Scientists find a massive black hole swirling in the Milky Way

September 6, 2017 by  
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Scientists from Keio University in Japan have unveiled the best evidence we have for an intermediate-mass black hole – and it’s right in our Milky Way . Intermediate-mass black holes have eluded astronomers , who have found hints of both star-sized black holes and supermassive black holes . But the discovery of the mid-sized black hole could help scientists understand why supermassive black holes grow so immense. The formation of supermassive black holes has been a mystery for astronomers, but this new study might provide an explanation for how they form. The researchers from Japan said in their research that mid-sized black holes could merge to form supermassive black holes, but there’s been little evidence for the existence of intermediate-mass black holes – until now. Related: Supermassive black holes offer hint at structure of the universe Last year, a team led by Tomoharu Oka of Keio University reported a strange cloud of molecular gas, dubbed CO-0.40-0.22, in our Milky Way. A team also led by Oka then scrutinized the cloud with instruments such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and found a dense clump of gas near the cloud’s center, and a nearby radio wave source, CO-0.40-0.22*, that has similarities to the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. According to Oka, the similarity “supports the notion that CO-0.40-0.22* is an intermediate-mass black hole.” Scientists have expressed excitement about the discovery; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology astronomer Kevin Schawinski told Science Magazine, “It’s a very careful paper and they have gorgeous data. It’s the most promising evidence so far.” If CO-0.40-0.22* is verified as a black hole, its presence could offer support to the idea our galaxy has gotten bigger by cannibalizing smaller neighboring galaxies. The Japanese scientists think CO-0.40-0.22* could be a former dwarf galaxy core that could have been absorbed into the Milky Way, and could one day be subsumed by Sagittarius A*. The journal Nature Astronomy published the study online this week. Via Keio University , Science Magazine , and ScienceAlert Images via Keio University and NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Scientists find a massive black hole swirling in the Milky Way

Physicists announce the "possible discovery" of a fifth force of nature

August 17, 2016 by  
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Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have announced the ‘possible discovery’ of a previously unknown subatomic particle that, if confirmed, could unlock the secrets of dark matter. The discovery would represent a fifth force of nature in the form of a mysterious new particle. Theoretical physicists at UCI now believe the particle, initially theorized by a team of Hungarian researchers last year, could be a newly discovered light particle that adds a fifth component to the four known forces of nature, or even a “grander, more fundamental force” when combined with one of the existing forces. A previous study by experimental nuclear physicists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences identified an “excess of events” suggesting the existence of a new light particle 30 times heavier than an electron. At the time, there wasn’t enough evidence to explain whether it was a particle capable of transferring force, or simply a matter particle. It wasn’t until the UCI team of theoretical physicists got ahold of the study that discussions about a possible fifth force of nature began to surface. Related: Newly discovered form of spiralized light breaks everything quantum physics says about photons “If true, it’s revolutionary,” said Jonathan Feng, UCI professor of physics & astronomy. “For decades, we’ve known of four fundamental forces: gravitation , electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter.” Instead of being a dark photon , like the Hungarian experimentalists theorized, UCI physicists suggest the particle may be a “protophobic X boson.” Analysis co-author Timothy Tait, professor of physics & astronomy, said, “There’s no other boson that we’ve observed that has this same characteristic. Sometimes we also just call it the ‘X boson,’ where ‘X’ means unknown.” The findings were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters. + Physical Review Letters Via Phys.org Images via ESA/Hubble & NASA and MTA-Atomki

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China completes world’s largest radio telescope to search for alien life

July 4, 2016 by  
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China just completed the world’s largest radio telescope . As big as ” 30 football fields ,” the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) will reportedly hunt for alien life . President Xi Jinping aims to make China a space superpower, and the country is poised to take a leading role in space exploration with the completion of FAST. The massive telescope took five years to build, and the project is managed by China’s space agency – the National Astronomical Observatory (NAOC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Deputy head of the agency Zheng Xiaonian said , “The project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life.” FAST will search for aliens by detecting amino acids on far away planets. Related: China is displacing 9,000 residents so a huge telescope can look for aliens At 500 meters wide, FAST beats out the previous record holder in Puerto Rico, the 300-meter-wide Arecibo Observatory. FAST is comprised of 4,450 panels, according to The Telegraph . The $180-million telescope displaced 9,000 people . Those who lived within three miles of FAST’s location in the poverty-stricken Guizhou province had to leave because the agency wanted to make sure nothing interfered with the telescope’s operations. Chinese officials said each person would be provided with roughly $1,800 to relocate. Scientists will begin testing the telescope now, and FAST will be fully operational in September. China also hopes to construct a space station and send a person up to the moon by 2036 . Reuters notes that while China has said their goals are peaceful in nature, the U.S. Defense Department is laying plans to ensure China won’t use their space technology in a “crisis.” National Astronomical Observatory Via Reuters Images via the National Astronomical Observation, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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China completes world’s largest radio telescope to search for alien life

Paris’ first floating hotel opens on the River Seine

July 4, 2016 by  
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OFF is moored at the foot of Austerlitz station in an up-and-coming location for modern design. The blissful floating inn is located within walking distance of the Notre Dame cathedral and Hôtel de Ville. The hotel has 54 rooms and 4 suites, costing between €160-450 ($171-483 USD) per night. Related: Aqua Mekong is a floating hotel that travels the rivers of Vietnam The lodgings are decked out with bright colors that mimic the sun’s reflection off the Parisian waters. Guests can enjoy sunbathing at the plunge pool or dining at the bar with a panoramic view of the river. OFF is perfect for recuperating after a day of city exploration or a day of lounging riverside in modern luxury. + OFF Via urdesign Images via OFF

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Paris’ first floating hotel opens on the River Seine

Bill Nye launches crowdfunding campaign to back Carl Sagan’s dream LightSail

May 15, 2015 by  
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You can become a backer of one of the coolest space programs in this universe. Bill Nye—yep, The Science Guy —has launched a Kickstarter campaign  to fuel The Planetary Society , which will help make Carl Sagan’s space dreams come true. We recently reported on the project to build Sagan’s solar-powered lightsail spaceship , and the launch of this crowdfunding effort means that average, ordinary science-loving citizens can contribute to the next great wave of space exploration. Nye is looking to raise at least $200,000 and a maximum of $1 million to help fund the LightSail , which we imagine is a pretty expensive venture. Contributor levels start at just $1, so it’s time to skip that second cuppa and fork over some spare change—for science. Larger donations will get you honors like autographs of the engineering team, a LightSail team flight jacket, and sending your name into space. How cool is that? + Bill Nye’s Kickstarter campaign Via Mashable  Image via The Planetary Society Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bill nye , carl sagan , citizen science , kickstarter campaigns , lightsail , solar powered lightsail , solar-powered spacecraft , the planetary society

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Bill Nye launches crowdfunding campaign to back Carl Sagan’s dream LightSail

Astronomers capture 13-billion-year-old galaxy on camera

May 7, 2015 by  
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Scientists recently went where no one has gone before, at least in a metaphorical sense, when they discovered what they believe is the farthest galaxy from our own, and also the oldest known galaxy ever found. An international team of astronomers led by Yale and the University of California SC recently captured a photograph of an “exceptionally luminous galaxy” located roughly 13 billion years in the past , dating back to when the universe was only about five percent of its present age. They made the discovery using the MOSFIRE instrument at the W.M. Keck Observatory telescope, a powerful device about 10 meters across. Via Phys.org Image via NASA, ESA, P. Oesch and I. Momcheva (Yale University), and the 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF teams Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 13 billion year old galaxy , nasa finds oldest galaxy , oldest galaxy every found , scientists uncover oldest galaxy

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NASA says finding life on other planets almost certain within next two decades

April 10, 2015 by  
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NASA recently gave a definitive answer to one of the biggest collective questions humanity has ever asked: are Earth’s inhabitants alone in the universe? NASA says the answer is “almost certainly no,” according to Phys.org . And while we could meet our alien neighbors within the next two decades, they may not take the form of what you’re used to seeing in science fiction. Read the rest of NASA says finding life on other planets almost certain within next two decades Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alien life , alien life likely within 10-20 years , alien life on Mars , are we alone in the universe , ET life , finding life on other planets , ganymede underwater ocean life , life in space , life on mars , nasa says life on other planets almost certain , space exploration

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NASA says finding life on other planets almost certain within next two decades

UTOPIA’s Bamboo Fibonacci Cabinet Brings the Golden Ratio Into Your Home

October 22, 2012 by  
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The Fibonacci sequence occurs frequently in nature – from the structure of a nautilus shell to the scales of a pine cone or center of a sunflower . Now Italian design studio UTOPIA has created a bamboo Fibonacci Cabinet that allows you to bring the genius of the universe into your home! Inspired by a traditional Chinese medicine cabinet, the system consists of seven separate units that combine to form the Golden Ratio (and a beautiful piece of furniture). Read the rest of UTOPIA’s Bamboo Fibonacci Cabinet Brings the Golden Ratio Into Your Home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bamboo , cabinet , fibonacci cabinet , fibonacci sequence , golden ratio , italy , Milan , utopia

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UTOPIA’s Bamboo Fibonacci Cabinet Brings the Golden Ratio Into Your Home

Photographers Dedicate Their Lives to Documenting Earth’s Changing Crust (Slideshow)

August 24, 2011 by  
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Photo credit: Steve and Donna O’Meara /National Geographic Image Collection The Earth may be humanity’s only permanent home in the universe but, at times, the quiet blue marble feels frighteningly unsettled. Volcanoes and earthquakes show that the planet is, indeed, always changing both because of human activity but also in spite of it. Donna and Stephen James O’Meara have dedicated their lives to studying and photographing these incredible forces. One of the… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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NASA Researchers Say Climate Change on Earth Could Provoke an Alien Invasion

August 19, 2011 by  
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A new paper from NASA’s Planetary Science Division and Pennsylvania State University academics details a rather frightening consequence of  climate change that we may not have contemplated before — we are more likely to be invaded by aliens. Extraterrestrial beings may sound a lot like science fiction, but with all of the billions of solar systems, planets and stars in the universe, scientists believe that just because we haven’t had contact with other beings doesn’t mean they aren’t there. That being said,  NASA’s researchers know that planets can be intimately studied from afar — because that’s what they do every day — and think that aliens could be out there detecting changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. Based on those observations, they could reach a conclusion that we have lost control of our planet and civilization and thus, would be easy to overthrow. Perhaps green design can do more than save us from ourselves, it could save us from extraterrestrials too. Read the rest of NASA Researchers Say Climate Change on Earth Could Provoke an Alien Invasion Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alien attack , aliens on earth , climate change consequences , climate change issues , earth aliens , global warming changing , global warming consequences , global warming invasion , global warming problems

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