Geomagnetic disturbances from solar storms or electromagnetic pulse weapons pose a high risk to the electrical power grid. This project examines a real-world example of 3-D mapping of the crust and mantle in the northwestern US from EarthScope data to determine risks posed by ground conductivity that could amplify or change how geomagnetic disturbances affect power lines. This new 3-D method detected surprising effects that the current 1-D method of risk assessment fails to detect.
Astronomers have used two Australian radio telescopes and several optical telescopes to study complex mechanisms that are fuelling jets of material blasting away from a black hole 55 million times more massive than the Sun.
Where do the molecules required for life originate? It may be that small organic molecules first appeared on earth and were later combined into larger molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates. But a second possibility is that they originated in space, possibly within our solar system. A study, published in this week's The Journal of Chemical Physics, shows that a number of small organic molecules can form in a cold, spacelike environment full of radiation.
Researchers have identified an explosive new mechanism that breaks down meteors as they hurtle toward Earth. New simulations of falling meteors suggest air particles penetrate the space rocks' porous interiors as they careen through the atmosphere. These air particles create pockets of high pressure that ultimately lead the rock to explode from the inside, tens of kilometers above the Earth.
While people across North America took in the Aug. 21 eclipse, hundreds of citizen, student, and professional scientists were collecting scientific data, and their efforts are beginning to return results.
Data collected by the Cassini spacecraft, before it was deliberately crashed into Saturn's atmosphere in September 2017, show that the planet's illustrious rings are casting a shadow in ionized particles over the planet.
Three billion years ago, the sun shone weaker, but Earth stayed surprisingly warm. Carl Sagan thought a greenhouse effect must have been to thank. A model built on 359 chemical processes has finally arrived at scenarios with a reasonable chance of producing the needed methane on ancient Earth. The model has broad parameters in hope that it may someday be of use to interpret conditions on exoplanets.
When a meteor comes hurtling toward Earth, the high-pressure air in front of it seeps into its pores and cracks, pushing the body of the meteor apart and causing it to explode.
University of Leeds researchers have mathematically examined plasma jets from supermassive black holes to determine why certain types of jets disintegrate into huge plumes.
You might think that a hot object pushes atoms and molecules away due to radiation pressure. But a UC Berkeley team showed that for a polarizable atom, the opposite occurs: the hot object attracts it. Using an atom interferometer, they found the attraction was 20 times stronger than the gravitational attraction between a tungsten object and a cesium atom. Though negligible in most situations, next-generation gravitational wave experiments may have to take this into account.