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Accessed on 19 October 2019, 0445 UTC.

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ASTRONOMY

Super Spirals Spin Faster Than Expected, Astronomers Say

The top row of this mosaic features Hubble images of three spiral galaxies, each of which weighs several times as much as the Milky Way. The bottom row shows three even more massive spiral galaxies that qualify as super spirals, which were observed by the ground-based Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The galaxy at lower right, 2MFGC 08638, is the most massive super spiral known to date, with a dark matter halo weighing at least 40 trillion Suns. Image credit: NASA / ESA / P. Ogle & J. DePasquale, STScI / SDSS.Super spirals are the most massive star-forming disk galaxies in the Universe. They are much larger, brighter, and more massive than our own Milky Way Galaxy. Dr. Patrick Ogle of the Space Telescope Science Institute and his colleagues have found that these enormous galaxies spin faster than expected for their mass, at speeds up to 350 miles per second (570 km/sec); for comparison, the Milky Way…

SPACE EXPLORATION

Venus May Never Have Been Wet and Warm World

Venus in real colors, processed from Mariner 10 images. Image credit: Mattias Malmer / NASA.A team of planetary researchers from the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and elsewhere has found that a volcanic flow on Venus’ Ovda Regio highlands plateau is made of basaltic lava and isn’t silica-rich. This discovery weakens the notion that Venus might once have been Earth-like with an ocean of liquid water. Venus in real colors, processed from Mariner 10 images. Image credit: Mattias…

ARCHAEOLOGY

Archaeologists Find Personal Equipment of Bronze Age Warrior

Photograph of the collection of bronze objects from the battlefield site in the Tollense Valley, Germany. Image credit: V. Minkus.Archaeologists have unearthed a collection of 31 metal objects, including a bronze tool with a birch handle, a knife, a chisel, bronze cylinders, and ingot fragments, at the site of a Bronze Age battlefield in the Tollense Valley in north-eastern Germany. Photograph of the collection of bronze objects from the battlefield site in the Tollense Valley, Germany. Image credit: V. Minkus. The Bronze Age…

PALEONTOLOGY

Nearly Complete Specimen of Saurornitholestes langstoni Unearthed in Canada

Saurornitholestes langstoni. Image credit: Jan Sovak.A fossil site in Canada has yielded the best-preserved specimen of the dromaeosaurid dinosaur Saurornitholestes langstoni ever found. Saurornitholestes langstoni. Image credit: Jan Sovak. First scientifically described in 1978, Saurornitholestes langstoni is a carnivorous feathered dinosaur within the family Dromaeosauridae (also known as raptors). It lived approximately 76 million years ago (Cretaceous…

BIOLOGY

Arapaima Fish Scales are One of Nature’s Toughest Flexible Materials

Arapaima gigas. Image credit: Shizhao / CC BY-SA 3.0.Arapaima gigas is a large Amazonian fish (weighing up to 150 kg) living primarily in seasonal lakes infested with ferocious piranhas. The freshwater giant has armor-like scales that can deform, but do not tear or crack, when a piranha attacks. According to a new study published in the journal Matter, these scales are one of the toughest flexible materials in nature. Arapaima gigas. Image credit:…

PHYSICS

Researchers Control Quantum State of Single Electron Using High-Frequency Sound Waves

3D render of the semiconductor nanostructure. Image credit: Hermann Edlbauer.An international team of scientists sent high-frequency sound waves across a modified semiconductor device to direct the behavior of a single electron, with efficiency above 99%. 3D render of the semiconductor nanostructure. Image credit: Hermann Edlbauer. A quantum computer would be able to solve previously unsolvable computational problems by taking advantage of the strange behavior of particles…

GENETICS

Study Sheds New Light on Striking Similarities between Tasmanian Tiger and Wolves

A pair of thylacines, a male and female, c. 1905. Image credit: Smithsonian Institutional Archives / E. J. Keller, National Zoological Park.The Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus), also known as the thylacine, was a carnivorous marsupial found throughout most of Tasmania before European settlement in 1803. The animal had tiger-like stripes running down its lower back and an abdominal pouch, but was perhaps best known for its wolf-like body. Despite sharing a last common ancestor 160 million years ago, the Tasmanian tiger and wolves…

GEOLOGY

Scientists Reconstruct Geological History of Spain’s Giant Geode

The Geode of Pulpí, Spain. Image credit: Canals et al, doi: 10.1130/G46734.1.In a paper published in the journal Geology, Dr. Juan Manuel García-Ruiz from the Universidad de Granada and colleagues reveal the geological history that ended with the formation of the famous Geode of Pulpí in Spain. The Geode of Pulpí, Spain. Image credit: Canals et al, doi: 10.1130/G46734.1. Discovered in in 1999, the Geode of Pulpí is an 11 m3 ovoid in the abandoned Mina Rica (the Rich Mine)…

OTHER SCIENCES

Arapaima Fish Scales are One of Nature’s Toughest Flexible Materials

Arapaima gigas. Image credit: Shizhao / CC BY-SA 3.0.Arapaima gigas is a large Amazonian fish (weighing up to 150 kg) living primarily in seasonal lakes infested with ferocious piranhas. The freshwater giant has armor-like scales that can deform, but do not tear or crack, when a piranha attacks. According to a new study published in the journal Matter, these scales are one of the toughest flexible materials in nature. Arapaima gigas. Image credit:…

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Until next time,
Russ Roberts
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