Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Solitary Superstar Discovered

Astronomers have found an unusually bright star (VFTS 682) in the Large Magellanic Cloud that is about 150 times as massive as our Sun, unusual because stars this massive are generally found in the centers of star clusters but this one exists on its own, leaving its origin unexplained.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pyramids Found by Satellite

More than 3000 ancient sites including 1000 tombs have been located in Egypt using advanced infrared imaging that has revealed underground structures during a satellite survey of the country.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Earliest Mammals Smelled

Research into the fossils of the earliest evolved mammals living 190 million years ago suggests their larger than average brains first developed to process a sense of smell and tactile sensations.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Giant Saturn Storm Revealed

From infrared observations of the NASA's Cassini probe and the Very Large Telescope array in Chile, a massive subsurface storm has been discovered raging across the entire width of Saturn, reaching some 370 miles into the planet's stratosphere.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oldest Mine in the Americas

Archaeologists have recently discovered a 12,000-year-old iron oxide mining site in northern Chile dug by the Huentelauquen people, believed to be the oldest evidence for organized mining activity in the Americas.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Minerals in Meteorites

Two new minerals, named krotite and wassonite, have been discovered inside two different meteorites and join about 60 unique minerals known to date to the formation of our solar system.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Red-Crested Tree Rat

Thought extinct since 1898 and eluding all organized searches since then, the red-crested tree rat (Santamartamys rufodorsalis) has been rediscovered in a nature reserve of northern Colombia, where it is now designated as "critically endangered."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Billions of Planets Adrift

New data from gravitational microlensing observations estimates there are two Jupiter-mass or larger exoplanets adrift between star systems for every one of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, either ejected from their original planetary systems or stars that failed to form.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lizard-Snake Fossil Divide

A 47-million-year-old lizard fossil (Cryptolacerta hassiaca) found in Germany appears to be a common ancestor of both a group of lizards called lacertids and snakes, helping to clarify the anatomical connection between snakes and lizards.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Fossil Primate Species

Fossils of a previously unknown species of primate (Mescalerolemur horneri), having lived during the Eocene about 43 million years ago and resembling a modern-day lemur, have been discovered in the badlands of West Texas.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crab Nebula's Gamma-Ray Flare

Astronomers are baffled as to the origin of an April 12th gamma-ray burst originating from the Crab Nebula and lasting for six days, reaching intensities some 30 times greater than normal from this exploded supernova that is generally without such energetic activity.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tarantulas Shoot Silk from Feet

A new study of various tarantula species reveals the spiders shoot silk from their feet using tiny spigots to stay attached to surfaces instead of drawing it from a single silk-producing spinneret organ.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ozone Hole Recovery

Twenty-two years after the Montreal Protocol banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), the first recovery in baseline springtime ozone levels has been detected, signalling the beginning of successful repair of the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Io's Magma "Ocean"

New analysis of data from the Galileo spacecraft reveals a large "ocean" of magma or partially molten rock below the crust of Jupiter's moon Io, explaining why this moon is the most volcanic body in the solar system.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Human Geological Age

Geologists at a recent conference have proposed that Earth has moved from the Holocene epoch into the Anthropocene, a new geologic era characterized by the cumulative effects of human civilization upon the climate and geology of the planet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Earthquake Shifts Japan

The March 11th earthquake near eastern Japan was so powerful that it moved the entire island nation down and out into the sea, with some towns such as Ishinomaki shifting 17 feet southeast and sinking by 4 feet, creating new tide schedules and flooding for many coastal towns.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Asteroid Is Earth's Companion

Astronomers have discovered an asteroid (dubbed 2010 SO16) that has been following Earth in its orbit around the Sun for at least 250,000 years, and may have origins tied to the Moon or our own planet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Three-Dimensional Transistors

Intel has developed a new Tri-Gate transistor with a true three-dimensional structure that offers better performance and efficiency over conventional two-dimensional circuits and is scheduled to be introduced into microprocessor production later this year.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Probe Proves Einstein Right

A set of orbiting gyroscopes known as Gravity Probe B has detected a slight sag and twist in the space-time while in orbit around Earth, confirming predictions from Einstein's general theory of relativity with an experiment under development for more than 50 years.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Noise Pollution in Oceans

New research suggests oceanic noise pollution from low-frequency sound-pulse military applications and oil and gas prospecting has a much more serious effect on marine life than previously believed, including killing giant squid and other cephalopods with extensive trauma to some sensitive organs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Origins of Japanese Dialect

Linguistic researchers have concluded from a study of various Japanese dialects that the Japanese people are descended from rice-growing farmers from the Korean peninsula who arrived on the islands about 2200 years ago and not from the original hunter-gatherers inhabiting the islands some 30,000 years ago.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Nutcracker Man" Ate Grass

By analyzing the carbon left on the teeth of the ancient hominid known as the "Nutcracker Man" (Paranthropus boisei), so named because his large teeth and powerful jaws suggested a diet of nuts, researchers have found that this specimen dined more heavily on grasses than any other human ancestor.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bacteria and Extreme Gravity

Using an ultracentrifuge to duplicate hypergravity conditions such as found with massive stars or cosmic events, researchers have found that four ordinary strains of soil bacteria can survive and grow under as much as 400,000 times Earth's gravity.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Anti-Helium Discovered

Eighteen nuclei of the heaviest antiparticle yet discovered, antihelium-4 (the anti-alpha particle), have been created by the STAR experiment of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) from billions of gold-gold collisions.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lost Maya City Found

Using GPS and other modern three-dimensional mapping techniques, researchers have revealed the ancient Maya city of Holtun ("Head of Stone) beneath the dense jungle cover of Guatemala, including a seven-story pyramid and nearly a hundred other buildings.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sewer Fat into Soap

Researchers have found the solid blockages in many modern urban sewer systems are a result of runoff fats, oils and grease chemically reacting with calcium to form fatty acid deposits -- essentially, soap.