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3-D map of the adolescent universe

Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, three-dimensional maps of a slice of the adolescent universe. The map shows a web of hydrogen gas that varies from low to high density at a time when the universe was made of a fraction of the dark matter we see.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Desert streams: Deceptively simple

Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

How ferns adapted to one of Earth’s newest and most extreme environments

Ferns are believed to be 'old' plant species -- some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Molecular structure of water at gold electrodes revealed

Researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Understanding and predicting solar flares

Scientists have identified a key phenomenon in the triggering of solar flares. Using satellite data and models, the scientists were able to monitor the evolution of the solar magnetic field in a region with eruptive behavior. Their calculations reveal the formation of a magnetic rope1 that emerges from the interior of the Sun and is associated with the appearance of a sunspot. They show that this structure plays an important role in triggering the flare.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Lucky star escapes black hole with minor damage: Closest near-miss event to be spotted near the Milky Way

Astronomers have gotten the closest look yet at what happens when a black hole takes a bite out of a star—and the star lives to tell the tale.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Spatial extent and degree of oxygen depletion in the deep proto-North Atlantic basin during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

Abstract

Massive organic matter burial due to widespread ocean anoxia across the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary event (~94 Ma), resulted in a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle: the so-called Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2). The characteristics and spatial distribution of the OAE2 deposits that formed in the deep basin of the proto-North Atlantic remain poorly described, however. Here, we present proxy data of redox sensitive (trace) elements (e.g., Mo, Fe/Al, Corg/Ptot and Mn) for OAE2 sediments from five Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Program sites located in the deep proto-North Atlantic basin. Our results highlight that bottom waters in the entire deep proto-North Atlantic were anoxic during most of OAE2. Furthermore, regressions of Mo with total organic carbon content (TOC), previously shown to document the degree of water mass restriction, confirm that the water circulation in the proto-North Atlantic basin was severely restricted during OAE2. Comparison of these values to Mo/TOC ratios in the present-day Black Sea suggest a renewal frequency of the deep proto-North Atlantic water mass of between 0.5 and 4 ka, compared to a maximum of ~200 years for the present-day northern Atlantic. The Plenus Cold Event, a cooler episode during the early stages of OAE2 hypothesized to be caused by declining pCO2 due to extensive burial of organic matter, appears to have led to temporary re-oxygenation of the bottom water in the deep proto-North Atlantic basin during OAE2.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Acousto-optic tunable filter technology for balloon-borne platforms

A balloon-borne acousto-optic tunable filter hyperspectral imager is ideally suited to address numerous outstanding questions in planetary science. Their spectral agility, narrowband wavelength selection, tolerance to the near-space environment, and spectral coverage would enable investigations not feasible from the ground. Example use cases include synoptic observations of clouds on Venus and the giant planets, studies of molecular emissions from cometary comae, the mapping of surface ices on small bodies, and polarimetry.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Hippos-Sussita excavation: Silent evidence of the earthquake of 363 CE

Silent evidence of a large earthquake in 363 CE -- the skeleton of a woman with a dove-shaped pendant -- was discovered under the tiles of a collapsed roof by archeologists from the University of Haifa during this excavation season at Hippos-Sussita. They also found a large muscular marble leg and artillery ammunition from some 2,000 years ago. "The data is finally beginning to form a clear historical-archaeological picture," said Dr. Michael Eisenberg, head of the international excavation team.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog

 

Moving in the quantum world

Simulating the behavior of a single particle can be quite a challenging task in physics; after all, it is microscopic and we usually cannot watch in real time. It becomes even more complicated when you realize that the particle has to follow the laws of quantum physics, which allow it be in two or more places at the same time through a phenomenon called superposition. Understanding how a quantum particle behaves is necessary to enhance our fundamental understanding of the laws of physics.
 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Blog