A team of scientists has announced the discovery of a 3.4 million-year-old partial foot from the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia. The fossil foot did not belong to a member of "Lucy's" species, Australopithecus afarensis, the famous early human ancestor. The discovery of the Lucy hominin was significant because the skeleton shows evidence of small skull capacity akin to that of apes and of bipedal upright walk akin to that of humans, providing further evidence supporting the view that bipedalism preceded increase in brain size in human evolution. Research on this new specimen indicates that more than one species of early human ancestor existed between 3 and 4 million years ago with different methods of locomotion.
Continue reading "Weekend Feature: 'Lucy' Discovered to Co-Exist With Tree-Climbing 'Species'" »
Some six billion light years distant, almost halfway from now back to the big bang, the universe was undergoing an elemental change. Held back until then by the mutual gravitational attraction of all the matter it contained, the universe had been expanding ever more slowly. Then, as matter spread out and its density decreased, dark energy took over and expansion began to accelerate.
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Gary Mckinnon hacked into NASA and found that they have an entire department dedicated to airbrushing artifacts out of NASA images. A smoking gun, in my opinion, for a huge cover up of other civilizations they don't care to tell us about. Also the goldilocks zone is a bit of a misnomer, as we continually find life in the most "inhospitable" places even on our own planet. It doesn't take one big leap of the imagination to realize the possibility of life in most regions of space; some of which is undoubtedly self aware and advanced.
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Certainly you remember the story of Goldilocks and the tree bears told to you as a child by a knowing adult? What does a fairy tale have to do with Space exploration? As the numbers mount, it seems to be just a matter of time before Kepler finds what astronomers are really looking for: an Earth-like planet orbiting its star in the "Goldilocks zone"—that is, at just the right distance for liquid water and life.
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These highly developed galaxies, whose star-forming youth is in fact long gone, just shouldn't be there, but are."
Dr. Karl Glazebrook (Johns Hopkins University).
Some of the faintest spectra in the universe raise a glaring question: Why do Galaxies in the early universe appear old? Until recently, astronomers have been nearly blind when looking back in time to survey an era when most stars in the Universe were expected to have formed. This critical cosmological blind-spot was removed in 2011 by a team using the Frederick C. Gillett Gemini North Telescope located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, showing that many galaxies in the young Universe are not behaving as they would have expected some 8-11 billion years ago.
Continue reading "Mysteries of "The Redshift Desert" --Why Do Galaxies in the Early Universe Appear Old?" »
Monster elliptical galaxies such as the Sombrero Galaxy have long been thought to form when two smaller spiral-shaped galaxies collide. They range in shapes from a flattened cigar shape to a spherical shape. They also range in size from dwarfs to supermassive giants. You will usually find elliptical galaxies near the center of galaxy clusters. The Sombrero is one of most famous of the ellipticals. Because of it’s odd shape astronomers believe that there is a supermassive black hole at the core.
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Since 1941 many astronomers have thought of Jupiter as a protective big brother for planet Earth -a celestial shield, deflecting asteroids and comets away from the inner Solar System. This long-standing belief that Jupiter acts as a celestial shield, deflecting asteroids and comets away from the inner Solar System, has been challenged by a series of studies evaluating the impact risk to the Earth posed by different groups of object such as the Levy Shoemaker impacts in 1991 and the Pacific-Ocean sized impact of 2009.
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Heat output from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus is far greater than was previously thought possible, according to analysis of data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Data from Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer of Enceladus' south polar terrain, which is marked by linear fissures, indicate that the internal heat-generated power is about 15.8 gigawatts, approximately 2.6 times the power output of all the hot springs in the Yellowstone region, or comparable to 20 coal-fueled power stations.
Continue reading "Enceladus's "Tiger Stripes" --Are They a Possible Life Zone Hotspot? " »
Microfossils found in Australia show that more than 3.4 billion years ago, bacteria that fed on sulphur compounds to survive, thrived on an Earth that had no oxygen --a finding that boosts hopes life has existed on Mars and elsewhere, according to a 2011 study by researchers from the University of Western Australia and Oxford University.
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Physicists at the University of California, San Diego discovered the phenomena that underlie the formation of spontaneous coherence of excitons is certain to produce a better scientific understanding of this new state of matter. It will also add new insights into the quirky quantum properties of matter and, in time, lead to the development of novel computing devices and other applications in the field of optoelectronics where understanding of basic properties of light and matter is needed.
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