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E.g., 06/18/2019
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  • News in Brief

    Diamond detectors could aid the search for dark matter

    A new idea for detecting dark matter really sparkles.

    Diamonds could be used to search for the mysterious substance, a team of scientists suggests. Detectors containing the crystals could spot potential dark matter particles with relatively low masses, the researchers report in the June 15 Physical Review D.

    Dark matter is an unidentified substance that scientists think must exist...

    06/17/2019 - 08:00 Particle Physics, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Table salt may be hiding in Europa’s underground sea

    What flavors our food may also season the sea of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

    Sulfate salts were thought to lurk in the watery ocean under the moon’s icy crust. But data from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that common table salt dominates the sea’s chemistry, researchers report June 12 in Science Advances.

    “This could mean that the ocean chemistry is more similar to what we’re used...

    06/14/2019 - 11:02 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Massive superflares have been seen erupting from stars like the sun

    ST. LOUIS — It isn’t only young stars that spit high-energy superflares. Older stars, such as the sun, can also send out bursts of energy that could be powerful enough to strip away planetary atmospheres in close orbit, researchers report.

    Such superflares can be seen from hundreds of light-years away. Astrophysicists had assumed that only young stars had these outbursts. But a team of...

    06/14/2019 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Astronomers may have spotted the ghost galaxy that hit the Milky Way long ago

    The Milky Way survived a galactic hit and run millions of years ago — and astronomers may have finally found the culprit. 

    Ten years ago, astrophysicists Sukanya Chakrabarti and Leo Blitz of the University of California, Berkeley, suggested that ripples in the outer gas disk of the Milky Way were caused by a collision with a dwarf galaxy that shook the Milky Way’s gas like a pebble...

    06/12/2019 - 12:00 Astronomy
  • Reviews & Previews

    Carbon plays a starring role in the new book ‘Symphony in C’

    Symphony in CRobert M. HazenW.W. Norton & Co., $26.95

    Carbon is by no means the most abundant element in the cosmos, but it is undoubtedly the most important to life as we know it. For every 1,000 hydrogen atoms in the universe, there are only five or so carbon atoms. But every cell in the human body — indeed, every living cell on Earth — relies on carbon as the chemical...

    06/10/2019 - 06:00 Chemistry, Evolution, Cosmology, Ecosystems
  • 50 years ago, scientists wanted to build solar panels on the moon

    Solar power from moon to Earth —

    An almost unlimited supply of electricity could be generated on the moon’s surface by huge arrays of solar cells and beamed to Earth by laser. Sunlight falling on a crater … could produce from 10,000 to 100,000 megawatts of power. By comparison, a large hydroelectric dam on Earth produces about 100 megawatts. Solar cells would be more efficient on...

    06/07/2019 - 08:00 Astronomy, Technology, History of Science
  • News in Brief

    Physicists have finally figured out how pentaquarks are built

    To make a quark quintet, combine a trio and a duo.

    Exotic subatomic particles called pentaquarks contain five smaller particles called quarks and antiquarks. But those particles aren’t a simple clump of five constituents rattling around. Instead, the pentaquarks are molecule-like agglomerations of a pair of smaller particles, each of which consists of either three quarks or a quark and...

    06/07/2019 - 06:00 Particle Physics
  • News

    In a first, magnetic fields have been spotted between two galaxy clusters

    For the first time, astronomers have sighted magnetic fields between two galaxy clusters — a find that suggests some of the largest scale structures in the universe are magnetized.

    The fields run between the galaxy clusters Abell 0399 and Abell 0401, which are beginning to merge about 1 billion light-years from Earth, researchers report in the June 7 Science. Radiation from electrons...

    06/06/2019 - 14:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News

    The accretion disk around our galaxy’s black hole has been spotted at last

    Some supermassive black holes announce their presence with screaming hot disks of orbiting gases. But the behemoth at the center of the Milky Way has been shy and demure. Now, astronomers have finally spotted the black hole’s faintly glowing accretion disk of infalling material, long suspected but never before seen.

    “I was very surprised that we actually saw it,” says astrophysicist...

    06/05/2019 - 13:02 Astronomy
  • Science Visualized

    Watch the oldest surviving film of a total solar eclipse

    This is the oldest surviving video of a total solar eclipse.

    The grainy marvel was taken nearly 120 years ago on May 28, 1900, by a British magician-turned-filmmaker named Nevil Maskelyne, according to a report on May 30 from the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Film Institute in London.  The original film fragment, captured on a British Astronomical Association expedition to...

    05/30/2019 - 17:03 Astronomy, Science & Society