New data reveals Earth closer to a black hole and 16,000 mph faster

A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.

Credit: NAOJ
  • A Japanese radio astronomy project revealed Earth is 2,000 light years closer to the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center.
  • The data also showed the planet is moving 7 km/s or 16,000 mph faster in orbit around the Galactic Center.
  • The findings don't mean Earth is in more danger from the black hole but reflect better modeling of the galaxy.
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    Top 5 theories on the enigmatic monolith found in Utah desert

    A strange object found in the desert has prompted worldwide speculation.

    Credit: Utah Department of Public Safety
    • A monolithic object found in a remote part of Utah caused worldwide speculation about its origins.
    • The object is very similar to the famous monolith from Stanley Kubrick's "2001: Space Odyssey".
    • The object could be work of an artist or even have extraterrestrial origins.
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    Zircon in a meteorite opens the door on Mars’ past

    Zircons in a Martian meteorite widens the possible timeframe for life on Mars.

    Credit: Deng, et al./University of Copenhagen
    • A meteorite from Mars unexpectedly contains zircons that reveal the planets history.
    • The rock likely comes from one of the solar system's tallest volcanoes.
    • Analyzing the zirconium required smashing some very expensive rock.
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    Astrophysicists reconstruct the Milky Way's family tree

    A team of astrophysicists used AI to figure out which clusters of stars merged to become our galaxy.

    Credit: D. Kruijssen / Heidelberg University
    • Scientists use artificial intelligence to reconstruct the globular clusters that merged to form our Milky Way galaxy.
    • The researchers ran simulations on a neural network to discover the history and details about our galactic ancestors.
    • They found that a collision with a previous galaxy called "Kraken" was so powerful it transformed the Milky Way.
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    Water may naturally occur as rocky planets form, new study suggests

    An ancient Martian meteorite carries with it some compelling implications.

    • The meteorite behind the new research, Black Beauty, is 4.45 billion years old. This means it is from right around the time when Mars formed.
    • It contained intact, ancient water-bearing minerals.
    • The research indicates later asteroid-impact effects that could only have occurred if water was already present.
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