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Courtesy Public domain via WikipediaAstronomers in Puerto Rico have now confirmed those mysterious and brief sound bursts first picked up by the Parkes radio telescope in 2012 as extragalactic, i. e. originating somewhere outside our galaxy, possibly as far as 9 billion light-years away.
The Arecibo radio telescope - located in the karst hills of Puerto Rico - has detected the same "fast radio bursts" (FRBs) coming from somewhere beyond the Milky Way. The FRBs, also known as "Lorimer bursts" are extremely short in duration occurring about every 10 seconds. The exact source of these FRBs is still up in the air - so to speak - but the new study indicates that at least they aren't coming from anywhere on Earth.
"Our result is important because it eliminates any doubt that these radio bursts are truly of cosmic origin,” said research team member, Victoria Kaspi, an astrophysics professor at McGill University in Montreal. "The radio waves show every sign of having come from far outside our galaxy – a really exciting prospect."
But what the space noises are exactly remains a mystery. Speculation includes all sorts of strange goings-on including evaporating black holes, a neutron star cannibalizing another neutron star, or magnetic pulses from magnetars, bizarre neutrons stars possessing super-powerful magnetic fields.
The study's co-author, James Cordes, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University posits that they could be "bursts much brighter than the giant pulses seen from some pulsars".
The study appeared in the July 10 issue of The Astrophsyical Journal.
Ever wonder why when someone yawns it often triggers yawning in others? Here's some reasons why:
Courtesy Crossville NewsHealth departments this spring have been reported outbreaks of dozens of salmonella cases. But they're not tied to tainted food. The cases are occurring in people who kiss or cuddle with their backyard chickens. So keep your lips off the chickens, okay?
If your buzz from Valentine's Day hasn't worn off just yet, here's news that will do just that. The folks at MinuteEarth this week look at how rare monogamy actually is among the sexes of Earth's species.
Courtesy David BesaJust in time for Valentine's Day, a new book outlines the aphrodisiac properties of different fruits and vegetables. Author Helen Yoest shares insights from her book Plants with Benefits in this interview. After reading this, head to the nearest produce section and select just the right ingredients to make a memorable Valentine's Day.
The Heritage Crew did an interview with the Sheffield Site research associates. Check it out!
Courtesy Mark RyanIn 2010, paleontologist Philip Currie came across a very unusual fossil in the barren badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada: a baby Chasmosaurus belli, a ceratopsian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Only the edge of the frill on back of the skull was visible when Currie first came upon it, but eventually he dug out a nearly complete, articulated specimen. The only bones missing were the dinosaur's front legs.
Currie is professor of Dinosaur Paleobiology at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, and now, after three long years of lab preparation, he and his staff are proudly showing off their prize dinosaur and getting it ready to put on display at the U of A Museums’ Galleries starting February 6th. "Baby" as the dinosaur is affectionately called, is the most complete baby ceratopsian dinosaur in the world.
Courtesy Andrew ScottYou'd think by now - after centuries of studying it - that we'd know everything there is to know about the human body. But this week surgeons at University Hospital Leuven in Belgium announced the discovery of a new ligament in the knee. Called the anterolateral ligament (ALL) the newly discovered body part attaches between the lower end of the femur and the head of the tibia, reinforcing the connection between the two bones. The unknown ligament came to light as the doctors investigated the causes of difficulties patients suffered during rehabilitation from ACL tears, a common injury among some athletes.
Interestingly, it was a paper written by a French surgeon in the 19th century that led the doctors to the ligament. The author of an 1879 paper postulated the ALL's existence but it took until now for it to be actually located. The two doctors who discovered it say the ligament exists in about 97 percent of all patients.
Courtesy Jon BodsworthWe've documented the travails leading to the demise of young King Tut many times here on Science Buzz. But headlines today just add more fuel to the King Tut woe fire (so to speak). Tests done on a small fragment of Tut's mummy that is held in Great Britain show that his mummy caught fire. And that fire, researchers believe, occurred after Tut was mummified and entombed in his sarcophagus through spontaneous combustion from the mixture of embalming oils, wrapping fabric and oxygen. A virtual autopsy done as part of this research also concludes that Tut died from being run over by a chariot. All in all, not a very good day of news for young King Tut.
The above title is the opening verse from the song "As Time Goes By" heard in the classic film "Casablanca", and serves nicely as an explanation of psychologist and memory manipulation expert Elizabeth Loftus's work in memory, and specifically the ability to alter or plant false memories. As she explains in this recent TEDTalk, her investigations into the field of how, why, and what we remember have not only led to some very interesting insights, but also threats, and even lawsuits.