Cosmic Baby Boom Becomes Baby Explosion
September 21, 2005
There has been a trend in deep space astronomy to find more and more mature-looking stars and galaxies farther back in time (04/06/2005, 03/10/2005, 07/08/2005). That trend just doubled or tripled. An announcement in Nature1 (see press release by European Southern Observatory), a thousand galaxies were found at distances corresponding to estimated ages of 9 […]
Can Atheism Breathe in an Anthropic Universe?
August 16, 2005
Astronomers Martin Rees and Mario Livio considered “Anthropic Reasoning” in a Science perspectives article.1 The question bears not only on SETI, and whether intelligent life exists elsewhere, but why it exists here. They state the issue: We can imagine universes where the constants of physics and cosmology have different values. Many such “counterfactual” universes would […]
Planet Orbiting Triple Star Tightens Noose on Planet Formation Theories
July 15, 2005
The discovery of a planet orbiting a triple star system (see JPL Press Release), described by Maciej Konacki in Nature,1 has delivered a severe challenge to theorists. In short, the environment is “particularly prohibitive” for planet formation. This Jupiter-size planet should not be there. Planet-formation theories have taken a triple whammy lately. The […]
Stars: Born of Violence, or Doing Violence to Theories?
May 31, 2005
Two stunning images from the giant orbiting telescopes are breeding tales of violence, but the reader can decide if the trauma is building stars and planets, or pummeling theories. Space.com tells about the new Spitzer infrared photo of Eta Carina, announcing, “As they destroy the huge cloud that is their home, wildly energetic stars may […]
Late Stars Found Early On
April 6, 2005
A press release from the Spitzer Space Telescope team reports that the oldest, most distant galaxies ever seen already had well-developed stars. It claims that the light has taken 13 billion years to reach us. “It seems that in a couple of cases these early galaxies are nearly as massive as galaxies we see around […]