Recent Entries

“Heart of Darkness” –Mysterious Origins of Primordial Supermassive Black Holes (Weekend Feature)

 

Primordial Black Hole

How supermassive black holes formed at the birth of a galaxy “is one of the last great mysteries of the early universe,” said Kirk S. S. Barrow with Georgia Tech’s School of Physics. The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to soon provide the answer, as well as how ‘ordinary’ matter assembles, along with the invisible dark matter, to form the wispy ‘dark web’ that pervades the universe by combining the observing power of two missions, Athena (the largest X-ray observatory ever built) and LISA.

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“Technological Intelligence & the Search for Alien Artifacts” (Weekend Feature)

ESO Observatories Chile

 

For what purpose did the human brain evolve is a question that has puzzled scientists for decades, and was answered in 2010 by Colin Blakemore, an Oxford neurobiologist who argued that a mutation in the brain of a single human being 200,000 years ago turned intellectually able primates into a super-intelligent species that would conquer the world. Homo sapiens appears to be genetic accident. Or are we?

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“Fourth State of Matter” –Major Discovery About Exotic Conditions of Sun’s Atmosphere

Sun's Surface

 

Scientists Ireland and France report major new finding about how matter behaves in the extreme near speed of light conditions of the Sun’s atmosphere using large radio telescopes and ultraviolet cameras on a NASA spacecraft to better understand plasma  –the exotic but poorly understood “fourth state of matter”.

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“When Earth Was Very Different” –Remnant of Ice-Age Ocean Discovered

Ice Age Remnants

 

“Previously, all we had to go on to reconstruct seawater from the last Ice Age were indirect clues, like fossil corals and chemical signatures from sediments on the seafloor,” said Clara Blättler, an assistant professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, who led a study that announced the discovery of the first-ever direct remnants of seawater dating to the Ice Age, tucked inside rock formations in the middle of the Indian Ocean. “But from all indications, it looks pretty clear we now have an actual piece of this 20,000-year-old ocean.”

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“Mashup!” –Massive Ancient Collision ‘Puffed and Fractured’ the Milky Way

True Twisted shape of Milky Way Galaxy

 

“While there have been many dwarf satellites falling onto the Milky Way over its life, this was the largest of them all,” said Sergey Koposov of Carnegie Mellon University, about the collision 10 billion years ago with the massive Gaia Sausage satellite galaxy, whose total mass in gas, stars and dark matter was more than 10 billion times the mass of our Sun, which lies in the center of this enormous cloud of stars.

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“The Hidden Kingdom” –Ancient Fossil Resets How Life First Arrived on Land from the Oceans

Fungi

 

Scientists have unearthed fossilized fungi in the remote Northwest Territories of the Canadian Arctic dating back to one billion years, in a discovery that could reshape our understanding of how life first arrived on land from the oceans.

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“Something Much Stranger?” –Jezero Crater Mystery, Landing Site for NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover

Jezero Crater Mars 2020 Landing Site

 

“What’s exciting is that we’ll see very soon if I’m right or wrong,” said Christopher Kremer at Brown University about a strange mineral deposit near the Jezero Crater landing site for NASA’s Mars2020 rover. “So that’s a little nerve wracking,” but if it’s not a volcanic ashfall he adds, “it’s probably going to be something much stranger.”

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“Buried!” –Mars’ Ancient North Pole Ice Sheets Found

Mars North Pole

Newly discovered layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars’ north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona, using measurements gathered by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) that emits radar waves that can penetrate up to a mile and a half beneath the surface. If melted, the newly discovered polar ice would be equivalent to a global layer of water around Mars at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep.

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