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Elegance conceals an eventful past

04/22/2016 11:30:55 AM

The elegant simplicity of NGC 4111, seen here in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, hides a more violent history than you might think. NGC 4111 is a lenticular, or lens-shaped, galaxy, lying about 50 million light-years from ...

Babies of giant dinosaurs were surprisingly self-sufficient

04/21/2016 15:51:49 PM

In 2012, paleontologist Kristina Curry Rogers was digging through drawers of miscellaneous crocodile fossils at the State University of New York at Stony Brook when she saw something both familiar and unfamiliar: the bones of a giant dinosaur, ...

Calculate Your Way to Special Relativity

04/19/2016 15:28:50 PM

A CENTRAL IDEA OF PHYSICS is that reference frames don’t change fundamental laws. It shouldn’t matter where you observe an event or how fast you are moving, the laws of physics should remain the same independent of your motion. If we ...

Tornadoes: Causes, Formation & Safety

04/19/2016 15:00:30 PM

  Tornadoes are the most violent storms in nature. An average of 800 tornadoes are reported each year, resulting in 80 deaths and 1,500 injuries. Tornadoes are a worldwide phenomenon, touching down in every continent save Antarctica. Dangerous ...

Mysterious alignment of black holes

04/14/2016 04:50:21 AM

Deep radio imaging by researchers in the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape, in South Africa, has revealed that supermassive black holes in a region of the distant universe are all spinning out radio jets in the same ...

Ad Campaigns That Tell The Uncomfortable Truth

04/10/2016 16:19:30 PM

A little while ago, we wrote about powerful advertisements that were designed to raise awareness about important social and environmental issues. But what about animals? They don’t have any way to raise awareness about the issues they face, ...

Supernovae showered Earth with radioactive debris

04/07/2016 03:14:06 AM

An international team of scientists has found evidence of a series of massive supernova explosions near our solar system, which showered the Earth with radioactive debris. The scientists found radioactive iron-60 in sediment and crust samples ...

Supernovae showered Earth with radioactive debris

04/07/2016 03:14:06 AM

An international team of scientists has found evidence of a series of massive supernova explosions near our solar system, which showered the Earth with radioactive debris. The scientists found radioactive iron-60 in sediment and crust samples ...

Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves

03/31/2016 09:29:29 AM

When it comes to the various nanowidgets scientists are developing, nanotubes are especially intriguing. That’s because hollow tubes that have diameters of only a few billionths of a meter have the potential to be incredibly useful, from ...

Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves

03/31/2016 09:29:29 AM

When it comes to the various nanowidgets scientists are developing, nanotubes are especially intriguing. That’s because hollow tubes that have diameters of only a few billionths of a meter have the potential to be incredibly useful, from ...

Scientists solved the Spallanzani’s dilemma

03/30/2016 08:43:35 AM

Imagine losing an eye, an arm or even your spinal cord. When we are wounded, our bodies, and those of other mammals, generally respond by sealing the wound with scar tissue. The newt, however, has evolved unique strategies that allow it to ...

Scientists solve Spallanzani’s dilemma

03/30/2016 08:43:35 AM

Imagine losing an eye, an arm or even your spinal cord. When we are wounded, our bodies, and those of other mammals, generally respond by sealing the wound with scar tissue. The newt, however, has evolved unique strategies that allow it to ...

Alaskan Volcano erupts with giant ash cloud

03/29/2016 09:57:48 AM

Officials have been forced to raise the volcano and aviation alert levels after the Pavlof Volcano ash spewed 30,000 feet into the air. The volcano on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands erupted with such strength “high-level” tremors could be ...

Dark Matter Particle Could be Size of Human Cell

03/29/2016 04:13:39 AM

Dark matter could be made of particles that each weigh almost as much as a human cell and are nearly dense enough to become miniature black holes, new research suggests. While dark matter is thought to make up five-sixths of all matter in the ...

Dark Matter Particle Could be Size of Human Cell

03/29/2016 04:13:39 AM

Dark matter could be made of particles that each weigh almost as much as a human cell and are nearly dense enough to become miniature black holes, new research suggests. While dark matter is thought to make up five-sixths of all matter in the ...

Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle

03/25/2016 04:03:27 AM

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish ...

Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle

03/25/2016 04:03:27 AM

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish ...

Jupiter’s auroras

03/24/2016 10:57:44 AM

Solar storms trigger X-ray auroras on Jupiter that are about eight times brighter than normal over a large area of the planet and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth’s northern lights. That’s according to a new study published March ...

Jupiter’s auroras

03/24/2016 10:57:44 AM

Solar storms trigger X-ray auroras on Jupiter that are about eight times brighter than normal over a large area of the planet and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth’s northern lights. That’s according to a new study published March ...

Unveiling Ceres

03/24/2016 10:45:46 AM

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed marvelous sights on dwarf planet Ceres during its first year in orbit, including the mysterious bright spots in Occator Crater. See full-resolution images and read the news article: http://go.nasa.gov/1 ...

Unveiling Ceres

03/24/2016 10:45:46 AM

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed marvelous sights on dwarf planet Ceres during its first year in orbit, including the mysterious bright spots in Occator Crater. See full-resolution images and read the news article: http://go.nasa.gov/1MA6ifH ...

Moon used to spin ‘on different axis’

03/24/2016 08:59:29 AM

The Moon used to spin on a different axis and show a slightly different face to the Earth, a new study suggests. Using data collected by Nasa’s Lunar Prospector mission in the late 1990s, scientists spotted two hydrogen-rich regions near the ...

Moon used to spin ‘on different axis’

03/24/2016 08:59:29 AM

The Moon used to spin on a different axis and show a slightly different face to the Earth, a new study suggests. Using data collected by Nasa’s Lunar Prospector mission in the late 1990s, scientists spotted two hydrogen-rich regions near the ...

Quantum Truths About Our Universe

03/23/2016 09:49:41 AM

From the moment that it was discovered that the macroscopic, classical rules that governed electricity, magnetism and light didn’t necessarily apply to the smallest, subatomic scales, a whole new view of the Universe became accessible to humanity. ...

Quantum Truths About Our Universe

03/23/2016 09:49:41 AM

From the moment that it was discovered that the macroscopic, classical rules that governed electricity, magnetism and light didn’t necessarily apply to the smallest, subatomic scales, a whole new view of the Universe became accessible to humanity. ...

Vasco da Gama’s Fleet Discovered

03/22/2016 14:53:32 PM

The oldest shipwreck from Europe’s Golden Age of Exploration has been found off the coast of Oman, the country’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture announced on Tuesday. The wreck is believed to be that of the Esmeralda, which was part of ...

Vasco da Gama’s Fleet Discovered

03/22/2016 14:53:32 PM

The oldest shipwreck from Europe’s Golden Age of Exploration has been found off the coast of Oman, the country’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture announced on Tuesday. The wreck is believed to be that of the Esmeralda, which was part of ...

Shockwave Of An Exploding Star

03/21/2016 18:15:15 PM

Shockwaves (aka a “shock breakout”) like this only last for 20 minutes, so it was really exciting for astronomers to capture the moment, which they recorded as a sudden flare of optical light from a distant star. The shock breakout is t ...

Shockwave Of An Exploding Star

03/21/2016 18:15:15 PM

Shockwaves (aka a “shock breakout”) like this only last for 20 minutes, so it was really exciting for astronomers to capture the moment, which they recorded as a sudden flare of optical light from a distant star. The shock breakout is the ...

A peculiar pattern in prime numbers

03/20/2016 07:15:52 AM

Prime numbers, divisible only by 1 and themselves, hate to repeat themselves. They prefer not to mimic the final digit of the preceding prime, mathematicians have discovered. “It is really, really bizarre,” says Stanford University postdoctoral ...

First new butterfly species in decades

03/19/2016 15:32:43 PM

Some might say it takes a rare breed to survive the Alaska wilderness. The discovery of a possible new species of hybrid butterfly from the state’s interior is proving that theory correct. Belonging to a group known as the Arctics, the Tanana ...

A black hole flashing red with the energy of 1,000 Suns

03/19/2016 10:30:29 AM

As if black holes needed another horrifyingly weird characteristic, astronomers have observed one of the brightest black hole ‘outbursts’ in years, with each pulse emitting the energy of 1,000 Suns. The event was witnessed back in June ...

Super Spirals: Strange New Galaxies

03/18/2016 09:41:58 AM

“We have found a previously unrecognized class of spiral galaxies that are as luminous and massive as the biggest, brightest galaxies we know of,” said Patrick Ogle, an astrophysicist at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) ...

Milky Way’s black hole spewing cosmic rays

03/17/2016 06:03:12 AM

Mysterious high-energy particles known as cosmic rays zip through space at a wide range of energies, some millions of times greater than those produced in the world’s most powerful atom smasher. Scientists have long thought cosmic rays from ...

The Science of Crying

03/16/2016 15:22:23 PM

Science is close to solving the mystery of why humans shed tears (and why some don’t). Michael Trimble, a behavioral neurologist with the unusual distinction of being one of the world’s leading experts on crying, was about to be interviewed ...

Debating Signatures of Alien Life

03/15/2016 05:09:40 AM

Huddled in a coffee shop one drizzly Seattle morning six years ago, the astrobiologist Shawn Domagal-Goldman stared blankly at his laptop screen, paralyzed. He had been running a simulation of an evolving planet, when suddenly oxygen started ...

European Mission to Mars Launches

03/14/2016 15:17:58 PM

Scientists grow ‘dinosaur leg’ on a chicken

03/14/2016 09:24:46 AM

Chilean scientists have grown ‘dinosaur legs’ on a chicken through reverse evolution. Last year, scientists had successfully turned the beaks of chicken embryos into snouts that look just those once found on Velociraptors. In a ‘reverse ...

Magnetic Chips Can Boost Computer Efficiency

03/14/2016 07:06:00 AM

In a breakthrough for energy-efficient computing, engineers at the University of California-Berkeley have shown for the first time that magnetic chips can operate with the lowest fundamental level of energy dissipation possible under the laws ...

Dust in the interstellar wind

03/10/2016 05:25:10 AM

Cosmic dust is not simply something to sweep under the rug and forget about. Instead, NSF-funded astronomers are studying and even mapping it to learn more about what it might be hiding from us, where it comes from and what it’s turning into. ...

‘Bright flash’ seen in skies over Scotland

03/09/2016 16:09:21 PM

Engines bend second law of thermodynamics

03/09/2016 03:10:20 AM

When French engineer Sadi Carnot calculated the maximum efficiency of a heat engine in 1824, he had no idea what heat was. In those days, physicists thought heat was a fluid called caloric. But Carnot, later lauded as a pioneer in establishing ...

The first ever photo of light as a particle and wave

03/06/2016 07:43:16 AM

Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot ...

The Key to the Origin of the Universe

03/05/2016 11:01:52 AM

“If you want to know where the universe came from and where it’s going, you need to know about time,” says Joan Vaccaro at the Griffith University’s Center for Quantum Dynamics. “Experiments on subatomic particles over t

Hubble breaks cosmic distance record

03/03/2016 14:05:48 PM

This image shows the position of the most distant galaxy discovered so far within a deep sky Hubble Space Telescope survey called GOODS North (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey North). The survey field contains tens of thousands of galaxies ...

Bright Radio Flashes Reveal Missing Matter of the Universe

02/29/2016 10:45:09 AM

An international team of scientists using a combination of radio and optical telescopes identified the distant location of a fast radio burst (FRB) for the first time. This discovery has allowed them to confirm the current cosmological model ...

Major Jurassic fossil find

02/29/2016 09:54:35 AM

A new 9th planet

02/25/2016 07:46:49 AM

An unseen planet may be hiding in the outskirts of our solar system. Planetary scientists have just projected its existence based on oddities in the orbits of some far-flung icy bodies. Those tiny objects reside in the distant Kuiper (KY-pur) ...

Quantum surrealism

02/24/2016 15:56:53 PM

New research supports an old, more intuitive theory of how sub-atomic particles behave. Cathal O’Connell explains. With its ideas of particles zipping in and out of existence, quantum mechanics is probably the kookiest-sounding theory in ...

Charon: A possible ancient ocean?

02/22/2016 08:52:32 AM

Pluto’s largest moon may have gotten too big for its own skin. Images from NASA’s New Horizons mission suggest that Pluto’s moon Charon once had a subsurface ocean that has long since frozen and expanded, pushing outward and causing

Building James Webb

02/18/2016 13:24:22 PM

For months, inside the towering Building 29 here at Goddard Space Flight Center, the four scientific instruments at the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST, or Webb) have been sealed in what looks like a house-sized pressure cooker. ...

Sleeping With Neanderthals

02/17/2016 13:58:47 PM

Hawking says his group has solved a black hole puzzle

02/16/2016 08:31:30 AM

Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous living physicist, thinks he has solved a mystery. It’s one that has puzzled scientists for more than 40 years: What happens to information about matter as it falls into a black hole? Black holes are ...

A cosmic ‘Rose’ for your Valentine

02/14/2016 14:45:06 PM

In celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s deployment in April 2011, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute pointed Hubble’s eye to an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies ...

Finding Beauty in the Darkness

02/13/2016 15:21:09 PM

WITH presidential primaries in full steam, with the country wrapped up in concern about the economy, immigration and terrorism, one might wonder why we should care about the news of a minuscule jiggle produced by an event in a far corner of ...

Gravitational Waves: What the Discovery Means for Science

02/13/2016 08:41:05 AM

People around the world cheered yesterday morning (Feb. 11) when scientists announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time whose existence was first proposed by Albert Einstein, in 1916. The ...

Massive Rogue Planet Discovered

02/12/2016 12:21:52 PM

A massive rogue planet has been discovered in the Beta Pictoris moving group. The planet, called PSO J318.5338-22.8603 (Sorry, I didn’t name it), is over eight times as massive as Jupiter. Because it’s one of the few directly-imaged exoplanets ...

LIGO Got a Reaction

02/11/2016 13:55:17 PM

On Thursday, the scientists at LIGO announced they’d officially found gravitational waves. This truly is a remarkable discovery, and confirms the final piece of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Read more about the announcement, and ...

Gravitational Waves Detected. 

02/10/2016 15:59:57 PM

A century after being proposed by physicist Albert Einstein, scientists have made the first detection of gravitational waves — massive celestial objects on the move causing spacetime itself to ripple — a historic discovery that opens up ...

Bacteria can see

02/09/2016 12:56:03 PM

Biologists say they have solved the riddle of how a tiny bacterium senses light and moves towards it: the entire organism acts like an eyeball. In a single-celled pond slime, they observed how incoming rays are bent by the bug’s spherical ...

The Antikythera Mechanism

02/05/2016 13:21:54 PM

After 2,000 years under the sea, three flat, misshapen pieces of bronze at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens are all shades of green, from emerald to forest. From a distance, they look like rocks with patches of mold. Get closer, ...

‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time

02/04/2016 14:30:54 PM

IN FEBRUARY 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea. Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of “time crystals” — physical ...

Lunar lander images available for the first time

02/04/2016 14:06:37 PM

Black hole blast

02/03/2016 14:16:33 PM

Human Culture, Technology, and the Neocortex

02/02/2016 15:02:16 PM

Blombos Cave in South Africa has given us vast knowledge about our early ancestors.

‘Gene editing’ go-ahead

02/02/2016 12:25:02 PM

UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos. It is the first time a country has considered the DNA-altering technique in embryos and approved it. The research will take place at the ...

Hubble spots strange spiral galaxy

01/31/2016 10:26:19 AM

Ancient Babylon figured out forerunner of calculus

01/31/2016 07:32:01 AM

Tracking and recording the motion of the sun, the moon, and the planets as they paraded across the desert sky, ancient Babylonian astronomers used simple arithmetic to predict the positions of celestial bodies. Now, new evidence reveals that ...

Discover a Galaxy with a Telephoto Lens

01/30/2016 07:19:27 AM

Understanding the sun

01/30/2016 06:06:39 AM

The surface of the sun writhes and dances. Far from the still, whitish-yellow disk it appears to be from the ground, the sun sports twisting, towering loops and swirling cyclones that reach into the solar upper atmosphere, the million-degree ...

Physics with an added quantum of uncertainty

01/29/2016 14:51:58 PM

Consciousness may be the product of carefully balanced chaos

01/28/2016 13:40:31 PM

Is my yellow the same as your yellow? Does your pain feel like my pain? The question of whether the human consciousness is subjective or objective is largely philosophical. But the line between consciousness and unconsciousness is a bit easier ...

Links in Time and Space May Form the Universe’s Foundation

01/25/2016 04:56:03 AM

17 of Hubble’s greatest space images

01/23/2016 12:23:25 PM

Stars seem brighter this time of year

01/23/2016 10:38:45 AM

Structures Size of the Earth’s Orbit Lurk in Milky Way’s ‘Atmosphere’

01/22/2016 09:37:15 AM

Astronomers got the first hints of mysterious objects 30 years ago when they saw radio waves from a bright, distant galaxy called a quasar varying wildly in strength. They figured out this behavior was the work of our Galaxy’s invisible ...

Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

01/20/2016 13:34:52 PM

The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ...

Bizarre-looking star just got a lot weirder

01/17/2016 11:58:24 AM

Three months ago, news broke that a giant “alien megastructure” could exist around a bizarre-looking star 1,500 light-years away. While the prospect of aliens was first launched by Penn State astronomer Jason Wright, almost everyone in ...

Brightest-ever supernova

01/17/2016 06:40:42 AM

Scientists may have spotted the most powerful supernova ever seen, some 3.8 billion light years away in deep space. Named ASASSN-15lh, it looks like a huge ball of hot gas and is radiating the energy of hundreds of billions of Suns. Ten miles ...

The Rolling Shutter Phenomenon

01/16/2016 05:46:11 AM

Listen to the music of the planets

01/16/2016 05:38:11 AM

Investigation into how light behaves in curved space

01/15/2016 16:50:02 PM

To investigate the influence of gravity on the propagation of light, researchers usually have to examine astronomical length scales and huge masses. However, physicists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Friedrich ...

Krauss: Gravitational wave discovery is just that.

01/14/2016 16:18:47 PM

If you follow physics, you have likely heard the rumor by now: Physicists working with a pair of gigantic detectors have finally discovered gravitational waves—ripples in space and time set off when, say, two massive neutrons stars spiral ...

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

01/14/2016 12:43:01 PM

A familiarity with basic electromagnetic properties will assist the reader of this text. A detailed introduction to electromagnetism is beyond the scope of this appendix, but a handful of basic principles and concepts pertinent to MRI are presented, ...

Strange Galaxy Discovered Swept By Fierce Oxygen Winds

01/14/2016 12:12:33 PM

“I was actually very surprised to discover that this wind is made mostly of oxygen because nobody has seen a galaxy like this before,” says Anna Lia Longinotti of Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica. “Because the galaxy is b ...

New Method May Help Hunt For Dark Matter

01/12/2016 15:22:37 PM

Exploring New Worlds In The Stars And In Our Cells

01/10/2016 11:12:32 AM

When he first started working on space engineering, Jeroen Cappaert, 27, probably didn’t expect to fight pirates one day. But that’s just one of the applications the satellites he’s designed are being put to use for by the company he ...

Black Hole Seen With A Telescope For The First Time

01/10/2016 09:37:16 AM

Anything that gets sucked into a black hole is gone forever, including light. But occasionally, black holes may experience a phenomenon in which the substances falling into them release enormous amounts of energy that can appear as light. For ...

Clouds When Viewed Aboard the ISS

01/10/2016 06:10:49 AM

Quantum Teleportation Can Retrieve Information from a Black Hole

01/09/2016 11:52:17 AM

Quantum key distribution outperforms quantum repeaters

01/08/2016 14:50:22 PM

Quantum key distribution (QKD) may one day allow for nearly perfectly secure data communication on a large scale, but before this can happen, QKD networks must extend across distances that are large enough to connect cities and even span continents. ...

Black hole caught ‘burping’ galactic gas

01/06/2016 13:30:00 PM

Astronomers have spotted two huge waves of gas being “burped” by the black hole at the heart of a nearby galaxy. The swathes of hot gas, detected in X-ray images from Nasa’s Chandra space telescope, appear to be sweeping cooler hydr

Four elements added to periodic table

01/04/2016 11:55:19 AM

Four chemical elements have been formally added to the periodic table, completing the scheme’s seventh row. They are the first to be included in the table since 2011, when elements 114 and 116 were added. The first true iteration of the table ...

Final Close Enceladus Flyby

12/31/2015 08:12:50 AM

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun transmitting data and images from the mission’s final close flyby of Saturn’s active moon Enceladus. Cassini passed Enceladus at a distance of 3,106 miles (4,999 kilometers) on Saturday, Dec. 19,

Wisps Under the Rings

12/28/2015 17:32:42 PM

Dione’s beautiful wispy terrain is brightly lit alongside Saturn’s elegant rings. The “wisps” are relatively young fractures on the trailing hemisphere of Dione’s (698 miles or 1123 kilometers across) icy surface. SeePIA

Enceladus and Water Worlds

12/21/2015 15:57:33 PM

Quantum Time

12/21/2015 12:58:56 PM

Many people who have sat through introductory physics courses in high school or college might disagree with the claim, “Newtonian mechanics makes intuitive sense to us.” They may remember the subject as a bewildering merry-go-round of p ...

Hubble Checks out a Home for Old Stars

12/20/2015 11:42:05 AM

Just in time for the release of the movie “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed what looks like a cosmic, double-bladed lightsaber. In the center of the image, partially obscured by ...

Inca child mummy reveals lost genetic history

12/20/2015 08:56:07 AM

General relativity caught in action

12/18/2015 14:39:34 PM

An effect of general relativity that is barely measurable on Earth has been spotted in full force around a black hole. Physicists detected the signature of a black hole twisting the fabric of spacetime around it. The discovery offers the best ...