This Week in Space: What the Big Bang sounded like and a point for Einstein
Remember that green space rock that they found in Morocco? It turns out it might not be from Mercury after all. D'oh! There’s still a chance that it's from Mercury, but the meteorite’s age makes that assertion much less likely. Don’t let that stop you from consuming all the latest space news, though!
In space, no one can hear you scream. But they might be able to recreate a high fidelity recording that mimics the sound of the Big Bang, which is a lot more impressive, anyway.
John Cramer, a physicist at the University of Washington, created his original aural interpretation of the Big Bang over ten years ago, but now with more current data from the ESA’s Planck satellite mission, he has managed to produce “new recordings that fill in higher frequencies to create a fuller and richer sound.”
The sound files range in length from just a few seconds to several minutes. Be sure to take a listen to what the universe’s creation might have sounded like on the UW Today Soundcloud page and Cramer’s website. [via The Verge]
You were probably already aware that Mars is no longer suitable for life. But thanks to the Curiosity rover, we now have more data than ever to try and understand exactly what led to Mars’ current condition, including recent evidence that the planet’s atmosphere has been thinning at a consistent rate over time.
As proof of this, the heavier isotopes of the element Argon have remained in the Martian atmosphere while the lighter isotopes seem to have vanished into space. These findings help to clarify the idea that Mars might have once been able to sustain water and life.
Our knowledge of the matter that makes up the universe is limited, to say the least. One way that we explain the mass of the universe that remains unaccounted for is the existence of dark matter, which cannot be seen or directly measured. Convenient, right?
Well, being that “because we said so” is no longer an acceptable explanation for the existence of dark matter, an enormous particle detector called theAlpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) was sent to the International Space Station in May 2011 to measure data that might corroborate the theory of relativity and lend credence to the existence of unseen forces and matter.
Now, less than two years later, CERN has announced that the findings “are consistent with the positrons originating from the annihilation of dark matter particles in space, but not yet sufficiently conclusive to rule out other explanations.” In other words, don’t count out dark matter just yet.