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Kavli Institute

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CNN

Postdoc Tansu Daylan speaks with CNN reporter Ada Wood about his work mentoring two high school students, and their discovery of four new exoplanets. "When it comes to studying by comparison — that is, studying the atmospheres of planets beyond the solar system around sun-like stars — this is probably one of the best targets that we will ever get," says Daylan.

CBS News

Reporting for CBS News, Sophie Lewis spotlights how MIT astronomers have uncovered evidence of what may be one of the earliest incidences of galactic cannibalism in a dwarf galaxy called Tucana II. “The findings suggest that the earliest galaxies in the universe were much more massive than previously believed,” writes Lewis. 

CNN

CNN reporter Ashley Strickland writes that astronomers have identified an extended dark matter halo around Tucana II, an ancient dwarf galaxy. "This probably also means that the earliest galaxies formed in much larger dark matter halos than previously thought," says Prof. Anna Frebel. "We have thought that the first galaxies were the tiniest, wimpiest galaxies. But they actually may have been several times larger than we thought, and not so tiny after all." 

Smithsonian Magazine

Two high school students and their mentor, MIT postdoc Tansu Daylan, have discovered four new exoplanets located about 200 light years from Earth, reports Nora McGreevy for Smithsonian. The students were participating in the Student Research Mentoring Program, which pairs young astronomers with scientists at MIT and Harvard. “[The students] are so good at finding things that may skip your eyes, basically. It’s fun. And I really like the exchange of ideas,” Daylan adds. 

Gizmodo

Astronomers have uncovered evidence of an extended dark matter halo around an ancient galaxy located about 163,000 light years from Earth, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo. “We know [dark matter] is there because in order for galaxies to remain bound, there must be more matter than what we see visibly, from starlight,” explains graduate student Anirudh Chiti. “That led to the hypothesis of dark matter existing as an ingredient that holds galaxies together.” 

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have discovered an extended dark matter halo encircling an ancient dwarf galaxy about 163,000 light years from Earth. “The findings suggest many more of the cosmos' earliest galaxies may have formed within expansive dark matter halos,” writes Hays. 

Mashable

Mashable spotlights how two high school students, who were part of Student Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and MIT, have discovered four new exoplanets. “Both the students took guidance from mentor Tansu Daylan, a postdoc at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, and helped the students study and analyze data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).” 

Physics World

Physics World selected a study by researchers from MIT’s LIGO Lab that shows quantum fluctuations can jiggle objects as large as the mirrors of the LIGO observatory as one of the top 10 breakthroughs of the year. “The research could lead to the improved detection of gravitational waves by LIGO, Virgo and future observatories,” notes Hamish Johnston for Physics World.

Wired

Research scientist Clara Sousa-Silva speaks with Wired reporter Abigail Beall about phosphine, a molecule that she has spent the past decade investigating. “Phosphine is a horrific molecule, it’s foul in every way,” she says. “It’s almost immoral, if a molecule can be.”

USA Today

A team of astronomers, including MIT researchers, have identified fast radio burst emanating from a magnetar in our galaxy, reports Doyle Rice for USA Today. “The radio pulses are the closest ones detected to date, and their proximity has allowed the team to pinpoint their source.”

The Verge

Prof. Kiyoshi Masui speaks with Verge reporter Loren Grush about how astronomers have detected fast radio bursts coming from a magnetar within our own galaxy. “This is the missing link,” Masui says. “Now we’ve seen a fast radio burst coming from a magnetar, so it proves that at least some fraction of fast radio bursts we see in the universe come from magnetars.”

CBS Boston

CBS Boston reporter Juli McDonald spotlights how NASA's ORISIS-Rex spacecraft carried a key imagine instrument, designed and built by students from MIT and Harvard, on its mission to sample the surface of the asteroid Bennu. Prof. Richard Binzel, co-investigator for the mission, explains that, the device was developed to “measure the asteroid in X-ray light, which is part of the process of figuring out what the asteroid is made out of.”

The Boston Globe

When NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Bennu, onboard was the REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS), a device built by students from MIT and Harvard, write Breanne Kovatch and Andrew Stanton for The Boston Globe. “We as scientists feel the drive of curiosity and the thrill of exploration and it’s humbling and satisfying to think that we can share that sense of exploration with the world,” explains Prof. Richard Binzel, a co-investigator for the mission.

Fox News

Fox News reporter Chris Ciaccia writes that a team of astronomers, including MIT researchers, has found an exoplanet that has a 3.14-day orbit. “The ‘pi planet’ known as K2-315b is relatively close to Earth at 186 light-years away,” writes Ciaccia.

Forbes

MIT researchers have discovered an Earth-sized planet, named K2-315b, which is being referred to as the “pi planet” for its 3.14 day orbit, reports Allison Gasparini for Forbes. “Having planets like K2-315b will help us to further understand the diverse planet bodies out there,” says graduate student Prajwal Niraula.