This Exoplanet Has Prematurely Aged its Star

Optical and X-ray images of the star WASP 18. X-ray Credit: NASA / CXC / SAO / I.Pillitteri et al; Optical Credit: DSS; Illustration Credit: NASA / CXC / M.Weiss Enlarge Hot young stars are wildly active, emitting huge eruptions of charged particles form their surfaces. But as they age they naturally become less active, […]

Mystery of rare five-hour space explosion explained

ENLARGE / The X-ray image from the Swift X-ray Telescope of the gamma-ray burst GRB 130925. The white object in the center is the gamma-ray burst.  The large diffuse region to the right is a cluster of galaxies. The other objects are X-ray-emitting celestial objects, most likely supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies. […]

Violent origins of disc galaxies probed by ALMA

ENLARGE / Each of the colorful objects in this image illustrates one of 30 merging galaxies. The contours in the individual galaxies indicate the dispersion of carbon monoxide while the color represents the motion of gas. Gas that is moving away from us appears red while the blue color shows gas that is approaching. The contours […]

Amazon Turtles ‘Talk’ to Their Tots

Giant South American river turtle hatchlings make sounds before they exit their eggs and continue to do so even as they clamber out of the nest chamber onto the river beach.  Credit: ©Dick Vogt Enlarge Brian Horne is coordinator of turtle conservation for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). WCS manages the Bronx Zoo, the New […]

Climate Change Affects Shark Swimming in Strange Way

A catshark rests in the water. Credit: Fredrik Jutfelt Enlarge Sharks exposed to ocean water acidified by too much carbon dioxide alter their behavior, swimming in longer spurts than sharks in typical ocean water, particularly during their nighttime wanderings. The new findings, published today (Sept. 16) in the journal Biology Letters, are troubling, given that one […]

Plate tectonics: What set the Earth’s plates in motion?

The mystery of what kick-started the motion of our earth's massive tectonic plates across its surface has been explained by researchers at the University of Sydney. ENLARGE / A snapshot from the film after 45 million years of spreading. The pink is the region where the mantle underneath the early continent has melted, facilitating its spreading, […]

Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate

Cynthia Schofer and Eric Thurm, doctoral candidates at the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, take a growth ring sample from an experimental plot tree. Credit: L. Steinacker / TUM Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have accelerated—by as […]

Historic ‘Ghost Ships’ Discovered Near Golden Gate Bridge

This huge ship now rests on the bottom of the Gulf of the Farallones, just west of San Francisco. Named Selja, it sank in 1910 after a collision with another ship. Credit: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Enlarge The waters just west of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge hide a graveyard of sunken ships. By […]

What’s Up With That: Why Do All My Friends Like the Same Music?

Ariel Zambelich/WIRED Your weekend was radical. Your friends loved your “Bitchin’ Summer 2014″ playlist, and together you drove around for hours, singing along. Later on, at the barbecue, you were nominated DJ. As the party progressed, you got a little bolder and threw on some deep cuts. A cute friend of a friend of a friend […]

Stalking Uranus: A Complete Guide to the 2014 Opposition Season

Enigmatic Uranus as seen through the automated eyes of Voyager 2 in 1986. (Credit: NASA/JPL). It’s no joke… now is the time to begin searching the much-maligned (and mispronounced) planet Uranus as it reaches opposition in early October leading up to a very special celestial event. Last month, we looked at the challenges of spying […]

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