August 14, 2015

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New Research Shows Pluto May Still Be Geologically Active

Pluto May Still Be Geologically Active

New research hints that Pluto may still be geologically active, a theory that could explain how Pluto’s escaping atmosphere remains flush with nitrogen. The latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal diverse features on Pluto’s surface and an atmosphere dominated by nitrogen gas. However, Pluto’s small mass allows hundreds of tons of atmospheric nitrogen […]

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August 14, 2015

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Astronomers Discover Jupiter-Like Planet 51 Eridani b

Jupiter-Like Exoplanet 51 Eridani b

Using the Gemini Planet Imager, astronomers have discovered a young Jupiter-like planet that is 100 light-years away. One of the best ways to learn how our solar system evolved is to look to younger star systems in the early stages of development. Now, a team of astronomers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young […]

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August 14, 2015

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Scientists Predict Material with Record-Setting Melting Point, More Than 4,400 Kelvins

Scientists from Brown Predict Material with Record-Setting Melting Point, More Than 4,400 Kelvins

Scientists at Brown University predict that a material made from hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have the highest known melting point, about two-thirds the temperature at the surface of the sun. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Using powerful computer simulations, researchers from Brown University have identified a material with a higher melting point than […]

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August 14, 2015

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Aluminum “Yolk-and-Shell” Nanoparticle Boosts Capacity and Power of Lithium-ion Batteries

Yolks and Shells Improve Lithium-Ion Batteries

New research from MIT and Tsinghua University in China reveals that an aluminum “yolk-and-shell” nanoparticle could boost the capacity and power of lithium-ion batteries. One big problem faced by electrodes in rechargeable batteries, as they go through repeated cycles of charging and discharging, is that they must expand and shrink during each cycle — sometimes […]

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August 14, 2015

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Astronomers Discover Supernovae in ‘Wrong Place at Wrong Time’

Host-Galaxy Properties Suggest a Nuclear Origin for Calcium-Rich Supernova Progenitors

A new analysis of 13 supernovae is helping to reveal how some young stars exploded sooner than expected, hurling them to a lonely place far from their host galaxies. It’s a complicated mystery of double-star systems, merging galaxies, and twin black holes that began in 2000 when the first such supernova was discovered, according to […]

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August 14, 2015

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Cassini Spacecraft Will Make Last Close Flyby of Dione in August

Cassini to Make Last Close Flyby of Saturn Moon Dione

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft will make its final close flyby of Saturn’s moon Dione on August 17. Cassini’s closest approach, within 295 miles (474 kilometers) of Dione’s surface, will occur at 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT). Mission controllers expect fresh images to begin arriving on Earth within a couple of days following the encounter. Cassini […]

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August 13, 2015

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New Biosensors Turn Bacteria Into a Source of Natural Energy

Researchers Turn Engineered Bacteria into a Source of Natural Energy

New biosensors enable complex genetic reprogramming of common bacteria like E. coli. The process could be leveraged for sustainable biomanufacturing, using the metabolic processes of bacterial cells to generate valuable chemicals and fuels. Super-productive factories of the future could employ fleets of genetically engineered bacterial cells, such as common E. coli, to create valuable chemical […]

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August 13, 2015

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New Design Could Finally Help Bring Fusion Power Closer to Reality

New Research is Helping to Bring Fusion Power Closer to Reality

Advances in magnet technology have enabled MIT scientists to propose a new design for a practical compact tokamak fusion reactor. It’s an old joke that many fusion scientists have grown tired of hearing: Practical nuclear fusion power plants are just 30 years away — and always will be. But now, finally, the joke may no […]

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August 13, 2015

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Flat-Slab Subduction in South America Mirrors Formation of Rocky Mountains

Researchers Get an Unprecedented Look at a Geological Process in South America

For the first time, Yale University geophysicists are getting to look at a geological process in South America that mirrors the formation of America’s Rocky Mountains. Writing in the journal Nature, a team of geophysicists says its findings may help scientists better understand phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes, in addition to the development of […]

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August 13, 2015

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Begins Critical Design Review

Orion Spacecraft Begins Critical Design Review Milestone

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft began its critical design review last week, a major program milestone that will ensure the spacecraft’s design is ready for its deep space missions atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. Orion, which successfully flew about 3,600 miles into space last year during an uncrewed flight test, is being developed to send astronauts […]

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August 12, 2015

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New Analysis Provides More Accurate Estimates of Sources of Mercury Emissions

Asia Produces Twice as Much Mercury Emissions as Previously Thought

A new analysis from MIT provides more accurate estimates of sources of mercury emissions from around the world, revealing that Asia produces twice as much mercury emissions as previously thought. Once mercury is emitted into the atmosphere from the smokestacks of power plants, the pollutant has a complicated trajectory; even after it settles onto land […]

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August 12, 2015

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SEAS Engineers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

SEAS Researchers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

Using a technique that mimics how plants use solar energy and forcing two otherwise incompatible molecules to work together to cover the full color spectrum, engineers from Yale University have significantly increased the efficiency of polymer solar cells. The researchers, in Dr. Andre Taylor’s Transformative Materials & Devices Lab, developed a solar cell that performed […]

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August 12, 2015

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Researchers Identify a Potential Marker for Schizophrenia

New Study Shows Brain Abnormalities Are Present Even Before Onset of Schizophrenia

New research from Yale University reveals that even before the onset of schizophrenia, irregularities in key brain areas are already present in individuals at higher risk of developing psychosis. The findings identify a potential marker for the debilitating disease that afflicts 1% of the world’s population and suggest at least a partial explanation for why […]

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August 12, 2015

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GAMA Survey Reveals the Slow Death of the Universe

GAMA Survey Reveals the Slow Death of the Universe

The Galaxy And Mass Assembly project released its first data at at the International Astronomical Union XXIX General Assembly in Hawaii, revealing that the Universe is slowly dying. An international team of astronomers studying more than 200,000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before. This […]

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August 12, 2015

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Ten Years and Counting, Mars Orbiter Still Going Strong

Mars Orbiter Still Going Strong One Decade Later

It’s been ten years since the launch of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its work is far from over. The Mars Orbiter has revealed the Red Planet’s diversity and activity, returning more data about Mars every week than all six other missions currently active there. The workhorse orbiter now plays a key role in NASA’s […]

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August 12, 2015

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Astronomers Identify the Smallest Supermassive Black Hole to Date

Chandra Identifies the Smallest Supermassive Black Hole Ever Detected

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-meter Clay Telescope, a team of astronomers has identified the smallest supermassive black hole ever detected in the center of a galaxy. This oxymoronic object could provide clues to how larger black holes formed along with their host galaxies 13 billion years or more in the past. Astronomers […]

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August 12, 2015

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Rosetta Spacecraft Views an Outburst from Comet 67P

Outburst from Comet 67P Viewed by Rosetta

A new set of images from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft shows a short-lived outburst from comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has been witnessing growing activity from comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as the comet approaches perihelion (its closest point to the sun during its orbit). On July 29, while the spacecraft orbited at […]

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August 11, 2015

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Newly Discovered Planet Kepler-453b Orbits Two Stars

Astronomers Discover A New Planet Orbiting Two Stars

Using Kepler data astronomers have discovered Kepler-453b – a circumbinary planet located within the “habitable zone.” A team of astronomers including a San Francisco State University researcher has discovered a new planet orbiting a pair of stars, the 10th “circumbinary” planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler Mission and a milestone for the 6-year-old spacecraft. The planet, […]

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