October 2, 2014

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NASA Images Show the Eastern Basin of the South Aral Sea is Completely Dry

NASA Images Show the Eastern Basin of the South Aral Sea is Dry

Images from NASA’s Terra satellite reveal that the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea is completely dry. This is the first time the eastern basin has completely dried in modern times. Summer 2014 marked another milestone for the Aral Sea, the once-extensive lake in Central Asia that has been shrinking markedly since the 1960s. […]

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October 2, 2014

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Interactive Coding Scheme is the First to Near Optimality

Coding Scheme for Interactive Communication is the First to Near Optimality

In a new research paper, MIT engineers describe the first interactive coding scheme to near optimality on the three classical measures: How much noise can they tolerate? What’s the maximum transmission rate they afford? And how time-consuming are the encoding and decoding processes? Error-correcting codes are one of the glories of the information age: They’re […]

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October 2, 2014

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Cassini Reveals Cloud of Frozen Hydrogen Cyanide Particles Hovering Over Titan

Cassini Discovers Toxic Cloud Hovering Over Titan

Data from NASA’s Cassini mission reveals that a giant polar vortex hovering over the south pole of Titan contains frozen particles of the toxic compound hydrogen cyanide, or HCN. “The discovery suggests that the atmosphere of Titan’s southern hemisphere is cooling much faster than we expected,” said Remco de Kok of Leiden Observatory and SRON […]

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October 2, 2014

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NASA’s GRAIL Mission Solves a Lunar Mystery Almost as Old as the Moon Itself

Astronomers Solve Lunar Mystery

Using new data obtained by NASA’s GRAIL mission, astronomers discovered that a volcanic plume, not an asteroid, likely created the moon’s largest basin. Early theories suggested the craggy outline of a region of the moon’s surface known as Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms, was caused by an asteroid impact. If this theory had […]

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October 1, 2014

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Researchers Investigated the Charge Transport Perovskite Solar Cells

New Insights How Perovskite Solar Cells Can Be Further Optimized

New insights into the working mechanism of perovskite-based solar cells could help these solar cells play a prominent role among the renewable energy carriers in future. Conventional silicon solar cells could have an inexpensive competitor in the near future. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, together with scientists from Switzerland […]

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October 1, 2014

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Astronomers Discover ‘Cousin’ Planets Around Twin Stars

Astronomers Find Cousin Planets Around Twin Stars

A team of international astronomers has discovered two new Jupiter-sized extra-solar planets, each orbiting one star of a binary-star system. Most known extra-solar planets orbit stars that are alone, like our Sun. Yet many stars are part of binary systems, twin stars formed from the same gas cloud. Now, for the first time, two stars […]

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October 1, 2014

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Satellites Reveal Dip in Gravity from West Antarctica Ice Loss

West Antarctica Ice Loss Dips Gravity

The animation, based on measurements from ESA’s GOCE satellite and the NASA–German Grace mission, shows that ice lost from West Antarctica has caused a dip in Earth’s gravity. GOCE was not designed to show changes in gravity over time. However, high-resolution gravity gradients that GOCE measured over Antarctica between November 2009 and June 2012 were […]

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October 1, 2014

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Graphene Quantum Dots Outperform Platinum in Fuel Cells

Graphene Quantum Dots Form Catalyst for Fuel Cells

Researchers at Rice University have developed a cheap hybrid catalyst made from graphene quantum dots that outperforms platinum catalysts for certain reactions within fuel cells. Graphene quantum dots created at Rice University grab onto graphene platelets like barnacles attach themselves to the hull of a boat. But these dots enhance the properties of the mothership, […]

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October 1, 2014

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New Drug-Delivery Capsule to Inject Drugs Directly into the Lining of the Digestive Tract

New Drug Delivery Capsule Can Deliver Drugs Directly into the Lining of the Digestive Tract

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT have developed a new drug-delivery capsule coated with tiny needles that can inject drugs directly into the lining of the stomach after the capsule is swallowed. Given a choice, most patients would prefer to take a drug orally instead of getting an injection. Unfortunately, many drugs, especially those […]

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October 1, 2014

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New SDO Video Shows Recent Sunspots that Have Developed and Faded Away

New SDO Video Shows Recent Sunspots

This new video from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows how many sunspots develop and fade away over a period of days. Lots of Spots Over the past month (August 25 – September 25, 2014) the Sun has produced quite a few sunspot groups, with some of them being significantly large. Sunspots are darker, cooler areas […]

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October 1, 2014

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NASA’s Swift Detects a Massive Superflare from a Red Dwarf Star

Swift Detects a Massive Superflare from a Red Dwarf Star

NASA’s Swift satellite detected a massive superflare from a red dwarf star in the binary system DG CVn. The initial blast was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded and reached temperatures of 360 million degrees Fahrenheit (200 million Celsius), more than 12 times hotter than the center […]

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September 30, 2014

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ALMA Finds Direct Evidence That Merging Galaxies Can Form Disc Galaxies

New Observations Explain Why Milky Way Like Galaxies Are so Common

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) and several other radio telescopes, astronomers find direct evidence that merging galaxies can form disc galaxies instead of elliptical galaxies. For decades scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the the first time, researchers using ALMA and a host […]

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