Supernova surprise creates elemental mystery — ScienceDaily

Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have discovered that one of the most important reactions in the universe can get a huge and unexpected boost inside exploding stars known as supernovae.

This finding also challenges ideas behind how some of the Earth’s heavy elements are made. In particular, it upends a theory explaining the planet’s unusually high amounts of some forms, or isotopes, of the elements ruthenium and molybdenum.

“It’s surprising,” said Luke Roberts, an assistant professor at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, FRIB, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, at MSU. Roberts implemented the computer code that the team used to model the environment inside a supernova. “We certainly spent a lot of time making sure the results were correct.”

The results, published online on Dec. 2 in the journal Nature, show that the innermost regions of supernovae can forge carbon atoms over 10 times faster than

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NASA: Mystery object is 54-year-old rocket, not asteroid

Scientists have confirmed that a mysterious object temporarily orbiting Earth is a 54-year-old rocket, not an asteroid after all

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A mysterious object temporarily orbiting Earth is a 54-year-old rocket, not an asteroid after all, astronomers confirmed Wednesday.

The object was classified as an asteroid after its discovery in September. But NASA’s top asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, quickly suspected it was the Centaur upper rocket stage from Surveyor 2, a failed 1966 moon-landing mission. Size estimates had put it in the range of the old Centaur, which was about 32 feet (10 meters) long and 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter.

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NASA determines mystery space object 2020 SO is a ’60s rocket booster

centaurupperstage1964

This photo from 1964 shows a Centaur upper-stage rocket. Space object 2020 SO is one of these.


NASA

Welcome back, Surveyor 2 Centaur rocket booster. We just got a new chapter in a bittersweet space saga that involves a fiery launch, a doomed moon mission and decades of space wanderings. 

A rocket booster NASA used to launch the Surveyor 2 lunar lander in 1966 has returned to us for a temporary spin as a mini-moon in orbit around Earth. When scientists spotted it in September, they named it 2020 SO. On Wednesday, NASA announced the strange object has been positively identified as the ’60s booster.

While the booster did its job admirably back in 1966, the lander didn’t survive a crash landing on the moon’s surface.   

The booster’s specific orbit around the sun tipped astronomers

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Mystery Gelatinous Party Balloon-Like Animal Discovered In Puerto Rico [VIDEO]

KEY POINTS

  • The new jelly comb species shares a few similarities with other ctenophores
  • The discovery was part of NOAA’s underwater exploration of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • There have been about 100 to 150  species of comb jellies identified and validated in the past few years

In 2015, scientists encountered a peculiar creature that was shaped like a party balloon and had a gelatinous texture. After five years, they finally have a name for that mystery animal found off a Puerto Rican shore.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) named the ocean creature Duobrachium sparksae. They identified it as a new species of ctenophore or what is more popularly known as the comb jellies. 

Deep Discoverer, a remotely operated underwater vehicle, was instrumental in finally identifying and naming the new ctenophore species. Details of the whole process were published in the journal Plankton

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Visitors track down mystery desert monolith in Utah

Some intrepid visitors have been flocking to a remote part of southern Utah in a bid to be among the first to see the mystery metal monolith.



a person wearing a hat: Photograph: @davidsurber_/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: @davidsurber_/Reuters

The structure in the Red Rock desert was first discovered last week from the air by a helicopter pilot and wildlife officers who were carrying out an annual count of bighorn sheep.

They did not share its coordinates, hoping to put people off trying to make their own pilgrimages in case they got lost in the remote area. But for some, the intrigue was overwhelming.

Related: Theories abound over mystery metal monolith found in Utah

Around 48 hours after news of their finding was made public, pictures appeared on Instagram of people who had managed to find it.

Gallery: Lost in labyrinths: world’s most magnificent mazes (StarsInsider)

Among them was David Surber, 33, a former US

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new suspect found in galactic mystery

The case of the missing dark matter: new suspect found in galactic mystery
A ground-based view of the sky around the galaxies NGC1052-DF4 and NGC1052-DF2 – another galaxy with little to no dark matter. NGC1052-DF2 is next on Dr Montes’ list of galactic mysteries to solve. Photo: ESA/Hubble, NASA, Digitized Sky Survey 2. Credit: Davide de Martin

A faraway galaxy with almost no dark matter has threatened to break our theory of galaxy formation. New evidence suggests the galaxy isn’t an anomaly—but a victim of theft.


Dark matter—an invisible substance as enigmatic as its name suggests—is a key ingredient in helping galaxies form and stay alive.

It creates the strong gravity needed to spark galaxy formation and keep existing galaxies structurally intact.

But astronomers have been puzzled since last year’s discovery of ‘NGC1052-DF4’, a stable and long-lived galaxy with almost no dark matter. How can the galaxy exist without this important ingredient? Are our theories about galaxy formation wrong?

Today, an international study

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Scientists solve the mystery behind an enigmatic organelle, the pyrenoid — ScienceDaily

Carbon is one of the main building blocks for life on Earth. It’s abundant in our planet’s atmosphere, where it’s found in the form of carbon dioxide. Carbon makes its way into Earthlings’ bodies mainly through the process of photosynthesis, which incorporates carbon dioxide into sugars that serve as components for important biomolecules and fuel the global food chain. About a third of this process globally is carried out by single-celled algae that live in the oceans (most of the rest is done by plants).

The enzyme that performs the first step of the reaction to assimilate carbon dioxide into sugars is a bulky protein called Rubisco assembled from eight identical small subunits and eight identical large subunits arranged together symmetrically. All the parts of this assembly, which is called a holoenzyme, work in concert to perform Rubisco’s enzymatic duty. Rubisco’s rate of activity — and by extension, the rate

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Theories abound over mystery metal monolith found in Utah

A giant, metal mystery slab has captured the attention of millions, as people speculate over how such a structure came to be in a remote part of southern Utah.



a close up of a rock wall: Photograph: Utah Department of Public Safety/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Utah Department of Public Safety/Reuters

The object was first spotted last week by a helicopter pilot and wildlife officers who were flying above the rugged area to conduct an annual count of bighorn sheep for the state. It immediately drew comparisons to the monolith featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as inviting suggestions it could be the work of extraterrestrials.



a close up of a rock wall: The metal monolith found in a remote part of Utah.


© Photograph: Utah Department of Public Safety/Reuters
The metal monolith found in a remote part of Utah.

The helicopter pilot, Bret Hutchings, had the opportunity to see the big metal slab up close and guessed it was probably the work of an artist and between 10ft and 12ft high (about 3 metres).

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Solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers

Big cats and small dogs: solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers
Amur tigers share their taiga forest habitat with wild carnivores that act as a reservoir of canine distemper virus. Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society

If you think getting your cat to the veterinarian is tricky, new Cornell Wildlife Health Center research has revealed that vaccination of endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers is the only practical strategy to protect them from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.


Canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a serious disease in domestic dogs, and also infects other carnivores, including threatened species like the Amur tiger, which numbers fewer than 550 individuals in the Russian Far East and neighbouring China. It is often assumed that domestic dogs are the primary source of CDV, but in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Cornell Wildlife Health Center’s Dr. Martin Gilbert and colleagues found that other local

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Solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers — ScienceDaily

If you think getting your cat to the veterinarian is tricky, new Cornell Wildlife Health Center research has revealed that vaccination of endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers is the only practical strategy to protect them from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.

Canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a serious disease in domestic dogs, and also infects other carnivores, including threatened species like the Amur tiger, which numbers fewer than 550 individuals in the Russian Far East and neighbouring China. It is often assumed that domestic dogs are the primary source of CDV, but in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Cornell Wildlife Health Center’s Dr. Martin Gilbert and colleagues found that other local wildlife was the primary source of CDV transmission to tigers instead.

“Understanding how tigers are catching distemper is absolutely crucial to helping us

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