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January 2011
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The Search for Elusive 'Wormhole Stars'


Scientists usually imagine wormholes connecting regions of empty space, but a new study led by Vladimir Dzhunushaliev at the Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan suggests that wormholes might exist between distant stars. Instead of being empty tunnels, these wormholes would contain a perfect fluid that flows back and forth between the two stars, possibly giving them a detectable signature.

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Video Mashup: Galaxy Collision That Began 100 Million Years Ago

This new composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope shows two colliding galaxies more than a 100 million years after they first impacted each other. The continuing collision of the Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas.

"WOW!" The Infamous 1977 'Extraterrestrial Signal'


August 15, 1977: the night before Elvis Presley died, at 11:16 p.m. an Ohio radio telescope called the Big Ear recorded a single pulse of radiation that seemed to come from somewhere in the constellation of Sagittarius at the 1420 MHz hydrogen line, the vibration frequency of hydrogen, the most common molecule in the universe -exactly the signal ET-hunters had been instructed to look out for. The signal was so strong that it pushed the Big Ear's recording device off the chart.

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Image of the Day: Strange Red Galaxy with a Monster Black Hole 100 Million X's Sun


A monster black hole 100 million times the mass of the Sun is  feeding off gas, dust and  a ring of stars at the centre of Galaxy NGC-1097 50 million light-years away. The star-ringed black hole forms the eye of the galaxy which was photographed by the US space agency's Spitzer Space Telescope in California.

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EcoAlert: Mega-Drought! A Prelude to Future Climate Change?


A new analysis of deep lake sediment suggests that the breakup and melting of massive icebergs in the North Atlantic may have triggered one of the most widespread and intense droughts in the past 50,000 years known as Heinrich Stadial 1.  The megadrought, which struck between 15,000 to 18,000 years ago, dried up large expanses of the monsoon regions of Africa and Asia, including Lake Victoria, the world's largest tropical lake with severe consequences for Paleolithic cultures.

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TED Conference: Sharing Earth's Brain Power -A Preview


The week-long TED Conference kicking off on Monday will reach a new high, literally, with a greeting from US astronaut Cady Coleman at the International Space Station which will be getting a live stream of the event. TED Talks have spread to television stations around the world through an "Open TV Project" launched last year.

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A Record 19 Near-Earth Asteroids Sighted


The Pan-STARRS PS1 telescope on Haleakala, Maui has created a new record, discovering 19 near-Earth asteroids on the night of January 29. "This record number of discoveries shows that PS1 is the world's most powerful telescope for this kind of study," said Nick Kaiser, head of the Pan-STARRS project. NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's support of this project illustrates how seriously they are taking the threat from near-Earth asteroids."

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The Oscar Code Cracked (Today's Most Popular)

Oscars A UCLA-Harvard study revealed the strongest predictors for Oscar nominations. After a careful analysis of nearly 20,000 film, they discovered who has the best chances, and apparently the odds are strongly in favor of dramas, female performers, and big distributors.

"The odds of being nominated for an Academy Award are so much greater for performers who appear in dramas that — at least this time of year — it really pays to be a drama queen," said Gabriel Rossman, one of the study's two authors and an assistant professor of sociology at UCLA.

To a lesser degree, it helps to have a major film distributor, prior nominations, a top spot in the pecking order of past movie credits, fewer films competing, and good collaborators. Also, it certainly doesn't hurt to be a woman, which the study’s authors claim will double your chances.

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From the 'X Files' Dept: : "Apollo 18 -The Secret Mission"

Apollo 18 is a totally realistic and terrifying movie about a secret Apollo 18 mission to the moon and the discovery of intelligent and deadly extraterrestrial life. This movie, directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, scheduled for release at a theater near you on April 22, 2011, explores the idea of why we never went back to the moon after Apollo 17. The documentary style movie shows the launching and footage from Apollo 18 where everything went wrong and extraterrestrial life was discovered.

New Clues to Lifespans of Supermassive Black Holes Discovered

2449613838_8539f63b59 When two galaxies merge to form a giant, in this case Markarian 231, the central supermassive black hole in the new galaxy develops an insatiable, but ultimately unsustainable  appetite for cosmic gas and dust. Markarian 231 is located about 600 million light years away in the direction of the constellation of Ursa Major. Although its mass is uncertain, some estimates indicate that Mrk 231 has a mass in stars about three times that of our Milky Way galaxy and its central black hole is estimated to have a mass of at least ten million solar masses or also about three times that of the supermassive black hole in the Milky Way.

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