The first three minutes: going backward to the beginning of time with Steven Weinberg (Part 1)

The great theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg passed away on July 23. This is our tribute.

Credit: Billy Huynh via Unsplash
  • The recent passing of the great theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg brought back memories of how his book got me into the study of cosmology.
  • Going back in time, toward the cosmic infancy, is a spectacular effort that combines experimental and theoretical ingenuity. Modern cosmology is an experimental science.
  • The cosmic story is, ultimately, our own. Our roots reach down to the earliest moments after creation.
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Why so gassy? Mysterious methane detected on Saturn’s moon

Scientists do not know what is causing the overabundance of the gas.

Credit: NASA
  • A new study looked to understand the source of methane on Saturn's moon Enceladus.
  • The scientists used computer models with data from the Cassini spacecraft.
  • The explanation could lie in alien organisms or non-biological processes.
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Every 27 minutes, there’s an X-ray aurora on Jupiter. Here’s why.

Jupiter's mysterious auroral events are caused by vibrating waves of plasma.

  • For 50 years, astronomers have known that Jupiter has frequent auroral displays, but not why.
  • The bursts are a combination of visible and invisible light.
  • The presence of NASA's Juno spacecraft around Jupiter allowed scientists to solve the mystery.
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Astronomers train AI to reveal the true shape of galaxies

A new artificial intelligence method removes the effect of gravity on cosmic images, showing the real shapes of distant galaxies.

  • Japanese astronomers train AI to differentiate between fake and real data from faraway galaxies.
  • The approach helps remove noise from astronomical observations.
  • The new technique will help more accurately reveal the large-scale structure of the universe.
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    Going rogue: runaway planets roam the galaxy

    Tiny fluctuations in old Kepler data reveals four runaway planets that are reminiscent of Earth.

    Credit: Rassamee design / Adobe Stock/Big Think
    • Scientists discover four rogue planets that are unbound to any star.
    • The discovery was made thanks to tiny microlensing light curves in data from the retired Kepler telescope.
    • There may be billions of such rogue planets in our galaxy.
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