Discover Magazine: Latest Blog Posts

Welcome to the “Discover Magazine” update from Hawaii Science Digest.

Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondent.

Content provided by “Discover Magazine”, 10 April 2019.

Accessed on 10 April 2019, 1555 UTC.

Source:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

m87 black hole jet

THE CRUX

What The Event Horizon Telescope Reveals About Galaxy M87

By Jake Parks | April 10, 2019 10:00 am

A massive international collaboration of researchers has released the first-ever direct image of the hellish environment surrounding a supermassive black hole. As part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, the team used a global array of telescopes to probe the fiery disk of material swirling around the gargantuan black hole at the center of the galaxy M87.

The results confirm that the hot gas swirling around a black hole is traveling at nearly the speed of light, creating a chaot …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: BLACK HOLESCOSMOLOGYGALAXIES

THE CRUX

Event Horizon Telescope Releases Humanity’s First Ever Black Hole Image

By Korey Haynes | April 10, 2019 8:30 am

On Wednesday, astronomers revealed the first image ever taken of a black hole, bringing a dramatic conclusion to a decades-long effort. The iconic image offers humanity its first glimpse at the gas and debris that swirl around its event horizon, the point beyond which material disappears forever. A favorite object of science fiction has finally been made real on screen.

Their target was a nearby galaxy dubbed M87 and its supermassive black hole, which packs the mass of six and half billio …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: BLACK HOLESCOSMOLOGY

THE CRUX

The Event Horizon Telescope: How It Works

By Erika K. Carlson | April 10, 2019 8:20 am

A black hole isn’t an easy thing to photograph. The famously inscrutable objects are so dense that even light can’t escape their vicinity. By definition, they are invisible. So when the Event Horizon Telescope team released the first image of a black hole, but what they really released is an image of the black hole’s event horizon — the minimum distance from the black hole’s center where gravity is still weak enough for light to escape.

And how they imaged the supermassive black  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: COSMOLOGYPHYSICSSTARGAZING

THE CRUX

Inside The Event Horizon Telescope’s Quixotic Quest to Image a Black Hole

By Steve Nadis | April 10, 2019 8:15 am

Trying to take a picture of a black hole — an object that is, by definition, invisible—sounds like an exercise in futility. But for decades, theoreticians suspected it may just be possible to get a detailed view of a black hole’s perimeter, right up to the edge of the event horizon, the fabled point of no return. And a core group of astronomers spent years trying to turn that prediction into reality. Now, they finally have.

Astronomers announced Wednesday that they’d captured a ti …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

It Took 10 Million Years for Biodiversity to Recover From Dino-killing Impact

By Eric Betz | April 9, 2019 1:18 pm

Some 66 million years ago, a city-sized asteroid struck off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, killing 75 percent of life on Earth, including the non-avian dinosaurs. The space rock left a roughly 100-mile-wide crater and destroyed global ecosystems. Now, a new study shows that it took more than 10 million years of evolution before biodiversity recovered.

And the scientists behind the study say their find carries a grave warning for our current era of human-caused extinction, dub …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTLIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

D-BRIEF

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Prepares for First Commercial Liftoff Wednesday

By Korey Haynes | April 9, 2019 12:12 pm

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will launch on its first commercial flight tomorrow. The rocket launch was postponed from early April due to unspecified concerns, and then postponed again just this week due to weather. But Wednesday has a clear forecast with an 80% probability of a launch, so odds are good the mission will proceed. The launch window opens at 6:35am EDT.

Falcon Heavy is a modified version of SpaceX’s standard Falcon 9 rocket, essentially made up of three Falcon 9’s strapped to …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: SPACE EXPLORATION
Citizen Science Day Logo

CITIZEN SCIENCE SALON

Go ahead. Try this at home.

By lshell | April 9, 2019 9:21 am

There are so many ways to engage in Citizen Science Day on April 13. Participate in any SciStarter affiliate project to earn a personalized certificate.

Start with the Stall Catchers Megathon, a gamified, online inter-generational game to accelerate research on Alzheimer’s!

Join the virtual SciStarter Megathon team or organize or join an in-person Megathon meet-up. Find all you need on CitizenScienceDay.org .

Citizen Science Day and the Stall Catchers Megathon will be spotlighted …

OUT THERE

A Beautiful Look at a Hostile Planet

By Corey S. Powell | April 8, 2019 5:33 pm

One of the great challenges in searching for life on other planets is that we still have so much to learn about life on our own Earth. Amazingly, that is true not only at the micro level of biochemistry and genetic codes, but at the macro level as well. You would think that there would be little left to learn about elephants, bears, penguins, and jaguars–the creatures sometimes lumped together by jaded zoologists as “charismatic megafauna”–but you would be wrong.

The new series “Hostile …

THE CRUX

The Human Brain Has been Getting Smaller Since the Stone Age

By Bridget Alex | April 8, 2019 5:15 pm

I don’t mean to alarm you, but the average human brain size is shrinking. And we can’t blame reality T.V. or twitter. No, this decline began tens of thousands of years ago.

It’s something of a well-known secret among anthropologists: Based on measurements of skulls, the average brain volume of Homo sapiens has reportedly decreased by roughly 10 percent in the past 40,000 years. This reduction is a reversal of the trend of cranial expansion, which had been occurring in human evoluti …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS

THE CRUX

Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Reveals Umps Really Do Suck at Calling Strikes

By Mark T. Williams, Boston University | April 8, 2019 4:40 pm

Baseball is back, and fans can anticipate another season of amazing catches, overpowering pitching, tape-measure home runs – and, yes, controversial calls that lead to blow-ups between umpires and players.

Home plate umpires are at the heart of baseball; every single pitch can require a judgment call. Yet ask any fan or player, and they’ll tell you that many of these calls are incorrect – errors that can affect strategy, statistics and even game outcomes.

Just how many mistakes a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: TECHNOLOGYTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: COMPUTERS
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Until next time,
Russ Roberts
https://hawaiisciencedigest.net (the daily update).
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