Astronomy

Hubble Captures ‘Ghost Light’ of Stars Ejected from Ancient Galaxies in Abell 2744

Abell 2744 takes on a ghostly look where total starlight has been artificially colored blue in this Hubble view. Image credit: NASA / ESA / IAC / HFF Team / STScI.

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to probe a galactic supercluster known as Abell 2744 have found forensic evidence of galaxies that were gravitationally ripped apart approximately 6 billion years ago. Abell 2744 takes on a ghostly look where total starlight has been artificially colored blue in this Hubble view. Image credit: NASA / ESA / IAC / HFF Team / STScI. The Universe is an...

Space Exploration

NASA’s Mars Fleet, Hubble Return Images of Comet Siding Spring

This composite Hubble image captures the positions of Siding Spring and Mars on October 19, 2014. Image credit: NASA / ESA / PS / JHU / APL / STScI / AURA.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Mars Rover Opportunity and two Mars orbiters – the MAVEN and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – have captured stunning images of Comet Siding Spring as it made its closest approach to the Red Planet on October 19, 2014. This composite Hubble image captures the positions of Siding Spring and Mars on October 19, 2014. Image credit: NASA / ESA / PS / JHU /...

Archaeology

Archaeologists Recover Artifacts from 2,200-Year-Old Roman Shipwreck

Divers illuminate artifacts of the Panarea III ship. Image credit: © Global Underwater Explorers.

Italian archaeologists and divers from a Florida-based group called Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) have recovered a wide range of artifacts from an ancient shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Aeolian Island of Panarea near Italy. Divers illuminate artifacts of the Panarea III ship. Image credit: © Global Underwater Explorers. The ship, dubbed Panarea III, is believed to have sailed around...

Paleontology

Zaraapelta nomadis: New Armored Dinosaur Discovered in Mongolia

Life restoration of Zaraapelta nomadis. Image credit: Danielle Dufault.

Paleontologists have discovered a new genus and species of ankylosaur that roamed what is now the Gobi Desert in Mongolia during the Upper Cretaceous, between 100.5 and 66 million years ago. Life restoration of Zaraapelta nomadis. Image credit: Danielle Dufault. The new dinosaur is named Zaraapelta nomadis. It belongs to Ankylosauridae, a family of herbivorous dinosaurs with armored plates on their...

Biology

Three New Species of Skinks Discovered in Australia

Three new species of lizards discovered in Australia, from top to bottom: the Cape Melville Rainbow Skink (Carlia wundalthini), the Cape Melville Bar-lipped Skink (Glaphyromorphus othelarrni) and the McIlwraith Bar-lipped Skink (Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta). Image credit: Conrad Hoskin / Stephen Williams.

Australian scientists have described three new lizard species, hidden from humans for millions of years in remote areas of the country. Three new species of lizards discovered in Australia, from top to bottom: the Cape Melville Rainbow Skink (Carlia wundalthini), the Cape Melville Bar-lipped Skink (Glaphyromorphus othelarrni) and the McIlwraith Bar-lipped Skink (Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta). Image...

Physics

Scientists Build ‘Long-Distance’ Optical Tractor Beam

Australian National University scientists adjusting the hollow laser beam. Image credit: Stuart Hay.

A team of researchers led by Dr Vladlen Shvedov of the Australian National University’s Laser Physics Center in Canberra, Australia, has built what they say is the first long-distance optical tractor beam. Australian National University scientists adjusting the hollow laser beam. Image credit: Stuart Hay. “Demonstration of a large scale laser beam like this is a kind of holy grail for laser physicists,”...

Medicine

Cocoa Flavanols Can Reverse Memory Loss in Older Adults

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Image credit: © Marion Beraudias.

According to a team of scientists headed by Dr Scott Small of Columbia University, flavanols – naturally occurring bioactives found in the cacao plant, tea leaves and certain fruits and vegetables – can reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Image credit: © Marion Beraudias. As people...

Genetics

Ebola, Other Filoviruses are at least 16 Million Years Old, Finds New Study

Transmission electron micrograph of an Ebola virus virion. Image credit: Frederick Murphy / CDC.

Members of the Filoviridae, a family of viruses to which Ebola and its relative, Marburg virus, belong, are between 16 and 23 million years old – far older than previously thought, according to a new study led by Prof Derek Taylor of the University at Buffalo. Transmission electron micrograph of an Ebola virus virion. Image credit: Frederick Murphy / CDC. The family Filoviridae (filoviruses)...

Geology

Study Sheds More Light on Origin of Earth’s Oceans

In this illustration of the early Solar System, the dashed white line represents the snow line - the transition from the hotter inner Solar System, where water ice is not stable (brown) to the outer Solar System, where water ice is stable (blue). Image credit: Jack Cook / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

According to a team of researchers led by Dr Brian Monteleone of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Earth’s oceans have likely existed since the planet’s formation. In this illustration of the early Solar System, the dashed white line represents the snow line – the transition from the hotter inner Solar System, where water ice is not stable (brown) to the outer Solar System,...

Other Sciences

1934 Drought was Driest, Most Widespread in Past Millennium, Scientists Find

A ‘black blizzard’ dust storm in South Dakota, 1934. Image credit: National Archives FDR Library Public Domain Photographs.

Using a reconstruction of North American drought history over the past millennium, a team of researchers from NASA and the Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has found the Dust Bowl drought of 1934 was the worst – about 30 percent more severe than the runner-up drought (in 1580) and extended across 71.6 percent of western North America. A ‘black blizzard’ dust storm in...