Magnetic Field Feeds a Supermassive Black Hole

For the first time ever, astronomers have observed a magnetic field surrounding and feeding a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. The researchers' observations might shed light on the relationship between black holes and magnetic fields and why some black holes are more active and “hungry” than others. Whereas some supermassive black holes eat everything around them and shoot out high-speed jets, others lie quietly at the center of galaxies, sometimes even dormant. The te

How do Elephants Eat With Their Trunks?

As the largest land mammal on the planet, elephants eat a lot of food. On average, the giants consume more than 440 pounds of vegetation per day, or the equivalent of about two corncobs per minute. And now, scientists have figured out how the beasts are able to eat so much so fast. Elephants make joints with their trunks to press down on and scoop up food. Researchers say the discovery could even help engineers build better robots. Elephants are massive, so they need a lot of sustenance.

Ancient Stories Could Be More Fact Than Fiction

Nothing stirred in the relentless midday heat. The gum trees appeared exhausted, nearly drained of life. The hunters crouched in the foliage, their long, sharp spears poised to unleash at a moment’s notice. The giant birds that were the objects of their attention strode slowly, elegantly, unsuspecting. Most of these creatures were about 7 feet tall. The meat from even one animal offered the tribe sustenance for an extended period of time—but the hunters knew that this reward could come at a

How to Keep Your Tesla From Getting Stolen

Earlier this week, a Tesla owner in Essex, Great Britain, posted security camera footage of his Model S getting stolen by a pair of thieves who were able to unlock and start the car with a smartphone and a tablet. By hijacking the owner’s key fob, they were able to get in, turn on the car, disable remote tracking, and…

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Life Might Struggle to Evolve Around the Most Common Stars in the Universe

Red dwarfs are small, slowly burning stars that can live for trillions of years before they run out of fuel. And thanks to their generous lifespans, the planets around them (at least those close enough to stay warm) are often considered prime locations for the development of life. However, new research set for publication in The Astrophysical Journal found that red dwarfs tend to be pretty abusive hosts, at least when they’re young. According to the study, infant red dwarfs emit some of

A New Way to Spot Black Holes in Binary Star Systems

Black holes are fascinating and cosmically important objects, but because light cannot escape them, they must instead be detected indirectly, such as through their gravitational effects. Discovering black holes this way can be challenging, but researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in the Canary Islands have just announced a new detection method that might allow astronomers to triple the number of known black holes with masses a few times that of the Sun. The ne

How Ecologists Are Using Music to Encourage Invasive Birds’ Appetite for Endangered Plants

(Inside Science) — Ecologists call them the living dead: trees that stand across the tropics and beyond, in the midst of transformed landscapes where they can no longer reproduce. They may appear healthy for centuries, but eventually they will fall -- and then their lineage will vanish. One reason for their dire fate: The animals some such trees rely on to disperse their seeds are making fewer and fewer visits. Sean MacDonald is working to call them back -- if not the original seed disper

Wreck Someone’s Day With a Simple ‘Nice to Meet You’

We all want to be memorable or, if not memorable, at least not completely forgettable. This is why, when directed at someone you’ve already met, a simple, cheery “Nice to meet you!” or “Hi, I’m Claire!”(use your own name) can be devastating (or at least kind of a bummer).

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Why You Should Encourage Girls to Play Video Games

Your kid might be too young to be seriously considering a career in STEM, but that doesn’t mean they’re too young to cultivate an interest. If you’re raising a girl, new research suggests that one of the easiest ways to do that is to simply let her be a kid—and play video games.

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How to Bypass Mega’s Daily Download Limits

The file-storing service Mega usually cuts free users off once they’ve downloaded around 5GB or so, forcing you to wait hours before you can resume whatever it is you were transferring. It feels like Mega is more generous nowadays (I downloaded 18.75GB of data the other day before I hit the wall), but it still has some…

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