Here are some of the top science news from around the world today:
First ‘Ghost Particle’ Image of Milky Way
Scientists have revealed a uniquely different image of our galaxy by determining the galactic origin of thousands of neutrinos — invisible ‘ghost particles’ which exist in great quantities but normally pass straight through Earth undetected. The neutrino-based image of the Milky Way is the first of its kind and could help unravel some of the mysteries of our galaxy.
Gravitational Waves from Colossal Black Holes Found Using ‘Cosmic Clocks’
You can’t see or feel it, but everything around you — including your own body — is slowly shrinking and expanding. It’s the weird, spacetime-warping effect of gravitational waves passing through our galaxy. New results are the first evidence of the gravitational wave background — a sort of soup of gravitational waves from supermassive black holes that have merged in the distant past.
Life After Death: Astronomers Find a Planet That Shouldn’t Exist
The star would have inflated up to 1.5 times the planet’s orbital distance — engulfing the planet in the process — before shrinking to its current size at only one-tenth of that. Yet, somehow, the planet survived. Astronomers have discovered a gas giant planet that survived a near-death experience with its host star. The finding challenges theories of planet formation and evolution.
Quantum Computers Could Break the Internet. Here’s How to Save It
Quantum computers could one day crack the encryption that secures online communications. But researchers are racing to develop new cryptographic schemes that can withstand quantum attacks.
The Snow Forest of North America May Be About to Shrink
The boreal forest, which stretches across North America and Eurasia, is home to a diverse array of plants and animals. But climate change is threatening to reduce its extent and diversity. A new study predicts that by 2100, up to 17 percent of the forest could disappear due to warming temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns.
Four Things to Know About Malaria Cases in the United States
Five people have picked up malaria in the United States without traveling abroad. The risk of contracting the disease remains extremely low. But as climate change alters mosquito habitats and travel becomes more common, malaria could pose a bigger threat in the future. Here are four things to know about malaria in the U.S.
A Newfound Gravitational Wave ‘Hum’ May Be from the Universe’s Biggest Black Holes
Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime caused by violent cosmic events, such as colliding black holes or neutron stars. But there may be another source of gravitational waves that is more subtle and constant: a background hum from supermassive black holes that have merged in the distant past. A new study reports tentative evidence for this hum, which could open a new window into the history and evolution of these cosmic monsters.
Neutrinos Offer a New View of the Milky Way
Neutrinos are elusive particles that rarely interact with matter, making them hard to detect. But they can also reveal information that other types of astronomy cannot. A new study uses neutrinos to map out the structure and activity of our galaxy, showing where stars are forming and where cosmic rays are accelerated.
Ten Points for More Diversity in Science and Research
Goethe University Frankfurt strengthens systematic considerations of gender, sex and diversity in research topics. The university has developed a ten-point plan to promote diversity-sensitive research and teaching, as well as equal opportunities for all researchers and students. The plan includes measures such as integrating diversity aspects into research proposals, curricula and publications, providing training and mentoring for researchers and students, and establishing a diversity office and an advisory board.
Attribution Science Is A Growing Area Of Focus For Meteorologists
The growing field of attribution science is making it possible to not only identify and quantify climate change’s influence on extreme weather events, but also determine whether that influence made the event more likely, more intense, or both. Attribution science can help inform decisions on adaptation and mitigation strategies, as well as improve weather forecasting and communication.