expanse beyond Neptune, including the possibility that a massive undiscovered planet may be lurking in these dark outer reaches.

1631740001454-gettyimages-84518866.jpeg


A team led by Pedro Bernardinelli, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, scanned the outer solar system for six years with the Dark Energy Survey (DES), a Chile-based astronomy program whose primary objective is understanding dark energy, an unknown force that’s driving the accelerated expansion of the universe.

The researchers have used the survey to discover a total of 815 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), which are minor bodies beyond Neptune.

The survey was especially adept at spotting “dynamically detached” objects and “extreme TNOs” located 150 times farther from the Sun than Earth. These objects have been the subject of much speculation in recent years, because it looks like something in the outer reaches of the solar system is gravitationally tugging at them, causing a clustering effect in their orbits.

One tantalizing explanation for this phenomenon is the existence of a huge planet, about five to ten times the mass of Earth, that is ensconced in the hidden depths of the solar system. This so-called “Planet Nine” would likely be around 400 times as far from the Sun as Earth and may take some 20,000 years to complete an orbit. Scientists have been searching for traces of this planet for years, but have yet to snag a direct detection.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/qj8...-are-being-influenced-by-something-mysterious

maximus otter
 

Tigerhawk

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Strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way has scientists stumped​

By Brandon Specktor about 23 hours ago
It's not a fast radio burst, pulsar or low-mass star. So what in the heavens is it?
The center of the Milky Way, as seen by NASA's Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.'s Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.
The center of the Milky Way, as seen by NASA's Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.(Image credit: NASA / JPL)
Astronomers have detected a strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way, and it's unlike any other energy signature ever studied.
According to a new paper accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and posted on the preprint server arXiv, the energy source is extremely finicky, appearing bright in the radio spectrum for weeks at a time and then completely vanishing within a day. This behavior doesn't quite fit the profile of any known type of celestial body, the researchers wrote in their study, and thus may represent "a new class of objects being discovered through radio imaging."
The radio source — known as ASKAP J173608.2−321635 — was detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, situated in the remote Australian outback. In an ASKAP survey taken between April 2019 and August 2020, the strange signal appeared 13 times, never lasting in the sky for more than a few weeks, the researchers wrote. This radio source is highly variable, appearing and disappearing with no predictable schedule, and doesn't seem to appear in any other radio telescope data prior to the ASKAP survey.
It's @Swifty's people, asking him to return home...
 

ramonmercado

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Could have been rocket debris.

Last year, a team of astronomers made a blockbuster claim, saying they had captured the most distant cosmic explosion ever—a gamma ray burst in a galaxy called GN-z11. But that flash of light—supposedly from the most distant galaxy known—has a far more prosaic explanation: It was a glinting reflection from a tumbling, spent Russian rocket that happened to photobomb observers at just the right moment, two new studies claim.

“In the end, I’m of the opinion that this was a fluke,” says D. Alexander Kann, an expert in gamma ray bursts at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia who was not involved in either of the studies.

Gamma ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe. They occur when enormous stars die and collapse into a black hole, or when compact objects such as neutron stars merge into a black hole. Although they happen all the time, the chances of catching one when a telescope is pointed at a particular galaxy are quite slim.

So it was even more surprising when astronomer Linhua Jiang of Peking University and colleagues claimed—using data from the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii—to find a burst coming from GN-z11, a galaxy dating back to a mere 420 million years after the big bang. Indeed, the team itself reported in December 2020 that the odds of catching such a burst were one in 10 billion.

Those odds raised red flags for Charles Steinhardt, an astronomer at the University of Copenhagen. “You start asking,” he says, “‘Are there any other causes that are more likely?’”

That’s where the Russian rocket comes in. Humans have launched and left behind large numbers of objects in orbit around Earth, including satellites, rocket boosters, and even screwdrivers gone missing during spacewalks. Up to half a million bits of metal larger than 1 centimeter are thought to be tumbling around our planet.

Glints of sunlight reflecting off this debris could be responsible for as many as 10,000 flashes of light per hour throughout the night sky, estimates Eran Ofek, an astrophysicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science who has published independent analyses of this phenomenon. The vast majority are invisible to the naked eye, he says, but they can be discernable to astronomical observatories. ...

https://www.science.org/content/art...actually-russian-space-junk-new-studies-argue
 

uair01

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Cool animations here - and weird astronomical object:
SS 433 is the first discovered "microquasar". A black hole is sucking away matter from its companion star, and shooting out jets of X-rays and hot gas moving at 1/4 the speed of light!
These jets shoot out in opposite directions, and since the black hole wobbles every 162 days, they form spirals. But here's the weird part: a gas cloud 100 light years from SS 433 is pulsing at the same rate! Nobody is sure how it works.
 

Trevp666

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Trevp666

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Finding 'habitable planets' is one thing but getting there (as we all know) is pretty much beyond our abilities with current technology.
The furthest a 'man made' item has reached (so far) is our 2 'voyager' probes which are only just beyond our solar system.
And that has taken decades.
IIRC the next nearest star is Proxima Centauri (?) which I think is something like 4 light years away. I can't be arsed to check the facts though but think I'm in the right ball park with that one.
But whatever, until some new technology that allows FTL travel comes along, it's out of reach, so the search for 'habitable planets' does seem like a total waste of effort.
 

eburacum

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We've detected about 4000 extrasolar planets so far, and that number is only likely to go up and up. So far, none of these planets has been seen to resemble Earth in any significant way.

Imagine if Captain Kirk had been restricted to fewer than one in four thousand of the planets in Star Trek. In that series, a breathable atmosphere and Earth-like gravity seems to have been the default state for the worlds that he and his motley crew would visit. But in reality Kirk would need to avoid the vast majority of the worlds in the universe in order to walk about in his shirtsleeves.
 
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Bad Bungle

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But whatever, until some new technology that allows FTL travel comes along, it's out of reach, so the search for 'habitable planets' does seem like a total waste of effort.
I'm wondering where the impetus will be for developing a FTL craft if you don't have a destination to point it at ?.
 

hunck

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Astronomers discover fastest spinning white dwarf star ever observed

One rotation of the Earth takes 24 hours while on J0240+1952 it takes just 25 seconds.

They have established the spin period of the star for the first time, confirming it as an extremely rare example of a magnetic propeller system.

This is when the white dwarf is pulling material from a nearby companion star and flinging it into space at around 3,000 kilometres per second.

University of Warwick astronomers report it is only the second magnetic propeller white dwarf to have been identified in more than 70 years.

The star the Warwick team observed, named LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9 – or J0240+1952 for short, is the size of the Earth but is thought to be at least 200,000 times more massive.

‘The rotation is so fast that the white dwarf must have an above average mass just to stay together and not be torn apart.

Co-author Professor Tom Marsh, from the University of Warwick Department of Physics, said: ‘It’s only the second time that we have found one of these magnetic propeller systems, so we now know it’s not a unique occurrence.

‘It establishes that the magnetic propeller mechanism is a generic property that operates in these binaries, if the circumstances are right.
 

Tunn11

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I'm wondering where the impetus will be for developing a FTL craft if you don't have a destination to point it at ?.
A lightspeed probe will only tell us what conditions were on alpha centauri eight years ago, sub light even longer. Any idea of people going there without ftl has the added risk of very old information. I imagine that any Earth or near Earth based information gathering will be at least four years out of date and will offer far less information than a probe at the location. And that's the nearest star. Imagine a four year plus trip to find that a socking great asteroid has just created a nuclear winter!
 

eburacum

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There is always going to be a problem, in a relativistic universe. If you do manage to travel faster than light, it is also possible to travel backwards in time, thanks to the Lorenz transformation and the hypersurface of the present. So you could potentially travel backwards and kill your own grandfather clock (etcetera). In a universe where time travel is possible, causality may be impossible, and if causality is somehow conserved then freewill is impossible. Because of these effects we are much better off in a universe where FTL is impossible.

Better to get used to long travel times and extreme message latency than live in a universe without causality or freewill.
 

Trevp666

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Are we considering instantaneous 'point-to-point' transportation (which would be FTL) as also being possible of travelling backwards in time?
I mean, if I stepped into some kind of portal which had 'the other end' in Sydney (or anywhere else in the universe), and then stepped back through it to emerge back here just moments later, quite clearly I have managed to go FTL, but I have not arrived back before I left.
Possibly best left for musing on in an appropriate other thread though.
 

ramonmercado

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A gaseous bridge.

The Milky Way has a “feather” in its cap.

A long, thin filament of cold, dense gas extends jauntily from the galactic center, connecting two of the galaxy’s spiral arms, astronomers report November 11 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. This is the first time that such a structure, which looks like the barb of a feather fanning off the central quill, has been spotted in the Milky Way.

The team that discovered our galaxy’s feather named it the Gangotri wave, after the glacier that is the source of India’s longest river, the Ganges. In Hindi and other Indian languages, the Milky Way is called Akasha Ganga, “the river Ganga in the sky,” says astrophysicist Veena V.S. of the University of Cologne in Germany.

She and colleagues found the Gangotri wave by looking for clouds of cold carbon monoxide gas, which is dense and easy to trace, in data from the APEX telescope in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The structure stretches 6,000 to 13,000 light-years from the Norma arm of the Milky Way to a minor arm near the galactic center called the 3-kiloparsec arm. So far, all other known gas tendrils in the Milky Way align with the spiral arms (SN: 12/30/15).

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/astronomy-milky-way-galaxy-feather-gas-spiral-arms-gangotri-wave
 

Comfortably Numb

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Objects at the Solar System’s Edge Are Being Influenced by Something Mysterious
Don't suppose there might be a connection.... :eek:

Could our Universe be Someone’s Chemistry Project?

Source: universetoday.com

"...“It explains the Big Bang as an infinite series of baby universes born inside each other, just like chicks hatching out of eggs and laying new eggs later in their life. If something predated this series of generations – it would have been something else, just as in the ‘chicken and egg dilemma"...”

"..."As a result the creator of the baby universe will never know which type of civilization formed in it and will also not be able to intervene. Creating a baby universe might not consume energy because the negative gravitational energy cancels out the positive energy of matter and radiation in our universe, which is characterized by a flat geometry"..."

(...)

https://www.universetoday.com/153107/could-our-universe-be-someones-chemistry-project/amp/


'Tis all enough to make Mr Fort himself justifiably gleeful...:)
 
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