2 Earth-sized worlds discovered outside the solar system
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More than 5000 known worlds outside the solar system.
Since the 1990s, astronomers have used ground-based and space-based telescopes to search for signs of planets beyond their tiny corner of the universe.
Exoplanets are very difficult to photograph directly because they are so far from Earth.
But scientists are aware of signs that orbiting planets use their own gravitational pull, or look for stellar wobbles when planets pass in front of their host stars and fall into starlight.
Hundreds of billions more exoplanets are likely to be discovered.
Part of the excitement surrounding the James Webb Space Telescope is its ability to peer into the atmospheres of habitable planets and discover new worlds. The space observatory definitely delivered this week.
The Webb telescope confirmed the existence of an exoplanet for the first time since the space observatory launched in December 2021.
The world, called LHS 475 b, is about the same size as Earth and is located 41 light-years away in the constellation Octanes.
Scientists are still unable to determine whether the planet has an atmosphere, but the telescope’s sensitive capabilities have detected a number of molecules. Webb will have another chance to observe the planet this summer to build on that data.
The exoplanet was just one of Webb’s space discoveries announced this week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. Meanwhile, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has spotted a second Earth-sized exoplanet in an interesting planetary system 100 light-years away — and the world may be habitable.
A year after the powerful eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapai volcano, scientists are still dealing with the shocking consequences of the event.
According to a new report, the explosion caused more than 25,500 lightning strikes in five minutes. The event also produced about 400,000 lightning strikes in six hours and accounted for half of all lightning strikes worldwide at the height of the eruption.
But what’s even more surprising is that the January 2022 eruption was just one year of extreme lightning events around the world.
Blooming flowers are short-lived, but one specimen from around 40 million years old is encased in amber and solidified over time.
Researchers have also turned their attention to an unusual amber fossil first documented in 1872. At 1.1 inches (28 millimeters) in diameter, this is the largest flower ever found in amber.
Scientists isolated part of the flower’s pollen and determined that it belonged to a group of modern plants.
At the same time, archaeologists found eight prehistoric ostrich eggs near an ancient hearth in Israel.
Russian Space Agency Roscosmos will launch an unmanned replacement spacecraft to the International Space Station in December as a means of repatriating three crew members damaged by the Soyuz capsule.
Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio flew to the space station in September.
The commission found that the damage to the radiator pipe of the Soyuz was caused by a micrometeoroid impact, which created a hole with a diameter of no more than 1 millimeter, reports Roscosmos.
The crew members are in good health, but their return to Earth has not been determined – it will be delayed by at least several months.
Meanwhile, Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne attempted to launch a rocket from the UK, and California-based startup ABL Space Systems set off to launch an RS1 rocket from Alaska. Both rockets failed and investigations are underway to determine what went wrong.
The drifts behind the planes that cross our skies every day may seem harmless, but these ice clouds are harmful to the environment.
The resistances that form when ice crystals form around tiny particles emitted by jet engines trap more heat than carbon dioxide emissions from burning fuel. Longevity of enemies depends on atmospheric conditions.
Researchers believe that slightly changing certain flight paths can help reduce the damage.
Before you go, read these stories:
— An unusually bright star may have been covered in dust for years by a mysterious companion.
— Europe’s “bog bodies,” the remarkably well-preserved mummies and skeletons found in peat and wetlands, reveal some brutal truths of prehistoric life.
— Astronomers have spotted the closest pair of supermassive black holes ever seen, within several wavelengths of light. Cosmic bodies were brought together by colliding galaxies.
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