Europe's Large Hadron Collider --"May Unveil Something Totally Unthinkable" In Months Ahead (Weekend Feature)

 

 

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Going beyond the Standard Model of physics would "mean that there is yet another unbelievable idea out there. Something that is totally unthinkable," says CERN senior physicist Paris Sphicas. In 2016, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could unveil whole new dimensions, help explain dark matter and dark energy, of which we have no understanding but which together make up 95 percent of the universe. Late last year, before CERN shut down its LHC for a technical break, two separate teams of scientists said they had discovered anomalies that could possibly hint at the existence of a mysterious new particle that could prove the existence of extra space-time dimensions, or explain the enigma of dark matter, scientists say.

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Colossal Dark Cloud in Milky Way Found Forming a Monster Star

 

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A long standing question is whether the most massive stars form from small, dense clumps merging together, or rather from the large-scale collapse of a single larger cloud of gas and dust. The size and density of the protostellar cores at the center of what's called Spitzer Dark Clouds 335 implies that it is the large-scale global collapse which has led to the formation, though whether that is true everywhere is unknown.

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Image of the Day: Impact! Saturn's Rings Pummeled by Small Meteors

 

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn's rings. These observations make Saturn's rings the only location besides Earth, the moon and Jupiter where scientists and amateur astronomers have been able to observe impacts as they occur. Studying the impact rate of meteoroids from outside the Saturnian system helps scientists understand how different planet systems in our solar system formed.

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Odd Crystal Found From Outer Space --With a Structure Long Thought Impossible in Nature

 

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Evidence is has been found proving that the only known natural form of an odd type of crystal known as a quasicrystal originated in outer space. Like standard crystals, the atoms of a quasicrystal are ordered, but their arrangement lacks translational symmetry: a shifted copy won't ever quite match its original.

Ever since their discovery in 1984, quasicrystals have posed a  puzzle: "Why do the atoms form a complex, quasiperiodic pattern rather than a regularly-repeating, crystal arrangement?"

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New Tech: NASA's Robotic Avatars

Robots - Robonaut (JSC) on Mars surface "If every habitable world in the universe is unique, and the precise chemical conditions of a planet helps shape the life that evolves there, then avatars could allow aliens to visit other worlds from the safety of their spaceship. Could it be that all the stories of alien encounters on Earth were really encounters with alien avatars? Maybe aliens don't actually look like grey humanoids with large eyes and no noses. Instead, that haunting image may simply be what we look like to them."

Astrobiology Magazine

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