This weekend’s stories include A Universe of Planets and Time Ran Five Times Slower in the Early Universe.
How many planets are in the universe? reports Briley Lewis for Live Science. “We currently know of 5,502 planets beyond the solar system, but we’ve only found the tiniest fraction of the planets astronomers think lie elsewhere in the universe.”
Why? The Galaxy with No Dark Matter–A galactic puzzle has a team of researchers stumped. Scientists from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and University of La Laguna discovered that the galaxy NGC 1277 does not contain dark matter.
Time Ran Five Times Slower in the Early Universe, just as Einstein predicted, reports Robert Lea for Advanced Science News. “Using quasars as ticking cosmic clocks, scientists took a journey back in time, discovering time progressed five times slower just after the Big Bang.”
We’ve inadvertently broadcast our presence to an estimated 75 nearby star systems–“About a quarter of those stars have confirmed exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zone. A few may be harboring intelligent life capable of receiving our long-ago leaked transmissions. But what kind of emissions are seeping into space now? Could extraterrestrials detect our satellite pings around the globe, and could they be listening in on our cellphone conversations?”
Researchers finally solve mystery of the Atacama ‘alien’, reports CNN. “It’s a skeletal conundrum made up of perplexing features. It’s only 6 inches tall – but initial estimates of the age of the bones were consistent with a child aged 6 to 8 years.The long, angular skull, slanted eye sockets and fewer than normal ribs – 10 pairs rather than the normal 12 – only deepened the mystery.
Genetic tests reveal tragic reality of Atacama ‘alien’ skeleton–Mummified remains from Chilean ghost town revealed to be baby girl with malformations so bizarre they led to speculation over alien life, reports The Guardian.
Scientists struggle to accurately forecast the strength of the sun’s 11-year cycle — even after centuries of solar observations, reports Javier Barbuzano for Quanta. “The sun is now approaching its maximum level of activity in the current cycle, and it’s not exactly behaving according to plan.”
Astronomers observe a galaxy’s magnetic field in the very early Universe, reports Robert Lea for Advanced Science News–The galaxy 9io9 is seen as it was when the cosmos was just 2.5 billion years old, making this the earliest galactic magnetic field ever observed.
Unraveling the surprising rise of tiny mammals after dinosaur extinction, reports Kes Lippert for Advanced Science News–“Research in the field of paleontology has continually suggested that the asteroid impact that wiped them out at the end of the Cretaceous Period, otherwise known as the K/Pg Event, which took place roughly 65 million years ago was the catalyst that allowed mammals to grow in size and radiate into the many forms we see today.”
Curated by The Galaxy Report editorial staff