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May 11, 2015

Oldest Fossil Brain Ever Discovered --Reveals Origin of the Head

 

 

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A new study from the University of Cambridge has identified one of the oldest fossil brains ever discovered - more than 500 million years old - and used it to help determine how heads first evolved in early animals. The results, published today (7 May) in the journal Current Biology, identify a key point in the evolutionary transition from soft to hard bodies in early ancestors of arthropods, the group that contains modern insects, crustaceans and spiders.

Continue reading "Oldest Fossil Brain Ever Discovered --Reveals Origin of the Head" »


May 10, 2015

Dark Matter Waves at the Center of Galaxies --"The 'Operating System' of the Universe"

 

 

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Is dark matter the "operating system" of the Universe? Tom Broadhurst, an Ikerbasque researcher at the UPV/EHU's Department of Theoretical Physics, thinks it is. He has participated alongside scientists of the National Taiwan University in a piece of research that explores cold dark matter in depth and proposes new answers about the formation of galaxies and the structure of the Universe. This theory can be used to suggest that all the galaxies in this context should have at their center large stationary waves of dark matter called solitons, which would explain the puzzling cores observed in common dwarf galaxies.

Continue reading "Dark Matter Waves at the Center of Galaxies --"The 'Operating System' of the Universe"" »


Alien Megastorms of Colossal Brown Dwarfs (Weekend Feature)

 

 

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Like galactic storm chasers, University of Arizona astronomers are leading an effort to discover how clouds and weather systems change over time on other worlds. Using simultaneous observations from the two space telescopes, UA astronomers are tracking the evolution of the swirling clouds and storm systems in unprecedented detail on this brown dwarf and five others like it. The goal of the UA-led Extrasolar Storms campaign is to discover how clouds and weather systems change over time on other worlds. With brown dwarf cloud systems changing in minutes, hours and years, the galaxy looks like a dark and stormy place.

Continue reading "Alien Megastorms of Colossal Brown Dwarfs (Weekend Feature)" »


Alien Megastorms of Colossal Brown Dwarfs (Weekend Feature)

 

 

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01bb07d93af4970d-800wi

 


Like galactic storm chasers, University of Arizona astronomers are leading an effort to discover how clouds and weather systems change over time on other worlds. Using simultaneous observations from the two space telescopes, UA astronomers are tracking the evolution of the swirling clouds and storm systems in unprecedented detail on this brown dwarf and five others like it. The goal of the UA-led Extrasolar Storms campaign is to discover how clouds and weather systems change over time on other worlds. With brown dwarf cloud systems changing in minutes, hours and years, the galaxy looks like a dark and stormy place.

Continue reading "Alien Megastorms of Colossal Brown Dwarfs (Weekend Feature)" »


May 09, 2015

Weekend Image: The Birth of a Planet-Forming Star System

 

 

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A team led by Daniel Tamayo from the Centre for Planetary Science at University of Toronto Scarborough and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, found that circular gaps in a disk of dust and gas swirling around the young star HL Tau are in fact made by forming planets. “HL Tau likely represents the first image taken of the initial locations of planets during their formation,” said Tamayo. “This could be an enormous step forward in our ability to understand how planets form.”

Continue reading "Weekend Image: The Birth of a Planet-Forming Star System" »


Supernova Mysteries --Why Some Collaspe Into Black Holes to Form a Space-Time Singularity

 

 

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New observations of a recently exploded star are confirming supercomputer model predictions made at Caltech that the deaths of stellar giants are lopsided affairs in which debris and the stars' cores hurtle off in opposite directions.

Continue reading "Supernova Mysteries --Why Some Collaspe Into Black Holes to Form a Space-Time Singularity" »


May 08, 2015

Immense Halo Discovered Enveloping the Andromeda Galaxy --1,000 Times Greater Than Anticipated

 

 

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Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that the immense halo of gas enveloping the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest massive galactic neighbor, is about six times larger and 1,000 times more massive than previously measured. The dark, nearly invisible halo stretches about a million light-years from its host galaxy, halfway to our own Milky Way galaxy. This finding promises to tell astronomers more about the evolution and structure of majestic giant spirals, one of the most common types of galaxies in the universe.

Continue reading "Immense Halo Discovered Enveloping the Andromeda Galaxy --1,000 Times Greater Than Anticipated" »


"Cosmic Dinosaur Eggs" --Most Ancient and Extreme Star Formation in the Universe Observed

 

 

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Globular clusters - dazzling agglomerations of up to a million ancient stars - are among the oldest objects in the universe. Though plentiful in and around many galaxies, newborn examples are vanishingly rare and the conditions necessary to create new ones have never been detected, until astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered what may be the first known example of a globular cluster about to be born: an incredibly massive, extremely dense, yet star-free cloud of molecular gas.

Continue reading ""Cosmic Dinosaur Eggs" --Most Ancient and Extreme Star Formation in the Universe Observed" »


Mercury's 4-Billion Year-Old Magnetic Field Reveals Planet's Past

 

 

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New data from MESSENGER, the spacecraft that orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into the planet a week ago, reveals Mercury's magnetic field is almost four billion years old. The discovery helps scientists piece together the history of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun and one about which we knew very little before MESSENGER.

Continue reading "Mercury's 4-Billion Year-Old Magnetic Field Reveals Planet's Past" »


May 07, 2015

"The Possibility of Ancient ET Life?" --Earth-Sized Planets Were Formed at Dawn of the Milky Way

 

 

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This past January, scientists led by University of Birmingham asteroseismologists discovered a solar system with five Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy. Thanks to the NASA Kepler mission, the scientists observed a pale-yellow Sun-like star (Kepler-444) hosting five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus that was formed 11.2 billion years ago, when the Universe was less than 20 per cent its current age. This is the oldest known system of terrestrial-sized planets in our Galaxy - two and a half times older than the Earth.

Continue reading ""The Possibility of Ancient ET Life?" --Earth-Sized Planets Were Formed at Dawn of the Milky Way" »




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