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  1. The gravitational wave background was first detected in 2016. It was announced following the release of the first data set from the European Pulsar Timing Array. A second set of data has just been released and, joined by the Indian Pulsar Timing Array, both studies confirm the existence of the background. The latest theory seems …

    The post More Evidence for the Gravitational Wave Background of the Universe appeared first on Universe Today.

  2. The giant outer planets haven’t always been in their current position. Uranus and Neptune for example are thought to have wandered through the outer Solar System to their current orbital position. On the way, they accumulated icy, comet-like objects. A new piece of research suggests as many as three kilomerer-sized objects crashed into them every …

    The post When Uranus and Neptune Migrated, Three Icy Objects Were Crashing Into Them Every Hour! appeared first on Universe Today.

  3. The hunt for extrasolar planets has revealed some truly interesting candidates, not the least of which are planets known as “Hot Jupiters.” This refers to a particular class of gas giants comparable in size to Jupiter but which orbit very closely to their suns. Strangely, there are some gas giants out there that have very …

    The post Astronomers Discover the Second-Lightest “Cotton Candy” Exoplanet to Date. appeared first on Universe Today.

  4. How did complex life emerge and evolve on the Earth and what does this mean for finding life beyond Earth? This is what a recent study published in Nature hopes to address as a pair of researchers investigated how plate tectonics, oceans, and continents are responsible for the emergence and evolution of complex life across …

    The post Did Earth’s Multicellular Life Depend on Plate Tectonics? appeared first on Universe Today.

  5. In a world that seems to be switching focus from the Hubble Space Telescope to the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble still reminds us it’s there. Another amazing image has been released that shows the triple star system HP Tau, HP Tau G2, and HP Tau G3.  The stars in this wonderful system are young, …

    The post Hubble Sees a Brand New Triple Star System appeared first on Universe Today.

  6. The world was much different in 1990 when NASA astronauts removed the Hubble Space Telescope from Space Shuttle Discovery’s cargo bay and placed it into orbit. The Cold War was ending, there were only 5.3 billion humans, and the World Wide Web had just come online. Now, the old Soviet Union is gone, replaced by …

    The post The Venerable Hubble Space Telescope Keeps Delivering appeared first on Universe Today.

  7. BepiColombo is a joint ESA/JAXA mission to Mercury. It was launched in 2018 on a complex trajectory to the Solar System’s innermost planet. The ESA reports that the spacecraft’s thrusters have lost some power. BepiColombo’s mission is to complete a comprehensive investigation of Mercury’s magnetosphere, magnetic field, and internal and external structure. But travelling around …

    The post The BepiColombo Mission To Mercury is Losing Power appeared first on Universe Today.

  8. Walking along on the surface of the Moon, as aptly demonstrated by the Apollo astronauts, is no easy feat.  The gravity at the Moon’s surface is 1/6th of Earth’s and there are plenty of videos of astronauts stumbling, falling and then trying to get up! Engineers have come up with a solution; a robotic arm …

    The post Astronauts Could Deploy Extra Arms to Stay Stable on the Moon appeared first on Universe Today.

  9. Some Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) consume vast quantities of gas and dust, triggering brilliant light shows that can outshine an entire galaxy. But others are much more sedate, emitting faint but steady light from their home in the heart of their galaxy. Observations from the now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope help show why that is. It …

    The post Not All Black Holes are Ravenous Gluttons appeared first on Universe Today.

  10. A long time ago, in two galaxies far, far away, two massive black holes merged. This happened when the Universe was only 740 million years old. A team of astronomers used JWST to study this event, the most distant (and earliest) detection of a black hole merger ever. Such collisions are fairly commonplace in more …

    The post Webb Sees Black Holes Merging Near the Beginning of Time appeared first on Universe Today.