Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two Rings around Asteroid

Astronomers have found two sharply defined rings surrounding the asteroid Chariklo, at 250 km in diameter the largest centaur orbiting between Saturn and Uranus in the outer solar system and the smallest object yet seen to host a stable ring system.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Most Distant in Solar System

Astronomers have discovered a new distant dwarf planet (2012 VP113) that is the most distant known object in our solar system, part of the inner Oort cloud with an elliptical orbit of 80 AU at its closest point to the Sun and perturbed enough to suggest the existence of a further large, planet-sized massive body.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rare Chimeric Albino Redwood

Scientists and historians are fighting transit authorities to prevent the removal of an extremely rare 52-foot, healthy chimeric albino redwood growing near a railroad in Cotati, California, one of only ten specimens ever found that produce male and female cones as well as displaying normal and albino tissues in the same tree.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Zebra Stripes" in Van Allen Belt

NASA's Van Allen probes have detected a persistent pattern in the inner radiation belt surrounding Earth similar to "zebra stripes," a distortion caused by the rotation of the planet that was previously thought incapable of affecting the high-energy electrons of the belts with velocities near the speed of light.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1500-Year-Old Moss Lives

Researchers have demonstrated moss frozen in ice on the Antarctic Peninsula for at least 1530 years can be revived and continue to grow, showing that a vital element of ecosystems can survive long-term, millennial-scale ice ages.

Monday, March 17, 2014

First Direct Evidence of Big Bang

Researchers studying the polarization of the cosmic microwave background have mapped the unique B-mode pattern that is consistent with that predicted for the primordial gravitational waves generated by the cosmic inflation in the fraction of a second following the Big Bang, providing the first physical evidence of gravitational waves as well as the theory of cosmic origins.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Microbe "Eats" Electricity

Researchers have found a common bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas palustris) uses a method called extracellular electron transfer (EET) to pull electrons from iron and conductive minerals found in soil for use with sunlight as nourishment in their own metabolism.