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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Tropical lake on Titan? Surprising find could solve moon's methane mystery.

Scientists have spotted a Great Salt Lake-scale patch of liquid methane on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, along with smaller swamp-like features, in an unexpected and intriguing place.

Data from the Cassini spacecraft currently touring the Saturn system have already revealed lakes at Titan's poles, fed by summertime methane rain. But Cassini's radar found nothing similar at lower latitudes, and climate models have suggested that long-lived lakes might be impossible there.

Now, the discovery of the large, shallow lake in the moon's tropics may offer scientists clues about the processes driving a moon that has fascinating similarities to Earth before life emerged.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:44 pm

Okay Salwen, maybe they don't feel like skin, they can still please you.

Robot 'Skin' Built With Touch Superior to Humans

Robots may not have a sense of emotional feeling, but thanks to researchers at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering, they may soon have the gift of physical feeling.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:51 pm

Physics Community Afire With Rumors of Higgs Boson Discovery

One of the biggest debuts in the science world could happen in a matter of weeks: The Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered.

Ever since tantalizing hints of the Higgs turned up in December at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists there have been busily analyzing the results of their energetic particle collisions to further refine their search.

“The bottom line though is now clear: There’s something there which looks like a Higgs is supposed to look,” wrote mathematician Peter Woit on his blog, Not Even Wrong. According to Woit, there are rumors of new data that would be the most compelling evidence yet for the long-sought Higgs.

The possible news has a number of physics bloggers speculating that LHC scientists will announce the discovery of the Higgs during the International Conference on High Energy Physics, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia, July 4 to 11.

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Re: Science News

Postby Strict31 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:31 am

Congratulations to Professor Higgs.

A statistical standard of proof known as ‘five sigma’ is the ultimate confirmation of a discovery.
‘We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma,’ said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, ‘but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.’
‘The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,’ said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z1zfjlZAYx
Image

"You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute,
And now and then stab, as occasion serves."


Edward II: Act 2 Scene 1, by Christopher Marlowe

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:56 am


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Re: Science News

Postby Schlemmer » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:37 am

Image

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Re: Science News

Postby CountD » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:14 pm

Schlemmer wrote:Image
:lol:

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:33 pm

"Beautiful" Squirrel-Tail Dinosaur Fossil Upends Feather Theory

Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published July 2, 2012

A newfound squirrel-tailed specimen is the most primitive meat-eating dinosaur with feathers, according to a new study. The late-Jurassic discovery, study authors say, challenges the image of dinosaurs as "overgrown lizards."

Unearthed recently from a Bavarian limestone quarry, the "exquisitely preserved" 150-million-year-old fossil has been dubbed Sciurumimus albersdoerferi—"Scirius" being the scientific name for tree squirrels.

Sciurumimus was likely a young megalosaur, a group of large, two-legged meat-eating dinosaurs. The hatchling had a large skull, short hind limbs, and long, hairlike plumage on its midsection, back, and tail.

"I was overwhelmed when I first saw it. Even apart from the preservation of feathers, this is certainly one of the most beautiful dinosaur fossils ever found," said study leader Oliver Rauhut, a paleontologist at the Bavarian State Collections of Palaeontology and Geology in Germany.

Goodbye, Overgrown Lizards?

Previously, paleontologists have found feathers only on coelurosaurs—birdlike dinosaurs that evolved later than so-called megalosaurs such as Sciurumimus.

Because Sciurumimus is not closely related to coelurosaurs, the new fossil suggests feathered dinosaurs were the norm, not the exception, Rauhut said.

"Probably all dinosaurs were feathered," he added, "and we should say good bye to the familiar image of the overgrown lizards."

Previous research had already suggested that feathers were widespread in the Cretaceous and late Jurassic periods (prehistoric time line), noted Corwin Sullivan, a paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing—even if few specimens have been found.

Feathered-dinosaur remains are sparse because "we only find them in places where conditions were just right for their bodies to be buried and preserved in a way that kept the feathers as well as the bones intact," Sullivan, who was not involved in the research, noted by email.

Dinosaur-Feather Evolution Still Up in the Air

More interesting, according to Sullivan, is what Sciurumimus means for how dinosaurs evolved feathers.

Scientists weren't sure if dinosaurs other than coelurosaurs had feathers. But Sciurumimus is "the first clear evidence" that feathers predated those birdlike dinosaurs, Sullivan said.

Other than meat-eating dinosaurs, hair-like feathers are also known in two bird-hipped dinosaurs, a completely different branch of the dinosaur family tree.

According to the study authors, this "obviously" suggests that dinosaurs' common ancestor had feathers, which passed the trait on to each branch of the dinosaur family tree.

"I would say that this is an obvious possibility, rather than an obvious conclusion," Sullivan said.

Although the feathers of bird-hipped dinosaurs look similar to those of Sciurumimus and primitive coelurosaurs, it's still possible the trait evolved independently, and not in a common ancestor.

"We paleontologists are going to need to find more fossils—of things even less closely related to birds than Sciurumimus—to be sure."


sorry quoted the whole article this time

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:01 pm

Seeing Through Walls: Laser System Reconstructs Objects Hidden from Sight

ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2012) — Inspired by the erratic behavior of photons zooming around and bouncing off objects and walls inside a room, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, and Rice University combined these bouncing photons with advanced optics to enable them to "see" what's hidden around the corner.

This technique, described in a paper published August 6 in the Optical Society's open-access journal Optics Express, may one day prove invaluable in disaster recovery situations, as well as in noninvasive biomedical imaging applications.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:44 pm

I guess they should have looked down more often.

Mayan collapse mystery solved? Deforestation exacerbated a drought
The city states of the ancient Mayan empire flourished in southern Mexico and northern Central America for about six centuries. Then, around A.D. 900 Mayan civilization disintegrated.

wo new studies examine the reasons for the collapse of the Mayan culture, finding the Mayans themselves contributed to the downfall of the empire.

Scientists have found that drought played a key role, but the Mayans appear to have exacerbated the problem by cutting down the jungle canopy to make way for cities and crops, according to researchers who used climate-model simulations to see how much deforestation aggravated the drought.

"We're not saying deforestation explains the entire drought, but it does explain a substantial portion of the overall drying that is thought to have occurred," said the study's lead author Benjamin Cook, a climate modeler at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in a statement.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:47 pm

Room-Temp Breakthrough Heats Up World of Masers

Masers, or Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, typically require either extreme low pressure or extreme low temperature environments in order to work properly. That means so far, their use has been limited. Researchers, however, have devised a way to make the technology work at room temperature.

Research scientists in the UK have demonstrated for the first time a solid-state maser that can work at room temperature.


Maser can be used for things like radio telescopes, military applications, and medical technologies like body scanners.

The new maser currently works only in pulses, and "we first need to get the device working continuously" before developing a prototype for eventual production, Oxborrow said.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:09 pm

Today's Astronomy Picture of the day is kind of neat...

"A Solar Filament Erupts"

Image

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:26 pm

Tatooine Times Two: Amateur Astronomers Find Planet in Four-Star System

A group of volunteers using a citizen science astronomy website have discovered an extrasolar planet orbiting a record four stars.

Scarcely a year ago, astronomers weren’t sure if planets could exist in binary star systems, where two stars orbit one another. But after the discovery of a circumbinary exoplanet — which would have two suns in its sky, much like the famous Tatooine of Star Wars — scientists realized that such worlds were possible and have found at least five more similar systems. About half of stars in the universe are found in binary pairs and if they can host planets then the chances for life outside our own world may be greatly increased.


The newly discovered exoplanet orbits within a quadruple star system named KIC 4862625 that is about 3,200 light-years from Earth.

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Re: Science News

Postby sdsichero » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:25 pm

Moon has 'unanticipated' water reservoir with solar origins, scientists find

The moon's top layer of crushed rock and soil may hold far more water than previously estimated, according to a new study.

Most of that water can trace its origin to protons streaming from the sun, the researchers show, confirming in samples of lunar soil a mechanism for making lunar water that until now largely had been the province of theoretical models.

The find "represents an unanticipated, abundant reservoir" of water on the moon, according to researchers from three US universities, who formally reported their results Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. And it could help explain the presence of water on other airless planets and asteroids in the inner solar system.

Reservoir does not mean a source of readily tapped liquid, the researchers caution. The evidence shows up as hydroxyl – a single oxygen and hydrogen atom representing two thirds of a standard water molecule. Hydroxyl and water molecules are captured in tiny deposits of glass in rock and soil grains. The glass forms from heat generated when micrometeoroids slam into the surface and fuse soil grains into tiny clumps.

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