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E.g., 04/20/2019
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  • helium hyrdide ion
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  • News

    The first type of molecule to form in the universe has been seen in space

    Helium hydride ions, thought to be the first type of molecule to form in the universe, have finally been spotted in space.

    These charged molecules, each made of a neutral helium atom and a positively charged hydrogen atom, first emerged within about 100,000 years after the Big Bang. Back then, the universe was composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, and helium hydride was the...

    04/17/2019 - 13:00 Chemistry, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    A new graphene foam stays squishy at the coldest temperatures

    A new graphene-based foam is the first material to remain soft and squishy even at deep cryogenic temperatures.

    Most materials become stiff and brittle in extreme cold. But the new foam stays superelastic even when it’s subjected to the temperature of liquid helium: –269.15° Celsius. A material that remains pliable at such low temperatures could be used to build devices for use in space...

    04/12/2019 - 14:00 Materials
  • The Science Life

    Meet one of the first scientists to see the historic black hole image

    It’s hard to say which scientist was the first to set eyes on the glowing ring that makes up the world’s first image of a black hole. But astrophysicist Kazunori Akiyama was certainly one of the earliest.

    The image, released to the public on April 10, revealed the dark shadow of the supermassive black hole encircled by swirling gas at the center of the galaxy M87 (SN Online: 4/10/19)....

    04/11/2019 - 16:02 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    How scientists took the first picture of a black hole

    Black holes are extremely camera shy. Supermassive black holes, ensconced in the centers of galaxies, make themselves visible by spewing bright jets of charged particles or by flinging away or ripping up nearby stars. Up close, these behemoths are surrounded by glowing accretion disks of infalling material. But because a black hole’s extreme gravity prevents light from escaping, the dark...

    04/10/2019 - 09:57 Astronomy, Physics, Technology
  • News

    All you need to know about the history of black holes

    Black holes have been beguiling from the very beginning.

    Hinted at as early as the 1780s and predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, they didn’t get the name we know today until the 1960s. Bizarre beasts that squash gobs of matter into infinitely dense abysses, black holes were once thought to be merely a mathematical curiosity.

    But astronomers tallied up evidence for...

    04/10/2019 - 09:14 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics

    Editor's note: This story will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available. 

    This is what a black hole looks like.

    A world-spanning network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope zoomed in on the supermassive monster in the galaxy M87 to create this first-ever picture of a black hole.

    “We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen...

    04/10/2019 - 09:10 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    How deadly, fast-moving flows of volcanic rock and gas cheat friction

    Dumping literal tons of hot volcanic material down a lab flume may finally have revealed how searing mixtures of hot gas and rock travel so far from volcanic eruptions.

    These pyroclastic flows can travel tens to hundreds of kilometers over rough terrain and even uphill (SN: 7/7/18, p. 32). Despite being made of gritty volcanic rock, “they seem to have as much friction with the ground as...

    04/08/2019 - 11:00 Earth, Physics
  • News in Brief

    Bacteria can be coaxed into making the toughest kind of spider silk

    Bacteria are helping to make engineered silk that rivals the strength and stretchiness of a spider’s stiff dragline silk, the type from which the arachnids dangle. 

    Pound for pound, dragline silk is stronger and tougher than steel. Engineers have tried for decades to create a synthetic mimic from genetically modified bacteria, yeast and even goat milk, but have always fallen short. 

    ...
    04/02/2019 - 17:17 Materials, Chemistry
  • News in Brief

    The LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors are back on

    It’s open season in scientists’ hunt for gravitational waves.

    A trio of detectors are back on the lookout for the ripples in spacetime. And the newly souped-up machines could make this the most productive search yet.

    The two detectors of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, located in Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La., and the Virgo detector,...

    04/01/2019 - 11:22 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    A new quantum engine packs more power than its standard counterparts

    For the first time, a quantum engine has outperformed its traditional equivalent, without any special tweaks to its environment.

    The device harnesses the weird physics of very small objects to produce more power than a standard, or classical, engine under the same conditions, scientists report in the March 22 Physical Review Letters.  

    “They’ve shown very convincingly that the...

    04/01/2019 - 07:00 Quantum Physics