Space sciences


28 Feb 2024
Organic materials discovered on Mars may have originated from atmospheric formaldehyde, according to new research, marking a step forward in our understanding of the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.
simulation of two merging black holes
27 Feb 2024
Jun’ichi Yokoyama once amused his professors by proposing a far-fetched idea of using neutrinos and gravitational waves to observe the Universe. Decades later, he was proven right and contends young scientists should be nurtured to believe in themselves.
Artist’s impression of an outflow of molecular gas from the quasar J2054-0005 (Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO))
01 Feb 2024
Theoretical predictions have been confirmed with the discovery of an outflow of molecular gas from a quasar when the Universe was less than a billion years old.
23 Jan 2024
The Hayabusa2 mission that collected samples from the asteroid Ryugu has provided a treasure trove of insights into our solar system. After analyzing samples further, a team of researchers have unearthed evidence that cometary organic matter was transported from space to the near-Earth region.
19 Jan 2024
A recent paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics presents new images from the 2018 data that reveal a familiar ring the same size as observed in 2017. This bright ring surrounds a deep central depression, “the shadow of the black hole,” as predicted by general relativity. Excitingly, the peak brightness of the ring has shifted by about 30º counter clockwise compared to its position in 2017, which is consistent with our theoretical understanding of the variability of the turbulent material around black holes.
22 Nov 2023
Osaka Metropolitan University researchers and their colleagues have successfully detected an ultra-high-energy cosmic ray with an energy level comparable to the most energetic cosmic ray ever observed. The cosmic ray is set to be named after the Japanese sun goddess, Amaterasu. No promising astronomical object has been identified in the direction from which this cosmic ray originated, implying the potential existence of unknown astronomical phenomena and novel physical origins beyond the Standard Model.
Asia Research News Editors Choice
05 Oct 2023
Hunting for supermassive black holes, Coastal survival at risk, Calcium and dead cell clean-up, Two naps are better than one & Pineapple leaf prosthetics. Read all in the latest Editor's Choice.
29 Sep 2023
Observations during two flybys by the Mio spacecraft as part of the BepiColombo International Mercury Exploration Project have revealed that chorus waves occur quite locally in the dawn sector of Mercury. Mercury's magnetic field is about 1% of that of Earth, and it was unclear whether chorus waves would be generated like on Earth. The present study reveals that the chorus waves are the driving source of Mercury’s X-ray auroras, whose mechanism was not understood.
An artist’s impression of a quasar
01 Sep 2023
Survey observations with the Subaru Telescope have led to the discovery of 22 quasars in the very distant universe. Their space density indicates the rapid emergence of supermassive black holes soon after the Big Bang, providing strong constraints on models of when, where, and how they formed and grew in cosmic space-time. The results also indicate a small quasar contribution to cosmic reionization, a major phase transition of the early universe.
04 Aug 2023
Tohoku University geophysicist Yuto Katoh led a study into the activity of high energy electrons and clarified the unexpected role of the geomagnetic field surrounding the Earth in protecting.
21 Jul 2023
Current evidence suggests that microparticles of cosmic dust collide and stick together to form larger dust aggregates that may eventually combine and develop into planets. Numerical models that accurately characterize the conditions required for colliding microparticle aggregates to stick together, rather than bounce apart, are therefore paramount to understanding the evolution of planets. Recent modeling suggests that dust aggregates are less likely to stick together after a collision as the size of the aggregates increases.
17 Apr 2023
Asia Research Newsは同所の女性研究者5名に、彼女らの研究について、そしてなぜKavli IPMUを選んだのか、これまでの同所での経験について話しを聞いた。それぞれ様々な背景を持ち、各分野で卓越している研究者らに、足かせのない女性がいかに飛躍できるかをみせてもらった。
14 Apr 2023
Asia Research News monthly Editors Choice
10 Apr 2023
AI finds the first stars ✨were not alone, Auto-switch for large electronic devices, A metabolite against autoimmune diseases, & Converting fruit waste 🍊🍉into solar stills. Plus in our blog: A career worth doing, a life worth living. Read all in the latest Editor's Choice.
A conceptual image for sampling materials on the asteroid Ryugu containing uracil and niacin by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft (NASA Goddard/JAXA/Dan Gallagher).
21 Mar 2023
Samples from the asteroid Ryugu collected by the Hayabusa2 mission contain nitrogenous organic compounds, including the nucleobase uracil, which is a part of RNA.
fig 2
15 Mar 2023
A team led by Kavli IPMU researchers have found the earliest evidence of parts of the universe that were heated to temperatures more characteristic to the intergalactic gas medium where most atoms reside in the universe today.
08 Mar 2023
Finding extra-terrestrial life would transform how we view our place in the Universe, but reporting on the search for it poses challenges for scientists and the media.
08 Mar 2023
One astronomer never thought of leaving Japan, but then he did and became a world best.
big bang impression
07 Mar 2023
Asia Research News met five female researchers to learn about their research, what drew them to Kavli IPMU, and their experiences there. These women, from diverse backgrounds, excel in their fields and show what can be achieved when women are not held back.
28 Feb 2023
Researchers at Tohoku University have analyzed samples from asteroid Ryugu. They identified some of the oldest solids from the solar system to date, and their findings suggest that the asteroid initially formed in the outer reaches of the solar system.
28 Feb 2023
Osaka Metropolitan University scientists identified about 140,000 molecular clouds in the Milky Way Galaxy from large-scale data of carbon monoxide molecules, observed in detail by the Nobeyama 45-m radio telescope. Using artificial intelligence, the researchers estimated the distance of each of these molecular clouds to determine their size and mass, successfully mapping the distribution of the molecular clouds in the Galaxy in the most detailed manner to date.
17 Feb 2023
Tree rings forecast extreme weather in central Asia, Squid 🦑and chemistry make versatile hydrogels, James Webb telescope reveals the earliest galaxies & Reducing negative effects of screen time. Read all in the latest Editor's Choice. Plus our latest journalist resource "Experts for Media: Antimicrobial Resistance "🦠.
JWST pinpoints the ‘invisible’ engine that powers the galaxies in the middle of a collision
03 Feb 2023
Researchers used the James Webb Space Telescope to identify the precise location of a powerful energy source hidden by cosmic dust in the luminous merging galaxy IIZw096.
Asia Research News: Editor's choice
20 Jan 2023
Overeating mechanism: why "eating just one chip"🍟 is impossible, Measuring hidden energy of gamma-ray bursts, Marine species that can adapt to ocean acidification & A rough start can lead to a strong bond, Read all in our first Editor's Choice of 2023. Plus our interview on what dengue vaccine approval in EU💉means for global dengue protection.
The rocket carrying the experiment module being launched to carry out microgravity experiments (Photo: Swedish Space Corporation).
13 Jan 2023
Understanding how dust grains form in interstellar gas could offer significant insights to astronomers and help materials scientists develop useful nanoparticles.
19 Dec 2022
When stars die out, they emit gamma-ray bursts. Although scientist can calculate the explosion energy from dying stars, it is difficult to do when the conversion efficiency is low or unknown. Using light polarization, a research group has found a workaround for this, enabling astronomers to calculate the hidden energy of gamma-ray bursts.
15 Dec 2022
Understanding how bats tolerate viral infections, Material separates water from...water, The virtual sense of touch polished to next level and COVID-19 negatively impacted early-careers and female researchers. Read all in the December's Editor's Choice.
Figure 1
05 Dec 2022
Studying an atomic clock on-board a spacecraft inside the orbit of Mercury and very near to the Sun could be the trick to uncovering the nature of dark matter.
29 Nov 2022
Kavli IPMU's Jia Liu is part of team which found the number of astronomy research papers being produced increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the number of new or junior researchers entering the field has dropped, and no single country's female astronomers were able to be more productive than their male colleagues on average.
25 Oct 2022
Small neighboring galaxy filled with dark matter detected with gamma rays, How a virus induces heart inflammation, Shedding light on the happy hormone, Microfossils may hold key evolution clues. Read all in the October's Editor's Choice plus Upcoming event KNOWLEDGE MARKETPLACE – Bangkok 2022: Exchanging of ideas for a Democratic Myanmar.


09 Sep 2021 to 10 Sep 2021
Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) will launch a new Master-PhD course on origin-of-life science and astrobiology at Tokyo Institute of Technology. The five-year ELSI course is open for domestic and international students who wish to tackle fundamental questions in natural science such as the origin and evolution of living planets. ELSI will provide financial support (as salary of a research assistant) for all the students, except for ones who are going to be supported by JSPS DC fellowships (Japan) or equivalent fellowships.


Ken’ichi Nomoto
Ken’ichi Nomoto is a visiting senior scientist at Kavli IPMU and Professor Emeritus at The University of Tokyo. He is one of the best experts in the world in astronomy and astrophysics, particularly on stellar evolution and supernovae. He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 2020.
Miho Katsuragawa is a specially appointed project researcher at Kavli IPMU. Her areas of expertise include experimental physics, detector/instrument development, medical application of gamma-ray imaging, and high energy astrophysics.
Jia Liu
Jia Liu is the Director of the Center for Data-Driven Discovery and associate professor at CMB Group at Kavli IPMU. Her research integrates data science techniques in the study of large-scale structures of the universe (dark matter, halos, filaments, voids).
Elisa Ferreira
Elisa Ferreira is Assistant Professor at the Kavli IPMU and at the Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo. Her research deals with the interface between cosmology, astrophysics, and high energy physics, focusing mostly on dark energy and dark matter.
Picture of Brian Katona
Mr. Brian Katona is an engineer supporting the technical aspects of the Office of Service-Learning’s initiatives in Humanitarian Technology, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation. He is interested in sharing his expertise with people to help build meaningful and impactful technological and social solutions.
Tony Z. Jia is a researcher at Japan’s Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. His research focuses on astrobiology, prebiotic chemistry, and origins of life.
Takeshi Horinouchi is a professor at the Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Japan.
Department of Earth Science, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Japan.

Giants in history

Chinese electron microscopy specialist Li Fanghua (6 January 1932 – 24 January 2020) facilitated the high-resolution imaging of crystal structures by eliminating interference.
Haisako Koyama (1916 – 1997) was a Japanese solar observer whose dedication to recording sunspots – cooler parts of the sun’s surface that appear dark – produced a sunspot record of historic importance.
Malaysia’s first astrophysicist, Mazlan binti Othman (born 11 December 1951) was instrumental in launching the country’s first microsatellite, and in sending Malaysia’s first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, into space.
Cyril Andrew Ponnamperuma (16 October 1923 – 20 December 1994) was a Sri Lankan chemist who was interested in the origins of life on Earth. His research in chemical evolution showed how inanimate molecules may have given rise to the building blocks of life – a process known as abiogenesis.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995) was an Indian astrophysicist who studied the structure and evolution of stars.