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Kavli Institute

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Scientific American

Using data from the James Webb Space Telescope, postdoc Rohan Naidu and his colleagues discovered a candidate galaxy in the early universe that is one of two candidate galaxies older than any others known before, reports Jonathan O'Callaghan for Scientific American.

CNN

CNN’s Ashley Strickland highlights a study by MIT researchers finding that a mysterious flash of light was caused by a black hole jet pointing directly at Earth. The researchers determined that the flash of light was “100 times more powerful than the most powerful gamma-ray burst afterglow,” explains research scientist Dheeraj “DJ” Pasham.

Reuters

Astronomers from MIT and other institutions have found that the source of a big flash of light observed in February 2021 was a black hole jet pointing directly towards Earth, reports Will Dunham for Reuters. "At its peak, the source appeared brighter than 1,000 trillion suns," explains research scientist Dheeraj “DJ” Pasham.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Travis Andersen writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have found that a huge bright flash in the sky initially observed earlier this year was a black hole jet pointing straight towards Earth. “Researchers believe the jet is a product of a black hole that suddenly began consuming a nearby star, releasing a large amount of energy in the process,” writes Andersen. “The flash was detected at some 8.5 billion lights years away, or more than halfway across the universe.”

Gizmodo

A mysterious bright light detected in February has been identified as a black hole consuming a nearby star by researchers at MIT and elsewhere, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo. “This particular event was 100 times more powerful than the most powerful gamma-ray burst afterglow,” says research scientist Dheeraj “DJ” Pasham. “It was something extraordinary.”

Newsweek

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have found that the source of a mysterious flash of light was a black hole jet pointed at Earth, reports Aristos Georgiou for Newsweek. “The study suggests that the jet was produced when this distant black hole began devouring a nearby star that had strayed too close,” writes Georgiou. “As the black hole fed on the material of the star, it ejected a stream of particles traveling at close to the speed of light in the form of a jet, which appears to be pointed directly at our planet.”

CNN

Postdoc Rohan Naidu speaks with CNN reporter Ashley Strickland about the significance of the James Webb Space Telescope. “With Webb, we were amazed to find the most distant starlight that anyone had ever seen, just days after Webb released its first data,” says Naidu.

The Hill

The Venus Life Finder (VLF) developed by scientists at MIT will be launched on a Rocket lab Electronic in May of 2023 to search for life in the upper atmosphere of Venus, reports Mark R. Whittington for The Hill. “When it plunges into Venus’ atmosphere it will use an instrument called the ‘autofluorescing nephelometer’ that will use a laser to illuminate organic molecules that may or may not exist 50 kilometers above the planet’s surface,” writes Whittington.

Newsweek

Prof. Julien de Wit speaks with Newsweek reporter Ed Browne about the wealth of information that the James Webb telescope will be providing about the universe. "In terms of information content, we're pretty much going from listening to the radio, to having television," said de Wit.

Forbes

Scientists from MIT and other institutions have detected the longest-lasting and most regular radio signal in the night sky, reports Jamie Carter for Forbes. “Scientists think that the radio signal may be coming from a neutron star—what remains of the collapsed core of a giant star after it’s exploded as a supernova,” explains Carter.

Mashable

Astronomers from MIT and elsewhere have discovered radio signals in space that they believe to be coming from a neutron star, reports Tim Marcin for Mashable. “Using the CHIME (Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment) radio telescope, astronomers noticed a strange FRB, or radio burst, from a far-off galaxy billions of light-years from Earth.”

VICE

Scientists from MIT and elsewhere have detected a series of fast radio bursts from a distant galaxy, reports Samantha Cole for Vice. “This detection raises the question of what could cause this extreme signal that we’ve never seen before, and how can we use this signal to study the universe,” says postdoctoral scholar Daniele Michilli. “Future telescopes promise to discover thousands of FRBs a month, and at that point we may find many more of these periodic signals.”

USA Today

A team of astronomers have identified a mysterious radio burst from a far-away galaxy, reports Wyatte Grantham-Philips for USA Today. “Imagine a very distant galaxy. And sometimes, some huge explosions happen that emit huge blasts of radio waves,” explains Daniele Michilli, who led the study and is a postdoc in MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. “We don’t know what these explosions are, (but) they are so powerful that we can see them from across the universe.”

CNN

Postdoctoral scholar Daniele Michilli and members of the CHIME/FRB Collaboration have discovered radio bursts from a galaxy billions of light-years away, reports Ashley Strickland for CNN. “The research team will continue to use CHIME to monitor the skies for more signals from the radio burst, as well as others with a similar, periodic signal,” writes Strickland, noting the work “could be used to help astronomers learn more about the rate of the universe’s expansion.”

NPR

Astronomers at MIT and elsewhere have picked up repeated radio signals from a galaxy billions of light-years away from Earth, reports Ayana Archie for NPR. “Scientists have not been able to pinpoint the exact location of the radio waves yet, but suspect the source could be neutron stars, which are made from collapsed cores of giant stars,” writes Archie.