A few kicked-out electrons, two shaken stars, a strange body and the power of shadow.
Can you believe that I had to write two posts in order to cover everything in April? (Plus four smaller ones; plus thoughts and links.)
So many things happened during this bombshell month that I don’t know where to start. Black hole photos, fast radio bursts, antineutrinos, gravity, clocks, orbits…
In last month’s news a black hole photobombs an asteroid, a hundred new mini planets are revealed and we still don’t know what dark matter is.
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs to friends, are one great recent astrophysical mystery. Another mystery, this time in the subatomic world, is the slightly different behaviour between matter and antimatter. Finally, dust devils.
Starting with short space news, a second exoplanet seems to have been discovered orbiting Alpha Centauri. And another one at a hundred light-years away is the first exoplanet found to have similar conditions to earth’s.
Deep under the ground of Gran Sasso in Italy hides XENON1T, an assassin of dark matter hopes. The cold heart of this experiment hides two tons of liquid xenon, whose atoms get kicked out of position by passing dark matter particles, giving flashes of light in the process. Or at least that’s what physicists would hope.
Asteroid 1999 KW4 flew by us at about thirteen times the distance to moon, successfully monitored the whole time by the International Asteroid Warning System. What’s the big deal, you say? Its observation was part of the preparations for something you’re gonna like.