"The spin of our galaxy has a twisting effect on our local space that is a million times stronger than that caused by the spin of the Earth." --Dr Mark Hadley, of the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick
University of Warwick physicist has produced a galaxy sized solution which explains one of the outstanding puzzles of particle physics, while leaving the door open to the related conundrum of why different amounts of matter and antimatter seem to have survived the birth of our Universe.
Continue reading "Rotation of the Milky Way --May Hold Clue to Matter & Antimatter Mystery (Today's Most Popular)" »
In early 2007, scientists using the Spitzer discovered evidence that potentially indicates the famed three Pillars of Creation photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 in the Eagle Nebula were destroyed by a nearby supernova explosion about 6,000 years ago, but the light showing the new shape of the nebula will not reach Earth for another thousand years.
Continue reading ""Pillars of Creation" --A Cosmic Artifact Vaporized by a Supernova Explosion 6,000 Years Ago" »
According to scientitsts at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, habitable worlds are most likely found on large, rocky planets that are up to ten times the size of Earth and contain plate tectonics. Plate tectonics play a critical role in determining the rate of cooling of a potentially habitable planet by creating the optimum temperature ranges for the development of intelligent animal life -as continents grow, planets cool.
Continue reading "Plate Tectonics Active 2 Billion Years Ago --A Key to Life on Earth & Beyond" »
The European Space Agency’s Herschel space telescope has discovered that previously unseen distant galaxies are responsible for a cosmic fog of infrared radiation. The galaxies are some of the faintest and furthest objects seen by Herschel, and open a new window on the birth of stars in the early Universe. Astronomers estimate that their are billions and billions of galaxies in the observable universe (as well as some seven trillion dwarf galaxies) . Here's how astronomers breakout the visible universe within 14 billion light years:
Continue reading "Image of the Day: Seven-Trillion Dwarfs!" »
Proof of a sudden, remarkably warm period in Antarctica that occurred about 15.7 million years ago and lasted for a few thousand years from the Antarctic Geologic Drilling Program, or ANDRILL. One sample that stood out as an anomaly was found in 2010 by Sophie Warny, LSU assistant professor of geology and geophysics.
“First I thought it was a mistake, that it was a sample from another location, not Antarctica, because of the unusual abundance in microscopic fossil cysts of marine algae called dinoflagellates. But it turned out not to be a mistake, it was just an amazingly rich layer,” said Warny.
The two scientists in charge of the drilling, David Harwood of University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and Fabio Florindo of Italy, were equally excited,” said Warny. “They had noticed that this thin layer had a unique consistency that had been characterized by their team as a diatomite, which is a layer extremely rich in fossils of another algae called diatoms.”
All research parties involved met at the Antarctic Research Facility at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Together, they sampled the zone of interest in great detail and processed the new samples in various labs. One month later, the unusual abundance in microfossils was confirmed.
Continue reading "EcoUpdate: Sudden Antarctica Warming Cycle 15 Million Years Ago" »
42,000 years ago the original old man and the sea was harvesting deep-sea tuna in southeast Asia.
A new dig by Sue O'Connor at the Australian National University in Canberra and colleagues in deposits at the Jerimalai shelter in East Timor revealed 38,000 fish bones from 23 different taxa, including tuna and parrotfish that are found only in deep water. Radiocarbon dating revealed the earliest bones were 42,000 years old.
Continue reading "Early Man: Fishing for Tuna in the Pleistocene" »
NASA has launched its next Mars rover, capping a long-awaited mission to investigate whether the Red Planet could ever have hosted microbial life. The car-size Curiosity rover -the Mars Science Laboratory, or MSL- blasted off atop its Atlas 5 rocket at 10:02 a.m. ET Saturday, streaking into a cloudy sky above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The huge robot's next stop is Mars, though the 354-million-mile (570-million-kilometer) journey will take eight and a half months.
Continue reading "News Flash: NASA Launches Mars 'Curiosity' Rover on Its Historic Mission (VIDEO)" »
The Australian government has said it plans to establish the world's biggest marine protection zone to safeguard a huge swathe of the Coral Sea, one of the planet's great biodiversity hotspots.
The proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve off the northeast coast of Australia would cover about 990,000 square kilometres (380,000 square miles) -- an area more than one-and-a-half times the size of France.
A recent study found that the Coral Sea, which stretches from the Great Barrier Reef to the waters of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, was home to many unique and endangered species.
Continue reading "Eco Alert: Coral Sea Marine Sanctuary Proposed --World's Largest at One-and-a-Half Times Size of France" »
Planetary scientists have been puzzling over what could be producing methane gas detected in Mars thin atmosphere. Methane molecules are easily blown apart by ultraviolet light from the Sun, so any methane around must have been released recently. The presence of methane has triggered a hot debate in the Mars science community: is it a sign of microbial life or geology?
The answer might come from the launch tomorrow of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, called Curiosity, scheduled to land on Mars in August 2012, carrying with it the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite, which will measure a multitude of trace constituents and isotopes from gas and solid samples. Two of the SAM instruments, the tunable laser spectrometer and the quadrupole mass spectrometer, could potentially detect a whiff of methane – at the 1 part per billion level or lower – in the air around the rover landing site at Gale Crater.
Continue reading "NASA: "The Conditions for the Emergence of Life were Present on Mars" " »
This view of the universe from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope shows seven dwarf galaxies, circled in white. Observations indicate the dwarf galaxies are full of dark matter because their stars’ motion cannot be fully explained by their mass alone, making them ideal places to search for dark matter annihilation signals.
Continue reading "Dwarf Galaxies Reveal Dark Matter Mass" »