Gamma-ray bursts occur when a dying star’s magnetic field is scrambled

Astronomers announced earlier this month that they recorded the largest explosion in the universe and a new study has identified driving factors behind it and other gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). A team led by the University of Bath found the magnetic field of these giant explosions becomes scrambled after the ejected material from the dying star crashes into, and shocks, the stellar debris. This was determined after scientists captured light emitted just 90 seconds after GRB 141220A occurred in 2014, which is the earliest detection on record. ‘This new study builds…

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New fossils of giant rhinos — the largest land mammals ever — are found in China – NBC News

Fossils from two giant rhinos dating back about 22 million years have been unearthed in China, according to a study published Thursday. They are among the latest relics of the gigantic animal, which was discovered amid great fanfare early last century. Much larger than modern rhinos, giant rhinos often stood more than 20 feet tall at the shoulder and weighed more than 20 tons, making them bigger than mammoths and the largest land mammal that ever lived. The new fossils were found in May 2015 in the Linxia region of…

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Researchers cool a 40 kg object to near its quantum ground state – Ars Technica

Enlarge / One of the 40 kg mirrors that has approached its quantum ground state. Matt Heintze/Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab reader comments 15 with 14 posters participating Share this story Objects that obey the rules of quantum mechanics behave very differently from those in the familiar world around us. That difference leads to an obvious question: is it possible to get an everyday item to start behaving like a quantum object? But seeing quantum behavior requires limiting an object’s interactions with its environment, which becomes increasingly difficult as objects get larger. Still,…

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Wild vulture had its right leg amputated – experts created a prosthetic to help it fly and hunt

Bionic bird! A wild vulture had its right leg amputated after a terrible accident and experts created a prosthetic using a metal anchor to help it fly and hunt A metal implant has gone into a bearded vulture, the world’s first ‘bionic bird’ Mia, a bearded vulture, suffered a major injury while still a nestling Her ankle became entangled with the sheep’s wool fibers that her parents used to build the nest and her toes started to die  Eventually, the foot was amputated and her right leg ended in a…

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More than HALF of Earth’s rivers and streams stop flowing periodically, study finds 

More than half of Earth’s rivers and streams stop flowing periodically or run dry for part of the year, according to a new study. They can be found in all climates and continents, researchers said, and range from Himalayan snow-fed creeks and Saharan wadis to half-a-mile-wide rivers on the Indian sub-continent. Even the longest river in the world, the Nile, has parts that stop flowing from time to time. Scientists said climate change was partially to blame, along with the withdrawal of water for human and agricultural use.  Scroll down for…

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches Space Force military satellite with a REUSED booster for the first time

Elon Musk’s SpaceX used a recycled Falcon 9 booster to deliver a national security satellite to orbit for the first time Thursday. The 230-foot-tall rocket, topped with the GPS III SV05, ignited its nine Merlin engines at 12:10pm ET at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 40. ‘Go Falcon and go GPS,’ a host of the mission said during the livestream as the Falcon 9 took off with bright blue skies hanging above. ‘We are pretty excited to watch today’s landing because it marks the first mission supporting the…

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Applications to go to the moon with the European Space Agency close TOMORROW

Aspiring astronauts and ‘para-astronauts’ have just one day left to apply to join the European Space Agency astronaut group and potentially fly to space and the moon. The deadline to submit an application for ESA’s astronaut selection is 23:00 BST on Friday 18 June, giving applicants just one more day to apply.  ESA opened applications for its astronaut and astronaut (with a physical disability) vacancies on March 31, the first time in more than a decade. Anyone living in an ESA member country, including the UK, that meets the minimum…

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What caused the ‘Great Dimming’ of giant star Betelgeuse? Finally, an answer – CNET

An artist’s impression of Betelgeuse surrounded by a plume of gas.  ESO/L. Calçada Before COVID-19 exploded and dominated global headlines, the possibility of nearby giant star Betelgeuse literally exploding captured plenty of attention of its own. Betelgeuse went through a historically sudden and drastic period of dimming over several months in late 2019 and early 2020, leading some to wonder if the gigantic star might be preparing to go supernova. Now, new research suggests it would be premature to write an obituary for the red supergiant. During the so-called Great Dimming…

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Computer glitch sends NASA Hubble Space Telescope into safe mode – CNET

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope during deployment in 1990. NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Lockheed The Hubble Space Telescope has spent over three decades bringing us glorious images and data from our universe. But the spacecraft is showing its age. The Hubble team is now troubleshooting a problem with the telescope’s payload computer — a piece of hardware built in the 1980s — that controls its science instruments. The computer issue cropped up on Sunday. “After analyzing the data, the Hubble operations team is investigating whether a degrading memory module led to the computer…

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Giant RHINO four times heavier than an elephant roamed China 26.5 million years ago 

A giant ancestor to the modern-day rhinoceros roamed China 26.5 million years ago, according to the team that found its remains. It was the ‘largest land mammal’ that ever lived, reaching 26ft long and 16ft tall, according to the team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing.  The colossal creature, named Paraceratherium linxiaense, weighed 24 tons and was four times heavier than an African elephant, the largest animal to walk the Earth today. The hornless herbivore roamed Asia 26.5 million years ago – browsing the forests for leaves, soft plants and shrubs…

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