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Science Wire

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

An example of a galaxy seen in the infrared, Messier 88.  NASA's WISE mission was designd to find the most luminous galaxies in the universe.  This infrared telescope can see the glow of dust that shrouds these galaxies, hiding them from visible-light telescopes.  Image via NASA WISE
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

Most luminous galaxy in the universe

This galaxy is very distant. It shines with a luminosity of some 300 trillion suns. It’s one of a new class of objects discovered via NASA’s WISE mission.

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

10 things you might not know about stars

Here’s a collection of 10 unexpected, intriguing facts about the stars of our universe – including our sun – that you probably didn’t know!

dinosaur-saurornitholestes-sullivani-2015-cp
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

Newly named dinosaur had a keen nose

It was a fierce predator, “not a dinosaur you’d want to mess with,” said the scientist whose analysis of an ancient skull revealed a brand new species.

Orcas can leap!  Photo via Marinebio.org
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

Video: Paddle boarders meet orcas

Imagine you’re paddle-boarding, and an orca – killer whale – pops up on the ocean surface near you. Two amazing and beautiful videos, here.

Space X Dragon attached to ISS by robot arm
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

SpaceX Dragon is back on Earth

SpaceX confirmed splashdown of Dragon in Pacific Ocean at 12:42 pm ET (1642 UTC), 155 miles SW of Long Beach, California.

Sonia Harmand at excavation site.
Science Wire | May 20, 2015

Oldest stone tools found in Kenya

The tools, whose makers may or may not have been some sort of human ancestor, date back to 3.3 million years ago.

The Opah, via NOAA Fisheries
Science Wire | May 20, 2015

Opah, the first truly warm-blooded fish

It circulates heated blood through its body as mammals and birds do. Its warm blood makes the opah a high-performance predator that swims faster, sees better.

Artist's concept of LightSail, via the Planetary Society
Science Wire | May 20, 2015

LightSail launch success!

Sailing on sunbeams. LightSail successfully launched May 20 at 11:05am EDT (1505 UTC). Info on how to follow from here, below.

Scientists are scrutinizing these three boulders on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Science Wire | May 19, 2015

A balancing rock on Rosetta’s comet?

In close-up images via the orbiting Rosetta spacecraft, the rock looks poised like a ballerina, with only a tiny fraction of its surface touching the ground.

Venus (above ridgeline) and Jupiter, plus an aurora, taken this weekend by EarthSky Facebook friend Glenn Miles Photography in Northern Ireland.
Science Wire | May 19, 2015

Jupiter and Venus draw closer!

The sky’s two brightest planets are getting ready for a spectacular conjunction in late June and early July. Start watching them now! Charts and info here.

This map shows the rover's entire traverse from landing to that point. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NMMNHS
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Video: First marathon on Mars

On Earth, a fast runner takes a few hours to complete a marathon. On Mars, it took the Opportunity rover 11 years. New short video on Opportunity’s marathon trek.

Young fractures on the surface of Europa.  Read more about this image via NASAPhotoJournal
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Sea salt on Jupiter’s moon Europa

Europa is thought to have a subsurface ocean. Salt from this hidden sea might be emerging in long fractures visible in the moon’s crust.

Blood Falls in Antarctica via ScienceNow in 2009
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Origin of Antarctica’s eerie Blood Falls

New work confirms zones of liquid salt water hundreds of meters below the bright red waterfall in icy Antarctica, known as Blood Falls.

Sea surface temperature anomalies, or differences from averages, in Celsius for February-March 2014. Image credit: NOAA
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Pacific ‘blob’ is changing weather patterns

What does this year’s odd U.S. weather have in common with a huge spike in hungry, stranded sea lion pups on California shores? Both are linked to a giant patch of warm ocean water.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Do nano-sunscreens harm sea life?

Nano particles in sunscreens have been found to harm marine worms, crustaceans, algae, fish and mussels. A new study shows their negative effect on sea urchin embryos, too.

Artist's concept of a quasar, via European Southern Observatory
Science Wire | May 17, 2015

Four quasars in a row

Astronomers at Keck Observatory in Hawaii have found a quartet of quasars, embedded in a giant nebula of cool, dense gas. The odds of four of them being so closely packed purely by chance is about 1 in 10 million.

The still unraveling remains of supernova 1987A are shown here in this image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The bright ring consists of material ejected from the dying star before it detonated. The ring is being lit up by the explosion's shock wave. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Science Wire | May 15, 2015

Watch off-kilter explosion of supergiant star

This one-minute animation shows the shock wave that is created when the core of a massive star collapses.

Moon shot with blue filter via our friend Jv Noriega
Science Wire | May 15, 2015

When is the next Blue Moon?

A Blue Moon can be the second of two full moons in a month. Or it can be third of four full moons in a season. Next Blue Moon is the second full moon of July, 2015.

Great white, via sharkfacts.com
Science Wire | May 14, 2015

Shark finning is brutal and sad

Startling infographic about the cruel practice of shark finning, and a word about overfishing from an expert.

pluto-timeline-cp
Science Wire | May 14, 2015

New Horizons’ first photos of Pluto’s smallest moons

With its close encounter with Pluto still two months away, New Horizons’ powerful camera has caught a glimpse of tiny moons Kerberos and Styx!

M13
Science Wire | May 14, 2015

Astronomers find dark globular clusters

They believe there’s unexpected dark matter – or black holes – in the mysterious clusters orbiting the center of the giant galaxy Centaurus A.