16-year-old cosmic mystery solved, revealing stellar missing link — ScienceDaily

In 2004, scientists with NASA’s space-based Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spotted an object unlike any they’d seen before in our Milky Way galaxy: a large, faint blob of gas with a star at its center. Though it doesn’t actually emit light visible to the human eye, GALEX captured the blob in ultraviolet (UV) light and thus appeared blue in the images; subsequent observations also revealed a thick ring structure within it. So the team nicknamed it the Blue Ring Nebula. Over the next 16 years, they studied it with multiple Earth- and space-based telescopes, including W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea in Hawaii, but the more they learned, the more mysterious it seemed.

A new study published online on Nov. 18 in the journal Nature may have cracked the case. By applying cutting-edge theoretical models to the slew of data that has been collected on this object, the authors posit

Read More

1989 rape, murder of 16-year-old Kansas City girl solved with new DNA technology

The same technology that helped crack the Golden State Killer case has been used to solve a 30-year-old Kansas City cold case.

Fawn Cox, then 16, was found dead in her Missouri bedroom on July 26, 1989, raped and strangled. Her sister, Felisa, told KCTV that Fawn had gotten home from work at Worlds of Fun after 11 p.m. and went straight to sleep.

When Fawn’s alarm went off this morning, she never woke up. Her mother and sister found her dead in her bed.

“I went over to shake her, ‘Come on! Get up!’ But she had been gone for a while,” Felisa said.



a person posing for the camera: Fawn Cox was murdered in 1989.


© Kansas City Police Department
Fawn Cox was murdered in 1989.

Fawn Cox was murdered in 1989. (Kansas City Police Department/)

Three teenagers were arrested for Fawn’s murder, but the charges were dropped after the case fell apart.

Then the case went cold until new

Read More

Teen’s decades-old murder solved with new DNA technology

Kansas City, Missouri — Sixteen-year-old Fawn Cox was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July 1989. Police say they never knew who killed her – until now, reports the CBS affiliate there, KCTV.



a person posing for the camera: fawn-cox.jpg


© KCTV
fawn-cox.jpg

It’s the first murder case solved by the Kansas City Police Department using advanced genetic genealogy techniques like the those used in the Golden State Killer case.

Authorities say the advanced DNA testing revealed the rapist and killer was Cox’s cousin, Donald Cox Jr. He died years ago from an overdose.



a person posing for the camera: Fawn Cox was 16 when she was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July of 1989. / Credit: KCTV


© Provided by CBS News
Fawn Cox was 16 when she was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July of 1989. / Credit: KCTV

“It’s a relief there’s closure,” said Felisa Cox, Fawn’s sister. “The answers aren’t always what we were asking for, but there’s closure.”

Fawn’s body was discovered

Read More

Mystery of glacial lake floods solved

Mystery of glacial lake floods solved
The hot water drill used to drill through the glacier to the subglacial lakes. The drill stem is hundreds of meters below in the ice, suspended on a rubber hose through which hot water is pumped down. Credit: Eric Gaidos

A long-standing mystery in the study of glaciers was recently —- and serendipitously—solved by a team led by University of Hawai’i at Mānoa astrobiologist and earth scientist Eric Gaidos. Their findings were published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.


The mystery involves floods or “jokulhlaups” that emerge suddenly and unpredictably from glaciers or ice caps like those in Iceland where volcanic heat melts the ice and water accumulates in lakes underneath the glaciers. Scientists have long studied the development of these floods, which are some of the largest on Earth.

“These floods may affect the motion of some glaciers and are a significant hazard in Iceland,” said

Read More

They have solved a problem that we humans have yet to — ScienceDaily

Fungus-farming ants are an insect lineage that relies on farmed fungus for their survival. In return for tending to their fungal crops — protecting them against pests and pathogens, providing them with stable growth conditions in underground nests, and provisioning them with nutritional ‘fertilizers’ — the ants gain a stable food supply.

These fungus farming systems are an expression of striking collective organization honed over 60 million years of fungus crop domestication. The farming systems of humans thus pale in comparison, since they emerged only ca. 10,000 years ago.

A new study from the University of Copenhagen, and funded by an ERC Starting Grant, demonstrates that these ants might be one up on us as far as farming skills go. Long ago, they managed to appear to have overcome key domestication challenges that we have yet to solve.

“Ants have managed to retain a farming lifestyle across 60 million years

Read More

20-Year-Old Gamma Ray Mystery Solved With Help Of Citizen Scientists

KEY POINTS

  • Researchers finally found the origin of a mysterious gamma ray source detected in 1999
  • The neutron star was completely invisible in radio waves
  • Thousands of volunteers were part of the research

Scientists have finally solved a gamma ray mystery that has been puzzling them since 1999, all thanks to citizen scientists.

Gamma ray source 4FGL J1653.6−0158 was first observed in 1999 but its origin remained unidentified for many years. It has been known that a neutron star, the collapsed remnant of a giant star, is its likely origin. Years later, in 2014, scientists determined that this mystery source was very likely a binary system. 

“In 2014, after observations of the system with optical and X-ray telescopes it became clear that this is a very tight binary system,” co-author of a new study, Colin Clark of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester (UOM),

Read More