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Hot-Saturn Exoplanet Discovered by TESS, Characterized Using Asteroseismology
Astronomers using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have discovered a massive gaseous exoplanet orbiting a subgiant star called HD 221416 (also known as TOI-197 and HIP 116158). Named HD 221416b, it is the first transiting exoplanet identified by TESS for which asteroseismology — a powerful observational technique used to determine stellar parameters and properties —…
Saturn’s Rings Coat Its Small Inner Moons, Cassini Researchers Say
Saturn’s main ring system is associated with a set of moons (Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora, and Epimetheus) that are either embedded within it, or interact with the rings to alter their shape and composition. The closest-ever flybys by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft revealed that the surfaces of these tiny moons are covered with material from the planet’s rings — and from icy particles blasting…
Archaeologists May Have Found Long-Lost Monastery of Princess Aebbe
A team of professional and amateur archaeologists believe they may have discovered the monastery of Aebbe (615-683 CE), a powerful Anglo-Saxon woman who helped shape British history. Coldingham Priory. Image credit: DigVentures / Aerial Cam. Born a pagan princess, Aebbe (Æbbe of Coldingham) was the daughter of King Ethelfrith of Bernicia and Acha of Deira. Bernicia and Deira were Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in…
Paleontologists Discover 518 Million-Year-Old Fossil Site in China
Animal life exploded in diversity and form during the Cambrian period about 500 million years ago. An international team of paleontologists has discovered an early Cambrian fossil site in China — the Qingjiang biota — that contains a variety of specimens, more than half of which are previously undescribed. The 518 million-year-old fossil site rivals previously described Cambrian sites,…
Cream-Eyed Bulbul: New Species of Bird Discovered
An international team of ornithologists led by Louisiana State University researchers has discovered a cryptic new species of bulbul in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. The cream-eyed bulbul (Pycnonotus pseudosimplex) in Lambir Hills National Park, Miri Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. Image credit: John C. Mittermeier / Shakya et al, doi: 10.25226/bboc.v139i1.2019.a3. An uniformly olive-brown…
CERN Physicists Discover New Pentaquark Particle
Physicists from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) Collaboration announced this week the discovery of a new pentaquark particle, Pc(4312)+, decaying to a proton and a J/ψ meson, a particle composed of a charm quark and a charm antiquark. Illustration of the possible layout of the quarks in a pentaquark particle such as those discovered by the LHCb Collaboration; the five quarks might be…
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages May Be Associated with Increased Risk of Mortality
Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks) was associated with an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular diseases and, to a lesser extent, cancers, according to a new study. Substituting one sugary drink a day with an artificially sweetened drink was associated with a slightly lower risk of mortality,…
Hepatitis B DNA Helps Trace History and Movement of First Australians
It’s widely accepted that continental Sahul, the combined landmass of Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania, was settled very early in human history. But the exact entry point and timing of ancient human migration into Sahul, which was eventually split by rising sea levels, is a question that has plagued paleoanthropologists. That is until now. And unexpectedly it’s a virus called hepatitis B providing…
Geologists Offer New Theory about Earth’s Thermal Evolution
A new theory on the thermal evolution of Earth explains why the planet’s upper mantle was cool enough to produce diamonds in the Archean Eon between 4 billion and 2.5 billion years ago, rather than turning into lumps of common graphite. After studying thousands of rocks samples dating at least 2.5 billion years old, Kamber & Tomlinson determined the Earth’s upper mantle was much cooler than…
Study Finds Link between Air Pollution and Adolescent Psychotic Experiences
A new study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, provides a potential explanation for why growing up in urban settings is a risk factor for psychosis. In this study, air pollution exposure was associated with increased odds of psychotic experiences in adolescence, which partly explained the association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences. Image credit: Johannes Plenio. Psychotic…
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