Midnight In The Desert — gravity

Gravitational Waves Won the Physics Nobel Prize—Here's Why

Posted by K R on

Gravitational Waves Won the Physics Nobel Prize—Here's Why

Three American physicists have been honored for finding gravitational waves, but why are these wrinkles in space-time such a big deal? On October 3, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish the Nobel Prize in physicsfor directly detecting gravitational waves—wrinkles in space-time predicted more than a century ago by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but which had been stubbornly elusive until 2015. Judging from the fanfare that surrounded the first detection's 2016 announcement, this is perhaps the least surprising physics Nobel since 2013, when physicists François Englert and Peter Higgs won for...

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Ghost particles may explain why gravity is so surprisingly weak

Posted by K R on

Ghost particles may explain why gravity is so surprisingly weak

Ghostly particles could be haunting our universe. A new theory claims that the cosmos is full of unseen particle families that don’t interact with each other. If true, the model could explain why gravity is so puzzlingly weak. The idea is an alternative to supersymmetry, a theory in which every known particle has a heavier partner. Such superparticles would explain why the mass of our familiar set of particles is low enough to account for gravity’s weakness. But the particle-smashing Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva, Switzerland, still hasn’t seen any superparticles, despite years of searching. Maybe that’s because we need...

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Seven Easy Ways Scientists Get Rid of Gravity For Experimentation

Posted by K R on

Seven Easy Ways Scientists Get Rid of Gravity For Experimentation

Sometimes you just need to cut loose—from the Earth’s gravity. Want to feel what it’s like to be free from gravity, but can’t get yourself to the ISS? You’ve got some options. There are tons of observations you can make of processes in zero or microgravity, especially in fields such as astrophysics, astrobiology, physics, chemistry, and others. It’s not always practical to sent people or equipment to space, but fortunately, there’s options here on Earth. Micro-g circumstances can be created basically in seven ways: drop tubes, drop towers, parabolic flights, underwater training, sounding rockets, recoverable satellites, stratospheric balloons. Read More:...

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Mysterious Gravitational Tug on Orbiter May Help Find Planet Nine

Posted by K R on

Mysterious Gravitational Tug on Orbiter May Help Find Planet Nine

The hunt is on to find “Planet Nine”—a large undiscovered world, perhaps 10 times as massive as Earth and four times its size—that scientists think could be lurking in the outer solar system. After Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, two planetary scientists from the California Institute of Technology, presented evidence for its existence this January, other teams have searched for further proof by analyzing archived images and proposing new observations to find it with the world’s largest telescopes. Just this month, evidence from the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn helped close in on the missing planet. Many experts suspect that within...

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NASA releases stunning Mars gravity map

Posted by K R on

NASA releases stunning Mars gravity map

NASA has released an incredible Mars gravity map, based on data collected from three spacecraft. "Gravity maps allow us to see inside a planet, just as a doctor uses an X-ray to see inside a patient," said Antonio Genova of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a statement released by NASA. "The new gravity map will be helpful for future Mars exploration, because better knowledge of the planet's gravity anomalies helps mission controllers insert spacecraft more precisely into orbit about Mars.” Genova, who is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is lead author...

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