The Cosmic Companion August 31, 2019

Weird Time, A Planet in a Slingshot, and a New Eye on the Cosmos!

Hello Everyone:

A thought experiment caught the attention of physicists this week, causing researchers to reconsider what they thought they knew about time at the quantum level. An exoplanet was found in a slingshot orbit around an alien star, and assembly is now complete on the most advanced space telescope ever designed.

Let’s take off!

The Week in Space

It’s Time, But Not as we Know It - A new type of “quantum time order” may exhibit itself at the minuscule scale of sub-atomic particles, a new thought experiment suggests.

A large ball of matter can slow down the passage of time in its region, a new thought experiment, published in Nature Communications, suggests. Image credit: The University of Queensland

Researchers from the University of Queensland suggest that relativistic effects by gravity on the passage of time will still be present even if an object is in a state of superposition, both existing and not existing at the same time, like Schrodinger’s cat. Such conditions would result in bizarre behavior, as events that should happen one after the other will unfold simultaneously.

Read more:

Massive World Slingshots Around Star - An exoplanet at least three times more massive than Jupiter has been spotted slingshotting its way around its parent star, new observations reveal.

An artist’s conception of a massive exoplanet orbiting far from its star. Image credit: flflflflfl/Pixabay

The planet, HR 5183 b, comes as close to its star as the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter orbit from our Sun. The highly-elliptical path of this massive world, however, carries it as far away from it’s parent star as the distance between Neptune and the Sun.

The Cosmic Companion talks with Sarah Blunt, one of the researchers that discovered this unusual world.

Read more:

James Webb Space Telescope Now Assembled — What’s Next? - The most advanced space telescope in history is now complete. Viewing the Universe in infrared light, this observatory could revolutionize what we know about astronomy and our place in the Universe.

The JWST undergoing final assembly. Image credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

What will the James Webb Space Telescope accomplish, and what science will this new facility undertake? The Cosmic Companion looks “under the hood” of this magnificent spacecraft.

Read more:

Coming soon: The First Woman on the Moon: The Past and Future History of Women in Space by James Maynard

I will be on vacation this upcoming week, so there will not be a weekly update on September 7th, but this newsletter will return September 14th.

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