Jodie Foster in Contact 1997 .Astronomers using the RATAN-600 radio telescope in the Russian Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia have detected an unusual signal emanating from a star located about 94 light-years from Earth.It s not clear if the signal is being transmitted by aliens, but the researchers say we should keep a close watch on this intriguing new extraterrestrial candidate.As reported by Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams, the anomalous signal was detected by an international team of astronomers back on May 15, 2015.The researchers, led by N. N. Brusilov, describe a strong signal in the direction of HD164595, a planetary system located in the constellation Hercules.The finding is set to be discussed at a meeting of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee on September 27, 2016.
Astronomers using the RATAN-600 radio Telescope in the Russian Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia have detected an unusual signal emanating from a star located about 94 light-years from Earth.It s not clear if the signal is being transmitted by aliens, but the researchers say we should keep a close watch on this intriguing new extraterrestrial candidate.As reported by Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams, the anomalous signal was detected by an international team of astronomers back on May 15th, 2015.The researchers, led by N. N. Brusilov, describe a strong signal in the direction of HD164595, a planetary system located in the constellation Hercules.The finding is set to be discussed at a meeting of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee on September 27th, 2016.This strong radio signal was detected in the direction of HD 164595 on May 15, 2015.
This artist's illustration shows a gas giant planet circling a pair of red dwarf stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349.NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon STScI Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting two stars 8,000 light years from Earth, NASA announced on Thursday.While the system was first found in 2007, at that time experts were uncertain whether it contained one planet and two stars, or two planets and one star."The ground-based observations suggested two possible scenarios for the three-body system: a Saturn-mass planet orbiting a close binary star pair or a Saturn-mass and an Earth-mass planet orbiting a single star," David Bennett of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement.Using the Hubble Space Telescope and a technique called gravitational microlensing, they ve figured out that it s the first scenario: one big planet and two stars.
They say three s a crowd, but it seems that isn t much of a problem in the far reaches of our galaxy.For the first time ever, NASA s Hubble Space Telescope has identified a three-body system using a gravitational microlensing technique.The three bodies were first spotted in 2007, but it has taken nine years, a new telescope and a trick of nature to categorically define the third object as a second dwarf star.The planet and an orbiting pair of stars are located 8000 light-years away from earth and it takes roughly seven years for the planet to complete an orbit around the two stars.The paper s first author, David Bennett of the NASA Space Flight centre explained: The ground-based observations in 2007 suggested two possible scenarios for the three-body system: a Saturn-mass planet orbiting a close binary star pair or a Saturn-mass and an Earth-mass planet orbiting a single star.This time round the Hubble was able to provide uber sharp images, but that was only one part of the puzzle.
Can something the size of the Earth also influence light and make it bend?This artist's concept shows OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, a planet discovered through a technique called microlensing.General Relativity suggested that all light should travel in locally straight lines, but if space itself was being warped due to the presence of massive objects, then the direction a beam of light might find to be “straight” might not look so straight to an external observer.NASA; ESA; J. Rigby (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center); and K. Sharon (Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago)In this image the light from a distant galaxy, nearly 10 billion light-years away, has been warped into a nearly 90-degree arc of light in the galaxy cluster RCS2 032727-132623.The galaxy cluster lies 5 billion light-years away.
Becoming untethered in space is somewhat of a nightmare for astronauts, but it can happen to planets too - when they are ejected from host stars.But there's less of them than we originally thought, apparently.Free-floating, Jupiter-mass planets no longer bound by gravity may be at least ten times less common than previously suggested, according to a study published this week.Theories of planet formation predict the existence of a population of free-floating planets that have been ejected from their parent systems.The masses of these planets are predicted to range from less than one Earth-mass to several Earth masses.A previous analysis using a technique called gravitational microlensing — which allows the study of objects that emit very little or no light — suggested there were almost twice as many free-floating Jupiter-mass planets as main-sequence stars.
Our Milky Way galaxy is massive at around 100,000 light-years across, making the prospect of directly observing any planets beyond our galaxy with conventional telescopes basically impossible.But now researchers have used a technique called gravitational microlensing to spot a number of planets beyond our galaxy for the first time.I previously explained the mind-bending concept of gravitational microlensing here, but it basically involves observing distant objects in space by measuring how the object's gravity bends the light of an aligned, even more distant object behind it.Scientists from the University of Oklahoma applied this technique to data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to zoom in on a galaxy called RX J1131-1231 some 3.8 billion light-years away.What they found was that a population of unbound or "rogue" planets that don't orbit a particular star and appear to be roaming around the distant galaxy.The team calculates that the population includes planets ranging from the size of the moon to the size of Jupiter.
Using a technique called microlensing, astrophysicists at the University of Oklahoma have confirmed the existence of exoplanets beyond the Milky Way galaxy.Not just one or two, either — the scientific team has estimated that there are multitudes of planets, ranging in size from the Moon to Jupiter, in the galaxy known as RX J1131-1231.The image above shows the galaxy at the center, surrounded by four quasars.Moreover, these appear to be “rogue” planets not circling a star in a conventional solar system but roaming free around the far-off galaxy.“We are very excited about this discovery.This is the first time anyone has discovered planets outside our galaxy,” said OU professor Xinyu Dai.
Gravitational microlensing helps astroboffins spot planets 3.8 BEELLION light-years awayThe Kepler Space Telescope has found oodles of exoplants, but now astroboffins have spotted the first exoplanets outside our galaxy.A group of astroboffins from the University of Oklahoma has become the first to demonstrate exoplanet observations in another galaxy – one that's 3.8 billion light years away, or one-third of the distance across the observable universe.The discovery by a team led by professor Xinyu Dai and postdoc Eduardo Guerras, found the planets' signatures in the spectrum of a gravitationally-microlensed galaxy behind the black hole quasar RXJ 1131−1231.Gravitational microlensing refers to the phenomenon, predicted by Einstein, that gravity can bend light, resulting in an apparent magnification if the bodies are aligned the right way (from the point of view of the observer).As the university explains, they believe the planets range in estimated mass from about the size of the moon, through to Jupiter-sized.
Astronomers from Warsaw University, Poland have identified two “rogue planets” in our galaxy which do not orbit around a star.Unlike the vast majority of discovered planets, these rogue planets drift through space alone with no sun to shine on them.Debate has raged in astronomical circles for years as to whether rogue planets could exist.Since they do not have a star to illuminate them, they are extremely difficult to find as they are almost always in the dark.However, a technique called gravitational microlensing allowed researchers to identify rogue planets by seeing when a planet comes between a distant star and the Earth.When this happens, the planet acts like a lens, distorting the light that we can see from that star when it reaches Earth.
Astronomers know our solar system better than any other, but they're still learning new ways in which it doesn't seem to be particularly normal.One such quirk, in patterns of planetary sizes, was the subject of a news conference held yesterday (Jan. 8) at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.The results could prompt scientists to revise a leading theory of how planets form.Planet formation theory is pretty important even if you are only interested in habitable planets because it's not just enough to have a planet in the habitable zone, you have to have chemicals that are consistent with life and a history that's consistent with the development of life," David Bennett, an astronomer at the University of Maryland, said in a news conference held during the meeting.[7 Ways to Discover Alien Planets]Right now, the leading theory of planetary formation, called the "core accretion model," is tailored to explain what we see in our solar system — the only one we knew much of anything about when the model was developed.
Boffins predict success rate of telescope's gravitational microlensing techNASA’s in-development Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope could help scientists discover as many as 1,400 distant exoplanets, according to new estimates.The mission, dubbed WFIRST, was proposed in 2010 by the US National Research Council.Seen as a successor to the retired orbiting Kepler space telescope, WFIRST will also be on the look out for exoplanets – and it’ll be able to spot ones with larger orbits, thanks to the marvels of gravitational lensing.Bimbling along nearly 100 million miles from Earth, Kepler ran out of fuel at the end of October last year.It had found 2,681 confirmed exoplanets since it was launched out into the heavens in 2009.
In contrast, evidence for the identify of dark matter has behaved in an opposite manner: every thing we've done to look for it has come up empty.The latest bit of emptiness was published this week, and it seemingly puts an end to one of the possible remaining explanations for dark matter: black holes that formed shortly after the Big Bang and have been structuring the Universe ever since.While earlier studies have seemingly ruled out larger versions of these primordial black holes, the new study closes the window on anything more massive than a large asteroid.So it's not clear whether large numbers of black holes could somehow go undetected.We've identified a number of cases where massive objects twist the fabric of space in a way that forms a lens, magnifying galaxies in the distance beyond the lens-forming object.Smaller objects can do this on a smaller scale, causing a temporary brightening of individual stars.
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