Gamma-ray space telescope study may have spotted dark matter

New study of gamma rays and gravitational lensing points to the possible presence of dark matter.

NASA
  • Analyzing data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, researchers find hints of dark matter.
  • The scientists looked to spot a correlation between gravitational lensing and gamma rays.
  • Future release of data can pinpoint whether the dark matter is really responsible for observed effects.
Keep reading Show less

Want to help design a moon robot? NASA needs you.

A NASA-sponsored competition asks participants to improve the design of a bucket drum for moon excavation.

  • NASA wants your help redesigning the bucket drum system for its RASSOR excavator.
  • The Moon's weaker gravity and the excavator's light weight pose unique design challenges.
  • RASSOR will one day excavate regolith so it can be processed into the resources necessary for sustainable lunar exploration.
Keep reading Show less

ESO astronomers observe exoplanet where it rains molten iron

The ESO finds another exoplanet that's definitely not a place for us to go.

Image source: diversepixel/MrVander/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • WASP-76b is an extremely hot planet whose cooler side has a surface temperature of 1,500° C (2732° F).
  • Iron that evaporates in the heat of the planet's day side rains down in molten form on the night side.
  • ESO learned more about the planet's intense climate thanks to its new ESPRESSO (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) instrument.
Keep reading Show less

How NASA is keeping coronavirus off the International Space Station

A mission is planned for just three weeks from now, but NASA has a plan.

Image source: NASA.gov
  • Before liftoff on every mission since 1971, NASA crew members spend two weeks in a "health stabilization" quarantine.
  • Other employees of the agency have been given a response framework that tells them where and how to proceed with their duties.
  • For upcoming launches, NASA is depending on Russia and SpaceX to step up to the challenge.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists probe why the Universe exists and has matter

A new study rocks prevailing theories on antimatter in the early Universe.

NASA
  • Scientists from around the world teamed up to study the properties of neutrons.
  • They were able to achieve extremely precise measurements of electric compasses in neutrons.
  • The results challenge current theories of why antimatter and matter didn't destroy each other in the early Universe.
Keep reading Show less