Sea star’s ability to clone itself may empower this mystery globetrotter — ScienceDaily

For decades, biologists have captured tiny sea star larvae in their nets that did not match the adults of any known species. A Smithsonian team recently discovered what these larvae grow up to be and how a special superpower may help them move around the world. Their results are published online in the Biological Bulletin.

“Thirty years ago, people noticed that these asteroid starfish larvae could clone themselves, and they wondered what the adult form was,” said staff scientist Rachel Collin at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). “They assumed that because the larvae were in the Caribbean the adults must also be from the Caribbean.”

Scientists monitor larvae because the larvae can be more sensitive to physical conditions than the adults and larval dispersal has a large influence on the distribution of adult fishes and invertebrates. Collin’s team uses a technique called DNA barcoding to identify plankton. They

Read More

Modelling extreme magnetic fields and temperature variation on distant stars — ScienceDaily

New research is helping to explain one of the big questions that has perplexed astrophysicists for the past 30 years — what causes the changing brightness of distant stars called magnetars.

Magnetars were formed from stellar explosions or supernovae and they have extremely strong magnetic fields, estimated to be around 100 million, million times greater than the magnetic field found on earth.

The magnetic field generates intense heat and x-rays. It is so strong it also affects the physical properties of matter, most notably the way that heat is conducted through the crust of the star and across its surface, creating the variations in brightness across the star which has puzzled astrophysicists and astronomers.

A team of scientists — led by Dr Andrei Igoshev at the University of Leeds — has developed a mathematical model that simulates the way the magnetic field disrupts the conventional understanding of heat being distributed

Read More

Modeling temperature variation on distant stars

Modeling temperature variation on distant stars
The cooler (blue) and hotter regions (yellow) on a magnetar. The source data came from magnetars: 4U 0142+61, 1E 1547.0-5408, XTE J1810–197, SGR 1900 + 14. Credit: University of Leeds

New research is helping to explain one of the big questions that has perplexed astrophysicists for the past 30 years—what causes the changing brightness of distant stars called magnetars.


Magnetars were formed from stellar explosions or supernovae and they have extremely strong magnetic fields, estimated to be around 100 million, million times greater than the magnetic field found on earth.

The magnetic field on each magnetar generates intense heat and X-rays. It is so strong it affects the physical properties of matter, most notably the way that heat is conducted through the crust of the star and across its surface, creating the variations in brightness which has puzzled astrophysicists and astronomers.

A team of scientists—led by Dr. Andrei Igoshev at

Read More

Rare Peacock Stars Could Potentially Detonate Deadly Gamma Rays In The Milky Way [Video]

KEY POINTS

  • Gamma-ray bursts are one of the most energetic occurrences in the universe
  • Apep’s two stars are 10 to 15 times more massive and 100,000 times brighter than the Sun
  • The two stars also orbit each other about every 125 years

Apep, one of the Wolf-Rayets binary star systems dubbed as the “exotic peacocks of the stellar world” discovered in 2018, was found to have the capacity to detonate long gamma ray bursts that are potentially deadly. If it detonates, the explosion could be something never seen in the Milky Way before, according to scientists.

“As well as exhibiting all the usual extreme behavior of Wolf-Rayets, Apep’s main star looks to be rapidly rotating. This means it could have all the ingredients to detonate a long gamma-ray burst when it goes supernova,” Peter Tuthill, study lead and professor from the University of Sydney, said in a press release. 

In

Read More

In Stars of Science First, Jury Decides No Elimination

Dr. Khalid Al-Ali, Stars of Science jury member, noted that the show’s contestants ran into unprecedented circumstances with the outbreak of COVID-19, causing disproportionate difficulties in materials procurement and shipping delays.

“Exceptional times necessitate exceptional action. We, the jury members of Stars of Science, place fairness firmly on top of the show’s platform of opportunity. We work hard to give the contestants a level playing field in order for the best to truly excel,” said Dr. Al-Ali.

During the proof of concept episode, several contestants laid out a roadmap for the next stages of the competition. However, COVID-19 hampered some contestants’ progress, as they did not have the necessary resources to start proving the concept of their innovation. Jamal Shaktour was among the most affected, as crucial supplies from abroad did not arrive in time for the jury’s review.

“These exceptional times pushed all of us to adapt

Read More

AI Created a Detailed 3D Map of Stars, Galaxies, and Quasars

Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawai’i

Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawai’i
Image: University of Hawai’i

A team of astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy (IfA) has produced the most comprehensive astronomical imaging catalog of stars, galaxies, and quasars ever created with help from an artificially intelligent neural network.

The group of astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy (IfA) released a catalog containing 3 billion celestial objects in 2016, including stars, galaxies, and quasars (the active cores of supermassive black holes). Needless to say, the parsing of this extensive database—packed with 2 petabytes of data—was a task unfit for puny humans, and even grad students. A major goal coming out of the 2016 catalog release was to better characterize these distant specks of light, and to also map the arrangement of galaxies in all three dimensions. The Pan-STARRS team can now check these items off their

Read More

Qatar Foundation’s Stars Of Science Selects Season 12’s Top Eight Innovators

DOHA, Qatar, Oct. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Eight innovators have distinguished themselves during the auditions for Qatar Foundation’s Stars of Science moving on to compete to become this season’s Top Arab Innovator.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: https://www.multivu.com/players/uk/8787151-stars-of-science-top-eight-innovators/

“Selecting this crop of contestants was not easy, as they had to prove that both their ideas and their pitching skills stood apart from the best that Arab youth has to offer,” said Professor Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, Stars of Science jury member. “This season’s contestants come from a wide variety of disciplines, showcasing an incredibly diverse pool of ideas.”

Mohammad Almogahwi, a Kuwaiti periodontist, joined with his Automated Hands-Free Toothbrush, which includes a U-shaped mouthpiece designed for effective teeth brushing, especially for people with special needs. Sarah Aboerjaib, a fellow Kuwaiti engineer, earned her place with the Fractured Bone Optical Scanner; a handheld device that uses near-infrared rays

Read More

Why Some Stars Never Form Planets

The planetary paradigm has shifted so quickly and so radically in the last quarter century that is easy to forget that only a few decades ago, one would be hard-pressed to find any professional astronomer who would stake their careers on the idea that most stars harbor planets. But although the overwhelming majority of stars may harbor some form of planet, not all stars are capable of forming planets.

During the first two decades of looking for planets that circle

Read More

Calgary rocket scientists shoot for the stars with new hybrid technology

Rocket launches can end up in an impressive liftoff or catastrophic explosion, but a research group at the University of Calgary is looking at developing a type of rocket engine that is safe no matter what the scenario.

A team of researchers at the University of Calgary are developing a hybrid engine for the rockets of the future.

“There’s actually a lot of aerospace research at the University of Calgary that’s maybe not so well known, but we’ve been doing rocket research for the last few years and have a lot to show for it,” said Craig Johansen, associate professor in the department of mechanical and manufacturing engineering at the U of C.

  • Watch a test of the hybrid engine to find out how it works in the video above.

Johansen is also the SSE research chair in aerospace engineering.

He is part of a research team, in a project

Read More

Pair of massive baby stars swaddled in salty water vapor

Pair of massive baby stars swaddled in salty water vapor
ALMA composite image of a binary massive protostar IRAS 16547-4247. Different colors show the different distributions of dust particles (yellow), methyl cyanide (CH3CN, red), salt (NaCl, green), and hot water vapor (H2O, blue). Bottom insets are the close-up views of each components. Dust and methyl cyanide are distributed widely around the binary, whereas salt and water vapor are concentrated in the disk around each protostar. In the wide-field image, the jets from one of the protostars, seen as several dots in the above image, are shown in light blue. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Tanaka et al.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers spotted a pair of massive baby stars growing in salty cosmic soup. Each star is shrouded by a gaseous disk which includes molecules of sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt, and heated water vapor. Analyzing the radio emissions from the salt and water, the team found

Read More