Astronomy

Astronomers Confirm Failed-Jupiter Exoplanet around Distant Star

This graphic illustrates how a star can magnify and brighten the light of a background star when it passes in front of the distant star. If the foreground star has planets, then the planets may also magnify the light of the background star, but for a much shorter period of time than their host star. Astronomers use this method, called gravitational microlensing, to identify planets. Image credit: NASA / ESA / A. Field, STScI.

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, two teams of astronomers have independently confirmed the existence of a gas giant exoplanet orbiting far from its parent star, OGLE-2005-BLG-169L. The planet was discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing. This graphic illustrates how a star can magnify and brighten the light of a background star...

Space Exploration

Philae Lander Finds Organic Compounds on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Rosetta NavCam image taken on 14 March 2015 at 85.7 km from the center of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko; it has been cleaned to remove the more obvious bad pixels and cosmic ray artefacts, and intensities have been scaled. Image credit: ESA / Rosetta / NAVCAM / CC BY-SA IGO 3.0.

A special issue of the journal Science highlights seven new studies that delve into the data that has been collected by ESA’s probe Philae on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This false-color four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 28.7 km from the center of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 3 February 2015. The mosaic measures 4.2 x 4.6 km. Image credit: ESA / Rosetta / NAVCAM /...

Archaeology

Scientists Find Evidence of Small-Scale Farming 23,000 Years Ago in Israel

The common wheat, Triticum aestivum. Image credit: Matt Lavin, Bozeman, Montana / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed evidence of early small-scale agricultural cultivation at Ohalo II, a 23,000-year-old hunter-gatherers’ sedentary camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Top: wild-type (left) and domestic-type (right) scars in rachises of wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum) from Ohalo II. Scale bar – 1 mm. Bottom: sickle blade from the site. Scale bar – 10 mm. Image credit:...

Paleontology

New Study Explains Why Theropod Dinosaurs Were So Successful

Cretaceous tyrannosaurid dinosaur Gorgosaurus using its specialized teeth for feeding on a young Corythosaurus. Image credit: Danielle Dufault.

Members of Theropoda, the only clade of predominantly predatory dinosaurs, were successful predators partly due to a unique, deeply serrated tooth structure that allowed them to easily tear through the flesh and bone of other dinosaurs, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Cretaceous tyrannosaurid dinosaur Gorgosaurus using its specialized teeth for feeding on a young...

Biology

African Golden Wolf: Scientists Discover ‘New’ Canid Species

The African golden wolf (Canis anthus) in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Image credit: Gordon E. Robertson / CC BY-SA 3.0.

African and Eurasian golden jackals are genetically distinct lineages, according to a research team led by Dr Klaus-Peter Koepfli from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Dr Robert Wayne of the University of California, Los Angeles. The African golden wolf (Canis anthus) in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Image credit: Gordon E. Robertson / CC BY-SA 3.0. “This represents the first...

Physics

Researchers Create Robotic Water Strider

This image shows a water strider together with robotic insects that can jump on water. Image credit: Seoul National University.

A team of researchers and engineers, led by Dr Kyu-Jin Cho of Seoul National University in Korea, has created an insect-like robot that can jump on water surfaces. This image shows a water strider together with robotic insects that can jump on water. Image credit: Seoul National University. As Dr Cho and co-authors watched the water strider jump on water surfaces using high-speed cameras, they noticed...

Medicine

Scientists Discover New Dangerous Subtype of Streptococcus pyogenes

Streptococcus pyogenes under the electron microscope (false color). Image credit: Vincent Fischetti, Rockefeller University / CDC.

A team of scientists led by Imperial College London has discovered a new subtype of emm89 Streptococcus pyogenes that has contributed to a rise in disease cases in the United Kingdom over the last two decades. Streptococcus pyogenes under the electron microscope (false color). Image credit: Vincent Fischetti, Rockefeller University / CDC. The human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus)...

Genetics

Genetic Researchers Decipher Essential Parts of Polar Bear Y Chromosome

Essential parts of the polar bear Y chromosome have been decoded for the first time. Image credit: Axel Janke.

A team of scientists at the Senckenberg Research Center for Biodiversity and Climate in Frankfurt, Germany, has reconstructed large parts of the male chromosome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Essential parts of the polar bear Y chromosome have been decoded for the first time. Image credit: Axel Janke. “In order to gain insights into the evolutionary development of polar bears, we use genetics...

Geology

Kallisti Limnes: Opalescent Subsea Pools Discovered near Santorini

This image shows a 1-2 m wide meandering Kallisti Limnes hydrothermal pool. Image credit: Richard Camilli et al.

A multinational group of researchers using undersea vehicles in the waters off Greece’s Santorini has discovered an interconnected series of subsea pools containing high concentrations of carbon dioxide. The pools, which get their distinctive color from opal particles, may hold answers to questions related to deepsea carbon storage as well as provide a means of monitoring the Santorini volcano...

Other Sciences

Earth’s Magnetic Field Older than Thought, Says New Study

An artist’s depiction of Earth’s magnetic field deflecting high-energy protons from the Sun around 4 billion years ago. Image credit: Michael Osadciw / University of Rochester.

American and Canadian scientists have reported in the latest issue of Science that the magnetic field of our planet is at least 4 billion years old, up from the previous estimate of 3.45 billion years. An artist’s depiction of Earth’s magnetic field deflecting high-energy protons from the Sun around 4 billion years ago. Image credit: Michael Osadciw / University of Rochester. Earth’s magnetic...