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How Far, the Stars? Quasars Solve ‘Seven Sisters’ Star Cluster Mystery

Super-bright galaxies powered by black holes have helped astronomers come up with the most accurate distance yet to the iconic Pleiades star cluster. The measurement, which used quasars as bright and consistent relative-distance markers, charted the famous “Seven Sisters” star … Continue reading

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XCOR Aerospace’s Private Lynx Space Plane to Get New Texas Home

A private space plane born in California is about to get new Texas digs. XCOR Aerospace — the builder of the Lynx space plane — is renovating the main hangar for the spaceship designed to bring paying tourists into suborbital … Continue reading

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‘Jeopardy!’-Winning Computer Now Crunching Data for Science

Watch out, Sherlock, there’s a new Dr. Watson in town. IBM’s Watson, the computer that famously won the quiz show ‘Jeopardy!’, is now helping researchers make scientific discoveries. The artificially intelligent computer system is moving beyond answering known questions into … Continue reading

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Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone Began at a Funeral

An extensive look at the genome of the Ebola virus reveals its behavior, when it arrived in West Africa and how it spread in the region to cause the largest-ever recorded Ebola outbreak. Researchers sequenced 99 Ebola virus genomes from … Continue reading

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Cosmic Quest: Who Really Discovered Neptune?

Neptune will appear directly opposite the sun in the sky tomorrow (Aug. 29), but despite the potentially clear view of the planet from Earth, the truth about the person who first discovered the distant world remains cloudy. Neptune was supposedly … Continue reading

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MERS Virus Doesn’t Spread Easily in Households, Study Suggests

The deadly virus called Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, spreads among people within households at a lower rate than seasonal flu viruses, a new study suggests. The researchers tested the family members of 26 MERS patients, and found … Continue reading

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No Descendants Are Left from the First Eskimos

Ancient human DNA is shedding light on the peopling of the Arctic region of the Americas, revealing that the first people there did not leave any genetic descendants in the New World, unlike previously thought. The study’s researchers suggest the … Continue reading

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Is the Universe a 2D Hologram? Experiment Aims to Find Out

An ongoing experiment could reveal whether or not our full and fleshed-out 3D universe is an illusion, a 2D projection onto a cosmic screen beyond our perception or understanding. The Holometer project, which is based at the U.S. Department of … Continue reading

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Schrödinger’s Cat Comes into View with Strange Physics

By sending green, red and yellow laser beams down a path to detector, researchers have shed light on the famous physics idea known as the “Schrödinger’s cat” thought experiment. For physicists, Schrödinger’s cat involves picturing a cat, in a box, … Continue reading

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Quakes Keep Shaking Iceland’s Bardarbunga Volcano

Earthquakes are still rocking Iceland as lava pushes through a long underground fissure near the ice-covered Bardarbunga volcano. By 6:42 p.m. local time (2:42 p.m. EDT) today (Aug. 27), the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) had detected about 1,300 tremors in … Continue reading

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