Dark energy camera snaps deepest photo yet of galactic siblings

Dark energy camera snaps deepest photo yet of galactic siblings
Deepest, widest view of the Large Magellanic Cloud from SMASH. Credit: NOIRLab

Images from the Survey of the MAgellanic Stellar History (SMASH) reveal a striking family portrait of our galactic neighbors—the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The images represent a portion of the second data release from the deepest, most extensive survey of the Magellanic Clouds. The observations consist of roughly 4 billion measurements of 360 million objects.


A sprawling portrait of two astronomical galactic neighbors presents a new perspective on the swirls of stars, gas, and dust making up the nearby dwarf galaxies known as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds—a pair of dwarf satellite galaxies to our Milky Way. While this isn’t the first survey to map these nearby cosmic siblings—the Survey of the MAgellanic Stellar History (SMASH) is the most extensive survey yet.

The international team of astronomers responsible for the observations used the 520-megapixel high-performance Dark

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‘Ready Player One’ sequel goes deeper into technology’s dark side

The sequel to the beloved sci-fi novel, “Ready Player One,” was at last released last week.

WBUR reports that the novel’s author, Ernest Cline, takes readers deeper into a bleak, dystopian future plagued by technology’s darker side. This time around, however, the evil that threatens protagonist Wade Watts and the world he lives in is far more sinister than OASIS.

As a quick refresher, the plot of “Ready Player One” focuses on a hopeless world that’s consumed by a virtual reality simulator, OASIS, which was created by the eccentric scientist James Halliday. When Halliday dies, it is announced that the ownership of the entire OASIS is up for grabs by the player who can find a mysterious Easter Egg. Suddenly, Wade finds himself involved in corporate intrigue as he rushes to find the Easter Egg before anyone else does. Luckily, he wins, freeing the population from greedy overlords and a

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Betelgeuse went dark, but didn’t go supernova. What happened?

Astrophysicist Miguel Montargès has a clear memory of the moment the stars became real places to him. He was 7 or 8 years old, looking up from the garden of his parents’ apartment in the south of France. A huge, red star winked in the night. The young space fan connected the star to a map he had studied in an astronomy magazine and realized he knew its name: Betelgeuse.

Something shifted for him. That star was no longer an anonymous speck floating in a vast uncharted sea. It was a destination, with a name.

“I thought, wow, for the first time … I can name a star,” he says. The realization was life-changing.

Since then, Montargès, now at the Paris Observatory, has written his Ph.D. thesis and about a dozen papers about Betelgeuse. He considers the star an old friend, observing it many times a year, for work and

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NASA’s Hubble Spots Galaxy Being Stripped Of Dark Matter

Dark matter theory has long been sacrosanct in mainstream astronomical circles. Rarely do astronomers contradict the tenet that some 85 percent of all matter in the cosmos is dominated by unseen matter that only weakly interacts with gravity.   

Thus, it came as a surprise that doubt was cast on its existence by recent Hubble Space Telescope observations of two massive galaxies that appeared to be altogether devoid of this exotic matter. 

But in a paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal, an international team of scientists detail observations on NGC 1052-DF4, the second galaxy purported to harbor little or no such dark matter.

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Deep Space Might Not Be Completely Dark, New Study Suggests

When we look out at the darkest night skies available on Earth, even the emptiest abyss we can find isn’t completely dark. We can look between the individual stars in the Milky Way, seeing out into the Universe beyond. We can look at the space between the myriad of galaxies populating the Universe, finding many regions without identifiable light sources of any type. But even when we do, the light from our own backyard still gets in

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Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars

Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars
The 100m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Credits: GBT – NRAO/GBO.

According to theoretical predictions, axion dark matter could be converted into radio frequency electromagnetic radiation when it approaches the strong magnetic fields that surround neutron stars. This radio signature, which would be characterized by an ultranarrow spectral peak at a frequency that depends on the mass of the axion dark matter particle in question, could be detected using high-precision astronomical instruments.


Researchers at University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other institutes worldwide have recently carried out a search for traces of this axion dark matter conversion in data collected by two powerful telescopes, the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and the Effelsberg Telescope. Their study was based on their previous research efforts and theoretical predictions, the latest of which is a paper published in 2018.

“The idea proposed in our earlier work and fleshed out in

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Space Is Dark, But Scientists Have Found Unexplained Light. : NPR

Scientists have used the New Horizons spacecraft, billions of miles from Earth, to measure the darkness of space.

NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute


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NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Scientists have used the New Horizons spacecraft, billions of miles from Earth, to measure the darkness of space.

NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Look up at the night sky and, if you’re away from city lights, you’ll see stars. The space between those bright points of light is, of course, filled with inky blackness.

Some astronomers have wondered about that all that dark space–about how dark it really is.

“Is space truly black?” says Tod Lauer, an astronomer with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Arizona. He says if you could look at the night sky without stars, galaxies, and everything else known

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Biden urges a new economic relief package and warns again of a ‘dark winter’ ahead

WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden urged Congress to immediately pass an economic relief package Monday as he warned that the coronavirus pandemic will worsen in the coming months.

Biden says ‘more people may die’ if Trump doesn’t allow coordination on pandemic planning

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The incoming Democratic president also criticized President Trump for his refusal to concede his election loss and begin handing over power. Biden called Trump’s unprecedented actions “embarrassing for the country” and irresponsible.

The delay in cooperation is setting back plans for a coordinated rollout of a coronavirus vaccine, Biden said. Most of that rollout would fall to the Biden administration next year, but the Trump White House is not sharing details of its distribution plan.

Trump falsely claims that he won the Nov. 3 election and is holding up the normal transition process for a new president.

“I interpret that as

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Tiny cave snail with muffin-top waistline rolls out of the dark in Laos — ScienceDaily

A new species of tiny cave snail that glistens in the light and has a muffin-top-like bulge, was discovered by Marina Ferrand of the French Club Etude et Exploration des Gouffres et Carrie?res (EEGC), during the Phouhin Namno caving expedition in Tham Houey Yè cave in Laos in March 2019. The new species, Laoennea renouardi, is 1.80 mm tall and is named after the French caver, Louis Renouard, who explored and mapped the only two caves in Laos known to harbor this group of tiny snails. Only two species of Laoennea snail are known so far, L. carychioides and now, L. renouardi.

Caver and scientist, Dr. Adrienne Jochum, affiliated with the Natural History Museum BernUniversity of Bern (Switzerland), as well as the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum (Frankfurt, Germany) described the new species and its cave habitat together with co-authors: Estée Bochud, Natural History Museum Bern; Quentin Wackenheim,

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History and Science as Candles in the Dark

Today, Saturday, November 7th, we watched Joe Biden become the 46th President of the United States of America through a legitimate electoral process whereby he reached past the electoral college threshold of 270 electoral votes with 279 votes. After Pennsylvania and Nevada finally counted their votes, it was clear Biden and Harris were the winners, and even though votes are still being officially counted in other states. The final vote tally is yet to be known. Regardless, it is also historic because Kamala Harris becomes the first woman Vice-President and the first African-American and Asian-American Vice-President. At least half the country, those who voted for Biden/Harris, breathed a sigh of relief, and knew at least for a while, “fake news”, “presidential lies”, “presidentially-driven conspiracies”, and efforts to delegitimize U.S. institutions would be forgotten, or in any case, not take center stage for some time. Maybe, just maybe,

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