Astrophysics

Scientists trace neutrino to source outside our galaxy

IceCube lab in Antarctica under the stars.
IceCube lab. Photo: Martin Wolf/IceCube/NSF

In a find that advances our understanding of fundamental particles in the universe, scientists announced Thursday they've detected a high-energy neutrino from outside our galaxy and, for the first-time, pinpointed its source.

Why it matters: The evidence, detailed in two new studies in the journal Science, further demonstrate the potential for multi-messenger astronomy — that is, astronomy that looks at the whole electromagnetic spectrum — to help scientists answer longstanding mysteries about high-energy physics.

Scientists spot a planet as it's being born

Image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope showing a planet forming around the dwarf star PDS 70.
A planet's formation is visible as a bright point to the right of the center of the image, which is blacked out to block the light of the central star PDS 70. Image: ESO/A. Müller et al.

Scientists for the first time spotted a new planet being born while nestled within the dusty disk surrounding a young dwarf star. The findings are detailed in two studies describing an exoplanet in its early state of formation and include the first-known clear image of a young planet forming.

Why it matters: If confirmed through subsequent research, the discovery could teach researchers about how other planets, including ones in our solar system, formed.