Monday, July 19, 2021

Is the Universe a Fractal?

We find examples of fractals everywhere in nature. Tree branches, snowflakes, river deltas, cloud formations, and more. So it’s natural to ask the ultimate question: is the entire universe one giant fractal? The answer is…no, but sorta yes.

Benoit Mandelbrot, who pretty much everyone agrees introduced the modern concept of fractals into the world (and even coined the term), was the first to wonder if our universe might be in the form of a fractal. At the time, astronomers had just begun constructing extensive deep-space catalogs of galaxies, and were just beginning to piece together the large-scale structure of the universe.

Since fractals are everywhere, maybe everywhere is a fractal. Maybe when you zoom out and see a particular pattern of galaxies, you can zoom out even further and find the same pattern repeated. And so on and so on, all the way to infinity.

Read more at Universe today

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

An Entire Swarm of Black Holes Has Been Caught Moving Through The Milky Way

 A fluffy cluster of stars spilling across the sky may have a secret hidden in its heart: a swarm of over 100 stellar-mass black holes.

If this finding can be validated, it will explain how the cluster came to be the way it is - with its stars spaced light-years apart, smearing out into a stellar stream stretching across 30,000 light-years.

The star cluster in question is called Palomar 5, located around 80,000 light-years away. Such globular clusters are often considered 'fossils' of the early Universe. They're very dense and spherical, typically containing roughly 100,000 to 1 million very old stars; some, like NGC 6397, are nearly as old as the Universe itself.

Read more at Science

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Astronomers have found a planet like Earth orbiting a star like the sun

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star’s habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface. Scientists confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet’s potential environments to help inform future observations.
TOI 700 d is one of only a few Earth-size planets discovered in a star's habitable zone so far. Others include several planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system and other worlds discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.
“TESS was designed and launched specifically to find Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars,” said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Planets around nearby stars are easiest to follow-up with larger telescopes in space and on Earth. Discovering TOI 700 d is a key science finding for TESS. Confirming the planet’s size and habitable zone status with Spitzer is another win for Spitzer as it approaches the end of science operations this January."

Monday, May 25, 2020

Earth’s magnetic field is mysteriously weakening, causing satellites and spacecraft to malfunction

Image by mcbeaner from Pixabay 
The Earth's magnetic field is weakening between Africa and South America, causing issues for satellites and space craft.
Scientists studying the phenomenon observed that an area known as the South Atlantic Anomaly has grown considerably in recent years, though the reason for it is not entirely clear.
Using data gathered by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Swarm constellation of satellites, researchers noted that the area of the anomaly dropped in strength by more than 8 per cent between 1970 and 2020.

"The new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously," said J├╝rgen Matzka, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences.
"We are very lucky to have the Swarm satellites in orbit to investigate the development of the South Atlantic Anomaly. The challenge now is to understand the processes in Earth's core driving theses changes."

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Enlisting Monoclonal Antibodies in the Fight Against COVID-19

Caption: Antibody Binding to SARS-CoV-2. Structural illustration of B38 antibody (cyan, green) attached to receptor-binding domain of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (magenta). B38 blocks SARS-CoV-2 from binding to the ACE2 receptor (light pink) of a human cell, ACE2 is what the virus uses to infect cells. Credit: Y. Wu et a. Science, 2020
We now know that the immune system of nearly everyone who recovers from COVID-19 produces antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes this easily transmitted respiratory disease [1]. The presence of such antibodies has spurred hope that people exposed to SARS-CoV-2 may be protected, at least for a time, from getting COVID-19 again. But, in this post, I want to examine another potential use of antibodies: their promise for being developed as therapeutics for people who are sick with COVID-19.
In a recent paper in the journal Science, researchers used blood drawn from a COVID-19 survivor to identify a pair of previously unknown antibodies that specifically block SARS-CoV-2 from attaching to human cells [2]. Because each antibody locks onto a slightly different place on SARS-CoV-2, the vision is to use these antibodies in combination to block the virus from entering cells, thereby curbing COVID-19’s destructive spread throughout the lungs and other parts of the body.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Black hole found 1,000 light years from Earth

Astronomers say they have discovered a black hole on our doorstep, just 1,000 light years from Earth.
It was found in a system called HR 6819, in the constellation Telescopium.
The system appears through a telescope as a single bright star, but telltale signs in the light emitted have previously revealed there to be two stars present.
Now experts say they have further analysed the data to discover there is another body within the system: a black hole with a mass over four times that of our sun, and the closest to Earth found so far.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Best Websites for Expanding Your Scientific Knowledge

PNAS publishes cutting-edge research reports, commentaries, reviews, perspectives, colloquium papers, and actions of the Academy that cover the biological, physical, and social sciences. 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, or “Triple A-S,” is an international, professional, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people. is an online portal for the advanced teaching of science and scientific research. They provide a virtual conference room, lecture hall, laboratory, library, and a meeting venue for the presentation and transfer of scientific knowledge. 

ScienceDaily is one of the most popular science news sites on the web and covers breaking scientific news and the latest scientific discoveries.

Science News is an award-winning, news magazine that publishes concise, accurate, timely articles about all areas of science and covers important and emerging scientific research


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