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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.”

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.

Economist

The Economist explores how the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an MIT-led NASA mission, has identified a number of new exoplanets and, in the process, helped astronomers and scientists unearth new details about our universe. This latest discovery, according to The Economist, “will help answer some of the biggest questions in the rapidly growing science of exoplanetology.”

New Scientist

TESS, an MIT-led NASA mission, has discovered two gaseous exoplanets and one rocky exoplanet within a system known as TOI-270, reports New Scientist. “TOI-270 will soon allow us to study this ‘missing link’ between rocky Earth-like planets and gas-dominant mini-Neptunes, because here all of these types formed in the same system,” says postdoc Maximilian Günther, lead author of a paper on the new system. 

New York Times

The New York Times’ Dennis Overbye reports on a paper from MIT, which shows that NASA’s planet hunting satellite TESS has discovered three new exoplanets in a system 73 light-years from Earth known as TOI-270. “TOI-270 is a true Disneyland for exoplanet science because it offers something for every research area,” says postdoc and lead author Maximilian Günther. “It is an exceptional laboratory for not one, but many reasons.”

Space.com

Space.com reporter Mike Wall writes that researchers have calculated a supermassive black hole’s rotation rate by analyzing the X-rays it emitted after consuming a nearby star. The researchers found that “the huge black hole, known as ASASSN-14li, is spinning at least 50 percent the speed of light.”

Science Friday

Postdoctoral fellow Dheeraj Pasham speaks with Ira Flatow of Science Friday about his research calculating that a supermassive black hole 300 million light years from Earth is spinning at half the speed of light. Pasham explains that a black hole's spin rate provides information about the “channel through which it grew, all the way from a couple of years after the Big Bang until now.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Ryan Mandelbaum writes that researchers determined how fast a supermassive black hole spins by measuring a star being swallowed by the black hole. Postdoctoral fellow Dheeraj Pasham explains that, “this measurement is different in the sense that we were able to measure the spin of a black hole that was dormant.”

New Scientist

Prof. Sara Seager and her team are building a list of biosignatures - chemicals that could suggest the presence of life on other planets - in their search for extraterrestrial life, writes Joshua Sokol for New Scientist. Seager is “looking at all small molecules, not just the ones linked to life as we know it.”

Daily Mail

MIT researchers have found that the high temperature of intracluster gas, which condenses to form stars, may be hindering the development of new stars, reports Jonathan O’Callaghan for the Daily Mail. The researchers hope to use the new findings to better understand how stars form in surrounding galaxies. 

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal interviews Professor Sara Seager about her research and her search for extraterrestrial life. "We haven't been able to find the true Earth twin yet because it's so very hard to find. It's like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack," says Seager. 

Salon

“The goal of the simulation is to compare the actual cosmos — viewable via telescope — to the computer-created universe. The comparison will allow scientists to test if their theories on the creation of the universe work,” Salon reporter Sarah Gray writes of Illustris.

Scientific American

In an article posted on the Scientific American website, Elizabeth Gibney details the new computer model developed to simulate the Universe.