A new planet was discovered that is similar to Earth in size and composition, meaning it has a rocky surface and an iron core. But that is where similarities end. This twin, named Kepler-78b, has an orbit so close to its parent star, that the surface is about 2,000 degrees hotter than Earth's. The planet's orbit around the star takes only 8.5 hours, instead Earth's 12 month orbit. Located 400 light years away from Earth in the constellation Cyngus, this hellish Earth shouldn't exist. For a planet only 20% larger than Earth with such a small orbit, astronomers can't figure out how it was formed.
Physicists Nima Arkani-Hamed and Jaroslav Trnka recently published a significant advance in the study of Scattering Amplitudes. These are formulas that physicists use to calculate everything from the chance an unstable particle will decay to the probability of new discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider. The two reformulated scattering amplitudes within a popular framework called N=4 super Yang-Mills, treating them as properties of abstract geometrical objects. In doing so, Arkani-Hamed and Trnka hope to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of quantum field theory.
Scanning the heavens, you might very well miss the star Kepler-62. It's a rather typical star, slightly smaller, cooler, and more orange than the Sun, much like tens of billions of other stars in our galaxy. But it holds a surprise: It's orbited by at least five planets… and two of them are Earth-sized and orbit the star in its habitable zone!