Seth Borenstein Associated Press Published 7:11 PM EDT Apr 12, 2019 Washington – The newly pictured supermassive black hole is a beast with no name, at least not an official one. And what happens next could be cosmically confusing. The team of astronomers who created the image of the black hole called it M87(asterisk). (The asterisk is silent.) A language professor has given it a name from a Hawaiian chant – Powehi – meaning “the adorned fathomless dark creation.” And the international group in charge of handing out astronomical names? It has never named a black hole. The black hole in question is about 53 million light years away in the center of a galaxy called Messier 87, or M87 for short. On Wednesday, scientists revealed a picture they took of it using eight radio telescopes, the first time humans had actually seen one of the dense celestial objects that suck up everything around them, even light. The International Astronomical Union usually … [Read more...] about Picture was clear, but black hole’s name a little fuzzy
Planets outside our solar system
Cindy Heflin Special to the Detroit Free Press Published 6:01 AM EDT Mar 26, 2019 The next time you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot, consider this: Madeleine Yang might have figured out a way to keep thousands of people from getting the flu. She’s also performed at Carnegie Hall twice. And she’s just 17. Yang, a student at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, has been working for about a year and a half on a project that could eventually result in a more effective flu vaccine that could be manufactured more quickly than current vaccines. Yang of Bloomfield Hills recently found out she won fourth place and $100,000 in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. She and 39 other finalists journeyed to Washington, D.C., where they spent a week presenting their projects to a panel of judges. The top 10 projects were announced at a formal gala March … [Read more...] about Oakland County teen wins $100K prize for flu vaccine project
Seth Borenstein Associated Press Published 8:51 PM EDT Mar 24, 2019 Washington – Earth’s ultimate survivors can weather extreme heat, cold, radiation and even the vacuum of space. Now the U.S. military hopes these tiny critters called tardigrades can teach us about true toughness. These animals are pipsqueaks, only about the size of a period. Under a microscope they look like some combination of chubby bear and single-eyed alien. And they are the closest life gets to indestructible. No water? No worries. Tardigrades survive. Antarctic cold, 300-degree heat (150 degrees Celsius), a lack of oxygen, even punishing radiation doesn’t stop these animals. They are so resilient in the face of so many dangers that scientists think their unique biology may hold clues to how we can make crops more resistant to drought, better preserve blood and medicines, and even make more effective sunscreen. When the going gets tough for tardigrades, they curl up, dry out and wait. … [Read more...] about Science Says: Tiny ‘water bears’ can teach us about survival
Thousands flocked to Munich this week for a major gathering — not Oktoberfest, but GTC Europe. The conference, now in its third year, is a celebration of groundbreaking GPU-accelerated work across the region. Nearly 300 developers, startups and researchers took the stage, sharing innovative projects. Among them were some of the major science centers in Europe, spanning fields as diverse as particle physics, climate research and neuroscience. Understanding the Universe Técnico Lisboa, Portugal Nuclear energy today is generated through nuclear fission: the process of splitting apart an atom’s nucleus, which creates both usable energy and radioactive waste. A cleaner and more powerful alternative is nuclear fusion, the joining together of two nuclei. But so far, scientists haven’t been able to sustain a nuclear fusion reaction long enough to harness its energy. Using deep learning algorithms and a Tesla P100 GPU, university researchers at Portugal’s … [Read more...] about How Europe’s Researchers Are Using GPUs to Answer Science’s Biggest Questions
Marcia Dunn Associated Press Published 2:13 PM EDT Oct 3, 2018 Cape Canaveral, Fla. – Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system. Two Columbia University researchers presented their tantalizing evidence Wednesday. Plenty of planets exist beyond our solar system, but a moon around one of those worlds has yet to be confirmed. The potential moon would be considerably larger than Earth – about the size of Neptune or Uranus. The planet it orbits is as big as mammoth Jupiter. This apparent super-size pairing of a gaseous moon and planet is 8,000 light-years away. Study authors Alex Teachey and David Kipping say they may be able to validate this particular candidate as early as next year, with more views from the Hubble Space Telescope. In the meantime, they’re encouraging other scientists to join in. Their findings appear in the journal Science Advances. … [Read more...] about Have astronomers found 1st moon outside our solar system?