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Science Wire

The latest science media releases highlighting exciting news and research from around the globe.

This image shows the elliptical galaxy NGC 4889 in front of hundreds of background galaxies, and deeply embedded within the Coma galaxy cluster. Well-hidden from human eyes, there is a gigantic supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. Image credit: NASA & ESA
Science Wire | Feb 12, 2016

Black hole is sleeping giant

At the heart of galaxy NGC 4889 lurks one of the most massive black holes ever discovered. Astronomers think this giant has stopped feeding and is now resting.

Science Wire | Feb 12, 2016

Video: The science of kissing

Why do we kiss? Well, duh, because it feels good. But why does it feel good?

Science Wire | Feb 11, 2016

Gravitational waves’ new window on cosmos

Why are scientists so excited about the first-ever detection of gravitational waves? Deborah Byrd reports on this episode of EarthSky News.

Gravitational waves are created in some of the most violent events in our universe, such as the merger of two black holes.  one.Image via Swinburne Astronomy Productions / NASA JPL.
Science Wire | Feb 11, 2016

Gravitational waves detected!

We can now detect gravitational waves, says LIGO. Unanticipated discoveries, unexpected marvels, ahead.

A tour guide at Postojna Cave Park first noticed an egg attached to the wall of an aquarium holding captive olm.
Science Wire | Feb 11, 2016

Rare salamander lays eggs in Slovenia cave

Slovenian folklore speaks of baby dragons flushed from parents’ subterranean lairs. Today, we know these rare creatures as the olm, and one of them has laid eggs.

An artist’s impression of the galaxies found in the ‘Zone of Avoidance’ behind the Milky Way. This scene has been created using the actual positional data of the new galaxies and randomly populating the region with galaxies of different sizes, types and colours.  Image credit: ICRAR
Science Wire | Feb 11, 2016

Galaxies hidden by Milky Way revealed

For the first time, astronomers peered through stars and dust in the Milky Way galaxy to find … more galaxies. The work helps explain a mystery Great Attractor.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 12.03.17 PM
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Lightning strikes, seen from ISS

Is this cool or what? Time-lapse video from International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake.

This artist's illustration compares the interior structures of Earth (left) with the exoplanet Kepler-93b (right), which is one and a half times the size of Earth and 4 times as massive. New research suggests that rocky worlds share similar structures, with a core containing about a third of the planet's mass, surrounded by a mantle and topped by a thin crust. Image credit: M. Weiss/CfA
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Earthlike exoplanets with Earthlike interiors?

Rocky planets orbiting other stars have interiors similar to Earth’s, with a thin outer crust, thick mantle, and Mars-sized core, says a new study.

Sirius A and B
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Star of the week: Sirius is Dog Star and brightest star

Sirius – in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog – is the sky’s brightest star. It’s very easy to spot on winter and spring evenings.

Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Merging galaxies in Eridanus, via Hubble

Characterized as a peculiar galaxy, NGC 1487 is an elaborate cosmic whirl likely formed when several dwarf galaxies merged.

The floor of a basin on Mars where Rodriguez and others propose in this investigation that shallow lakes could have formed. These lakes could have provided an abode for life, these scientists say.
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Volcanos, lakebeds and possible Mars life

Scientists are traveling to Tibet this summer to explore places that might be possible earthly analogs to regions on Mars once suitable for life.

New crater near the summit at Chillán. Image credit: SERNAGEOMIN
Science Wire | Feb 09, 2016

Icy volcano in Chile about to erupt?

Several recent events suggest that a set of glacier-covered volcanoes in the southern Chilean region of Bío-Bío may be likely to erupt.

Science Wire | Feb 09, 2016

2016 Great Backyard Bird Count starts February 12

This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count runs from February 12–15. It’s free and easy to participate. Find out how.

Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

James Webb Space Telescope takes a giant step

It’ll have 7 times the collecting area of Hubble, and it’s scheduled for launch in 2018. James Webb Space Telescope … and more on this episode of EarthSky News.

Crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) in Lopburi, Thailand. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

This year’s Chinese New Year starts February 8, 2016, and rings in the Year of the Monkey. Gong Xi Fa Ca, y’all.

Since late January, and through mid-February, 5 bright planets are visible at once in the predawn sky. This image is from February 8, 2016.  It's by Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona.  View on Flickr.
Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

See 5 bright planets at once

First time we can see 5 planets at once since 2005. All 5 are up before dawn, still, and all 5 will remain visible until Mercury disappears in the dawn just after mid-February.

The sediment-rich meltwater river originating from Leverett Glacier in southwest Greenland, pictured in June 2012. Photo credit: Jon Hawkings
Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

Ice sheet releasing Mississippi River’s worth of phosphorus

Every year, Greenland’s ice sheet releases as much of this key marine nutrient as the mighty Mississippi releases into the Gulf of Mexico, says a new study.

Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

Pluto has mysterious, floating hills

The hills are thought to be fragments of Pluto’s rugged uplands that have broken away and are being carried along the flow paths of glaciers.

California's drought in December, 2013. Photo by John Weiss.  See this photo on Flickr.
Science Wire | Feb 07, 2016

U.S. Southwest is drying

Researchers identified 12 weather patterns across the region. Over the past 30 years, the 3 patterns bringing rain to the U.S. Southwest became less frequent.

Science Wire | Feb 07, 2016

Mars’ west quadrature on February 7

At west quadrature on February 7, 2016, the red planet appears 90% illuminated as seen through a telescope. Fantastic time to see Mars is just ahead.

Photo Credit:  A. Dupree, R. Gilliland, NASA
Science Wire | Feb 05, 2016

How far is Betelgeuse?

Finding star distances isn’t easy. Here’s how it’s done, and why astronomers recently modified the distance estimate to the famous star Betelgeuse.