Could Forests Become Ultrahigh Energy Neutrino Detectors? 

A Forest - potential for becoming a neutrino detector!

I really don’t know how to introduce this article. Neutrinos are elementary particles and are electrically neutral. They are produced by numerous cosmological events. Trees, well, we all know what they are and in a recent paper, scientists believed it may be possible to use entire forests as neutrino detectors! I was a bit sceptical when I read the paper but its an interesting concept and certainly trees have been used as broadband antennae so perhaps, well its a fascinating concept.

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Supernovae Struck the Earth 3 Million and 7 Million Years Ago

X-ray image of the Tycho supernova, also known as SN 1572, located between 8,000 and 9,800 light-years from Earth. Tycho is an example of a recent supernova that was visible from Earth in 1572. (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. Sato et al; Optical: DSS)

A recent study examines how the Earth was hit by blasts from supernovae (plural form of supernova (SN)) that occurred 3 million years ago (Mya) and 7 Mya with the goal of ascertaining the distances of where these blasts originated. Using the live (not decaying) radioactive isotope 60-Fe, which is produced from supernovae, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois was able to determine the approximate astronomical distances to the blasts, which they refer to as Pliocene Supernova (SN Plio, 3 Mya) and the Miocene Supernova (SN Mio, 7 Mya).

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Afghanistan Students for the International Olympiad in Astronomy & Astrophysics Need Your Help

Students from the Kayhana astronomy organization in Afghanistan. Image courtesy of Amena Karimyan.

The 16th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) will be held this year in Silesia, Poland on August 10-20, 2023. 265 students from 53 countries will take part in this annual competition that challenges select high school students from around the world in astronomical science.

One group of student in particular stands out in overcoming incredible odds to qualify for participation in this event, and they need financial help to be able to attend. Student from Afghanistan have been restricted from publicly participating in science activities like astronomy due to the presence of the Taliban. Additionally, a majority of the students from Afghanistan who qualified to attend the IOAA are girls, and since the Taliban returned to power nearly two years ago, they have resumed pushing women and girls out of public life and out of schools.

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Magnetars are Extreme in Every Way, Even Their Volcanoes

Artist rendition of a magnetar eruption. These could be source of fast radio bursts. (Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Artist rendition of a magnetar eruption. These could be source of fast radio bursts. (Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

In a recent study published in Nature Astronomy, an international team of researchers led by NASA and The George Washington University examined data from an October 2020 detection of what’s known as a “large spin-down glitch event”, also known as an “anti-glitch”, from a type of neutron star known as a magnetar called SGR 1935+2154 and located approximately 30,000 light-years from Earth, with SGR standing for soft gamma repeaters. Such events occur when the magnetar experiences a sudden decrease in its rotation rate, which in this case was followed by three types of radio bursts known as extragalactic fast radio bursts (FRBs) and then pulsed radio emissions for one month straight after the initial rotation rate decrease.

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The Technique for Detecting Meteors Could be Used to Find Dark Matter Particles Entering the Atmosphere

A perseid meteor, streaking across the night sky. Image credit: Andreas Möller
A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky, leaving a glowing ionized trail. Image credit: Andreas Möller, licensed under

Researchers from Ohio State University have come up with a novel method to detect dark matter, based on existing meteor-detecting technology. By using ground-based radar to search for ionization trails, similar to those produced by meteors as they streak through the air, they hope to use the Earth’s atmosphere as a super-sized particle detector. The results of experiments using this technique would help researchers to narrow down the range of possible characteristics of dark matter particles.

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Binary Stars Live Complicated Lives, Especially Near the End

Artist's impression of a red giant star. If the star is in a binary pair, what happens to its sibling? Credit:NASA/ Walt Feimer

We know what will happen to our Sun.

It’ll follow the same path other stars of its ilk follow. It’ll start running out of hydrogen, swell up and cool and turn red. It’ll be a red giant, and eventually, it’ll become so voluminous that it will consume the planets closest to it and render Earth uninhabitable. Then billions of years from now, it’ll create one of those beautiful nebulae we see in Hubble images, and the remnant Sun will be a shrunken white dwarf in the center of the nebula, a much smaller vestige of the luminous body it once was.

This is the predictable life the Sun lives as a solitary star. But what happens to stars that have a solar sibling? How would its binary companion fare?

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Astronomers Simulate the Cat’s Eye Nebula in 3D

In a recent study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, an international team of researchers led by Stanford University have produced the first computer-generated 3D model of the Cat’s Eye Nebula, which unveiled a symmetric pair of rings that enclose the outer shell of the nebula. This study holds the potential for helping us better understanding the nebula’s makeup and how it formed, as the symmetric rings provides clues that they were formed from a precessing jet, which produces strong confirmation that a binary star exists at the nebula’s center.

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Can Astronomers Predict Which Stars Are About to Explode as Supernovae?

In a recent study submitted to High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, a team of researchers from Japan discuss strategies to observe, and possibly predict precursor signatures for an explosion from Local Type II and Galactic supernovae (SNe). This study has the potential to help us better understand both how and when supernovae could occur throughout the universe, with supernovae being the plural form of supernova (SN). But just how important is it to detect supernovae before they actually happen?

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Hubble Checks the Weather on Hot Jupiters. Forecast: 100% Chance of Hellish Conditions

While the Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 32 years in orbit, like a fine wine, it has only gotten better with age as it continues to study the Universe and teach us more about our place in the cosmos. Hubble doesn’t just take breathtaking images of our Universe, but it also studies our own solar system, galaxies, and exoplanets, as well. It is this last subject where Hubble has recently been hard at work, though.

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Mixing Science and Art, One Painting at a Time

Oil painting of Jupiter by Laci Shea Brock.

All her life, Laci Shea Brock has needed to be creative and inventive. So, perhaps it’s not completely surprising that in addition to pursuing her PhD in planetary sciences and astrophysics, she’s also a talented artist.

“My Dad says I’ve always had a paintbrush in my hand,” Brock said, “and I’ve always been inspired by space and nature.

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