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Tag: distant

Eighty-three supermassive black holes found in the distant universe

Eighty-three supermassive black holes found in the distant universe

Science
March 13 (UPI) -- Astronomers have discovered 83 new supermassive black holes in the distant universe, or early universe, representing a time when the university was less than 2 billion years old. Researchers were surprised to find so many quasars, glowing galactic nuclei powered by supermassive central black holes, in the early universe, just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. "Understanding how black holes can form in the early universe, and just how common they are, is a challenge for our cosmological models," Michael Strauss, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, said in a news release. Scientists found the quasars using the Subaru Telescope's Hyper Suprime-Cam. The telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, i...
Possible building block of life detected inside distant star

Possible building block of life detected inside distant star

Science
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Scientists have detected the prebiotic molecule glycolonitrile inside a distant star for the first time. Researchers think the molecule may have played a role in the emergence of life on Earth. Glycolonitrile is considered an important precursor to adenine, one of the nucleobases that forms both DNA and RNA. Astronomers detected the organic chemical's signature inside a solar-type protostar named IRAS16293-2422 B. By studying the chemical makeup of infant stars, still enveloped by a thick blanket of gas and dust, scientists can gain a better understanding of how the chemical ingredients necessary for life come to exist inside a young stellar system. Researchers in Europe and the United States were able to locate glycolonitrile among the spectral signature recorded by the ...
NASA spacecraft survives flyby of the most distant object ever visited

NASA spacecraft survives flyby of the most distant object ever visited

Technology
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft pulled off the most distant exploration of another world Tuesday, skimming past a tiny, icy object 4 billion miles from Earth that looks to be shaped like a bowling pin. Flight controllers in Maryland declared success 10 hours after the high-risk, middle-of-the-night encounter at the mysterious body known as Ultima Thule on the frozen fringes of our solar system, an astounding 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto. "I don't know about all of you, but I'm really liking this 2019 thing so far," lead scientist Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute said to applause. "I'm here to tell you that last night, overnight, the United States spacecraft New Horizons conducted the farthest exploration in the history of humankind, and did so spectacula...
Nasa's New Horizons: Final commands given to distant probe

Nasa's New Horizons: Final commands given to distant probe

Science
Controllers have sent Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft a final set of commands ahead of its historic flyby of a distant icy world on Tuesday. The probe's pass of the 30km-wide object known as Ultima Thule will set a new record for the farthest ever exploration of a Solar System body - at 6.5 billion km from Earth.The upload included a two-second timing correction that ensures New Horizons knows precisely when and where to point its cameras as it sweeps alongside its target at a breathtaking 14km/s."The spacecraft is healthy and we're excited!" said mission operations manager Alice Bowman when she briefed reporters at the control centre embedded in the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU-APL) in Maryland. ...
Exomoons: on the hunt for distant worlds

Exomoons: on the hunt for distant worlds

Science
The search for exoplanets, which orbit distant stars, has opened up a whole galaxy of worlds beyond our own. Over 3,700 have been discovered to date, but they may have companions.Since the first confirmed discovery of planets beyond our own Solar System over 20 years ago, we have known that our stellar neighbourhood is not unique in the Universe.But now the frontier of exploration is shifting again; because where there are planets, there should be moons.And those moons could be surprisingly Earth-like.Why moons?Thus far, scientists interested in potential habitable worlds beyond our Solar System have focused on planets that could resemble Earth; currently our only blueprint for life.But what if these worlds don't orbit their sta...