Weizmann scientists lead the team that observed - and measured - the earliest supernova explosion ever, an estimated three hours after it began. Tight coordination between multiple observatories and institutions enabled these unprecedented measurements, which were then analyzed by a global team.
March 15, 2017
How were the Earth's solid deposits of iron ore created? While researching possible conditions on Mars, Dr. Itay Halevy discovered ""green rust"" - rare today, but apparently common billions of years ago. While this would have been just one of several means of iron deposition, green rust seems to have delivered a large proportion of iron to our early ocean.
January 26, 2017
While the predominant theory for the Moon's existence was a single, massive impact with Earth, our satellite's origins were still mysterious. Now, complex computer simulations by Prof. Oded Aharonson show that the more likely explanation is multiple impacts of varying sizes that produced many moonlets; over time, these joined to form the Moon we know today.|
January 09, 2017
On June 14, 2015, astrophysicists around the world noted an extraordinarily bright flash of light that, puzzlingly, did not fit any of the usual explanations. Prof. Avishay Gal-Yam's lab has now solved the mystery: it was the destruction of a star by the gravitational tides of a black hole at the center of its galaxy. This event is extremely rare, as a number of physics conditions must be satisfied.
December 15, 2016
Crystallization is a well-observed process; we all watch it every winter when ice crystals form on our windows. But no one had ever seen the process on a molecular level: the point at which the liquid changes states. Until now, that is. Prof. Ronny Neumann and colleagues developed a way to watch crystallization happen, verifying long-held theories.
December 07, 2016
The wild faba - today, fava - bean is thought to be extinct. Now, however, Dr. Elisabeth Boaretto has identified the oldest known beans - about 14,000 years old. Understanding how the wild fabas survived can help scientists grow hardier fava crops today. Favas are a major source of nutrition in many parts of the world.
December 07, 2016
Following up on earlier research - and using technologies that did not exist then - Profs. Lia Addadi and Steve Weiner answered long-held questions: where do sea urchins get the calcium ions they need to build their spines? The answer: they ""drink"" sea water, even as larvae. And it turns out that other organisms use the same surprising process.
November 30, 2016
A potentially habitable planet – Proxima Centauri b – has been found virtually next door to Earth: about four light years away. Dr. Aviv Ofir, who is in Prof. Oded Aharonson's lab, is a member of the ""Pale Red Dot"" project; the team found that the new planet likely has balmy temperatures and liquid water, albeit a fast orbit. Further research is underway.
August 26, 2016
NASA's Juno spacecraft will soon enter orbit around Jupiter – and the Weizmann Institute's Dr. Yohai Kaspi will be ready. He and other Institute researchers are part of a team of scientists who hope to answer pressing questions about the solar system's largest planet. Using tools Dr. Kaspi has developed, the team will have the opportunity to measure the differences in Jupiter's gravitational fields accurately and precisely – for the first time.
June 30, 2016