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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Astronomy/Space Science



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Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 28.06.2022
A sanitizer in the galactic centre region
A sanitizer in the galactic centre region
Many of us have probably already - literally - handled the chemical compound iso-propanol: it can used as an antiseptic, a solvent or a cleaning agent. But this substance is not only found on Earth: researchers led by Arnaud Belloche from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn have now detected the molecule in interstellar space for the first time.

Astronomy / Space Science - 08.06.2022
New Sky Map Showing 4.4 Million Galaxies
New Sky Map Showing 4.4 Million Galaxies
For 7 years, an international research team that included the Hamburg Observatory of Universität Hamburg gathered data for a new sky map depicting 4.4 million galaxies. Previously, these galaxies were unknown. The map has now been published in the journal "Astronomy & Astrophysics". This discovery was possible by the largest-ever radio telescope LOFAR (Low Frequency Array), which has receiving stations in 7 European countries.

Life Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 02.06.2022
Bacterial cellulose enables microbial life on Mars
Bacterial cellulose enables microbial life on Mars
Research team studies kombucha cultures under extraterrestrial conditions An international research team with participation from the University of Göttingen has investigated the survival of kombucha cultures under Mars-like conditions. Kombucha cultures are also known as tea fungi and are used to produce beverages.

Life Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 02.06.2022
Bacterial cellulose enables microbial life on Mars
Bacterial cellulose enables microbial life on Mars
Research team including Göttingen University studies kombucha cultures under extraterrestrial conditions An international research team including the University of Göttingen has investigated the chances of survival of kombucha cultures under Mars-like conditions. Kombucha is known as a drink, sometimes called tea fungus or mushroom tea, which is produced by fermenting sugared tea using kombucha cultures - a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 12.05.2022
An image of the Milky Way's black hole
An image of the Milky Way’s black hole
Observation with the Event Horizon Telescope improves our understanding of the processes at the galactic centre It sits deep in the heart of the Milky Way, is 27,000 light years from Earth, and resembles a doughnut. This is how the black hole at the centre of our galaxy appears in the image obtained by researchers using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Astronomy / Space Science - Computer Science - 06.05.2022
Asteroid treasure in the Hubble archive
Asteroid treasure in the Hubble archive
The data of the space telescope contain the traces of many unknown celestial bodies With a sophisticated combination of human and artificial intelligence, astronomers uncovered 1701 new asteroid trails in archival data of the Hubble Space Telescope spanning the past 20 years. While about one third could be identified and attributed to known objects, more than 1000 trails probably correspond to previously unknown asteroids.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 28.04.2022
Graveyard of Earth’s Plates: Ancient Protocrust of Earth Discovered in Depths of Earth’s Mantle
Earth's earliest crust, more than four billion years old, survived deep in the mantle / Traces of ancient Earth's crust still exist today in volcanic rocks at Earth's surface / Publication in PNAS Dr. Jonas Tusch and Carsten Münker, both scientists at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Cologne, along with their colleague Dr. Elis Hoffmann, Freie Universität Berlin, used chemical analyses of magmatic rocks to prove that the remains of the first crust of our planet lie buried at great depths in Earth's mantle.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.04.2022
MAGIC telescopes observe stellar explosion
MAGIC telescopes observe stellar explosion
The MAGIC telescopes have observed the nova RS Ophiuchi shining brightly in gamma rays at extremely high energy. The Gamma rays emanate from protons that are accelerated to very high energies in the shock front following the explosion. This suggests that novae are also a source of the ubiquitous cosmic radiation in the universe which consists mainly of protons rich in energy, which race through space at almost the speed of light.

Astronomy / Space Science - 24.03.2022
The wild years of our Milky Way galaxy
The wild years of our Milky Way galaxy
A very long ago, our Milky Way had a truly eventful life: between about 13 and 8 billion years ago, it lived hard and fast, merging with other galaxies and consuming a lot of hydrogen to form stars. With the help of a new data set, Maosheng Xiang and Hans-Walter Rix from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg have reconstructed the turbulent teenage years of our home galaxy.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 28.02.2022
Cosmic sonic boom
Cosmic sonic boom
An international research team is investigating the aftermath of a gigantic cosmic burst with the help of NASA's "Chandra" X-ray observatory. Theoretical physicists from the University of Jena are supporting the researchers by providing detailed predictions and simulations to enable interpretation of Chandra's X-ray data.

Astronomy / Space Science - 28.02.2022
New finding in astronomy: black hole spins on its side
New finding in astronomy: black hole spins on its side
International team with Freiburg participation discovers unexpected incline of a black hole. Scientist Svetlana Berdyugina, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Freiburg and Director of the Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics (KIS), together with an international team of astronomers, has reliably measured for the first time a large difference between the rotation axis of the black hole and the axis of the orbit of the binary star system named MAXI J1820+070.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 15.02.2022
Neutrinos Are Lighter than 0.8 Electron Volts
New World Record: KATRIN Experiment Constrains the Mass of Neutrinos with Unprecedented Precision The international KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN) located at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has now been the first to constrain the mass of neutrinos to less 1 electron volt (eV) and, hence, has broken an important "barrier" in neutrino physics.

Astronomy / Space Science - 14.02.2022
Astronomers observe a rare stellar wedding
Astronomers observe a rare stellar wedding
Astronomers from the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have discovered a new type of star. While hunting for "hot stars" with the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, the team came across stars with unusual properties. While normal stellar surfaces are composed of hydrogen and helium, these stars, found under the direction of Professor Klaus Werner of the University of Tübingen, are covered in carbon and oxygen - the ash of a helium nuclear fusion.

Astronomy / Space Science - 22.12.2021
Earth and Mars were formed from inner Solar System material
Earth and Mars were formed from inner Solar System material
Earth and Mars were formed from material that largely originated in the inner Solar System; only a few percent of the building blocks of these two planets originated beyond Jupiter's orbit. A group of researchers led by the University of Münster report these findings today in the journal "Science Advances".

Astronomy / Space Science - 10.12.2021
Infant stars identified at the centre of our galaxy
Infant stars identified at the centre of our galaxy
What was previously identified as a gas and dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy actually consists of three very young stars. That is the result of a new study led by scientists from the University of Cologne's Institute of Astrophysics. The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) - a telescope with mirror diameters of 8.20 metres on the summit of Cerro Paranal in Chile - provided the data for the study, which has appeared in The Astrophysical Journal .

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 09.12.2021
The tetra-neutron - a miniature neutron star
The tetra-neutron - a miniature neutron star
While all atomic nuclei except hydrogen are composed of protons and neutrons, physicists have been searching for a particle consisting of two, three or four neutrons for over half a century. Experiments by a team of physicists of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at the accelerator laboratory on the Garching research campus now indicate that a particle comprising four bound neutrons may well exist.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 03.12.2021
The uneven universe
The uneven universe
Researchers study cosmic expansion using methods from many-body physics / Article published in -Physical Review Letters- It is almost always assumed in cosmological calculations that there is a even distribution of matter in the universe. This is because the calculations would be much too complicated if the position of every single star were to be included.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 23.11.2021
Analysis of Mars’s wind-induced vibrations sheds light on the planet’s subsurface properties
Seismic data collected in Elysium Planitia, the second largest volcanic region on Mars, suggest the presence of a shallow sedimentary layer sandwiched between lava flows beneath the planet's surface. These findings were gained in the framework of NASA's InSight mission (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), in which several international research partners, including the University of Cologne, collaborate.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 11.11.2021
Black hole found hiding in star cluster outside our galaxy
Black hole found hiding in star cluster outside our galaxy
International research team of astronomers including Göttingen University use "dynamical method" to discover small black hole Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT), astronomers including the University of Göttingen have discovered a small black hole outside the Milky Way by looking at how it influences the motion of a nearby star.

Astronomy / Space Science - 29.10.2021
Late bombardment of the Moon revealed
Late bombardment of the Moon revealed
Planetologists from Münster investigate origin of heavy bombardment of the Moon 3.9 billion years ago / Publication in "Science Advances" The lunar surface is covered by numerous craters that date back to the impacts of asteroids. Age determinations on lunar rocks formed during these impacts show a surprising clustering at ages of about 3.9 billion years before present, or about 500 million years after the Moon was formed.
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