Greedy Black Hole Gives Clues to Early Universe


Astronomers have identified a micro-quasar in our neighbouring Andromeda galaxy, making it the first to be found outside the Milky Way.

The discovery should shed new light on how these objects shaped the first galaxies, billions of years ago.

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Touchdown Confirmed! Curiosity lands on Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures Curiosity's descent.

Eight months and 352 million miles (567 million km) since it launched from Cape Canaveral, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed successfully in Gale Crater, marking the beginning of its 98-week mission to discover if Mars could have ever hosted life.

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News Round-Up: New Moon, Solar Windows and ‘Green’ Algae

Pluto’s fifth moon discovered


A new moon has been found orbiting Pluto, bringing the number of satellites known around the former planet to five. P5 – the moon’s temporary designation – is between 10 to 25 km across (less than the diameter of London’s North Circular Road), and was discovered by scientists at SETI studying images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The photos show the moon as a speck, even compared to Pluto’s other moons – not surprising, given that Pluto is over 4.5 billion km away. 

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News Round-up: Higgs, Dark Matter’s skeleton and Private Asteroid Detectives

Higgs boson found … probably

Higgs Simulation

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva have announced the discovery of a new elementary particle consistent with the Higgs boson. The announcement, given to a packed auditorium at CERN and broadcast live over the Internet, was met with standing ovations from scientists across the world. 

Continue reading “News Round-up: Higgs, Dark Matter’s skeleton and Private Asteroid Detectives”

News round-up: Space-Age China, In-Utero Surgery and Sexist Science

Chinese astronauts reach orbiting space lab


China’s Shenzhou 9 rocket – which last week became the first Chinese mission to carry a female astronaut – has successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 station 340 km (210 miles) above the Earth. The arrival of the three crewmembers marks the first time anyone has boarded the station since its launch in 2011, and makes China only the third country to ever achieve a manned space docking.

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News round-up: New elements, Olympicene, SpaceX and Neutrinos

Two more place cards at the Periodic Table

Scientists have officially named two elements whose discoveries were announced last year. Element 114, first detected in 1999 by scientists at Russia’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), will be called Flerovium (symbol Fl) after the Institute’s founder, Georgy Flyorov. Element 116 will become Livermorium (symbol Lv) in honour of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, which teamed up with the JINR to discover the element. 

Continue reading “News round-up: New elements, Olympicene, SpaceX and Neutrinos”

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