Scientists Confirm There’s a Monster Black Hole in the Heart of our Galaxy

Scientists have finally confirmed that the massive object at the heart of our galaxy is, in fact, a supermassive black hole. Researchers used the European Southern Observatory’s sensitive GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to observe infrared radiation flares coming from the accretion disc around Sagittarius A* — the massive object at the center of our galaxy. Scientists think that most galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their center, but they'd never before had

Growing up Neanderthal: Lead Exposure, Extremely Cold Conditions

Childhood wasn’t easy for Neanderthals.  A new study of Neanderthal teeth published in Science Advances this week tells us new details about what life might have been like for early hominin children in a rapidly changing environment. It's an unprecedented look into how our ancient cousins coped with harsh climate conditions and seasonal changes in resource availability. Also among the findings was an unexpected discovery: the oldest documented exposure to lead among hominins. "T

Trojan Bound: NASA Gives Lucy Spacecraft the Green Light

From Ryugu to Bennu, asteroid exploration has been all the rage among astronomers lately. And now, we’re one step closer to exploring some of the most mysterious asteroids in the solar system. On October 30, NASA announced that they’ve been given the green light to start building Lucy, a spacecraft that will probe Jupiter’s trojan asteroids and is set to launch in October of 2021. On top of giving the go-ahead for construction, NASA has also solidified the mission’s budget, schedule and i

Astronauts spy coffin-shaped object bigger than Manhattan slouching toward a “graveyard” north of Antarctica

Seriously, this gargantuan coffin-like object really was photographed by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station on September 23, 2018. If you guessed that it is an iceberg, you are right. Known rather unimaginatively as B-15T, the spooky, Brobdingnagian berg is seen here adrift in the South Atlantic Ocean between South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. NASA's Earth Observatory published the photograph today as its image of the day. And the day is, of course, H

The Most Common Voting Scams—and How to Get Around Them

Voter suppression tactics are as old as the United States itself. Limited enfranchisement, poll taxes, gerrymandering and, more recently, voter ID restrictions and targeted polling site closures have all been used throughout our country’s history to deny the vote to targeted populations.

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Kitchen Tools You May Not Realize You Need for Thanksgiving

If you have hosted many Thanksgiving dinners at your lovely home, chances are you have all the pots, pans, and tools you need to cook up a turkey along with an impressive array of sides and pies. But if this is your first year, you are most likely not prepared, because a Thanksgiving dinner requires kitchen items you…

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Electrical Stimulation of Spinal Cord Lets Paralyzed Patients Walk and Ride Bikes

A spinal cord injury used to mean life bound to a wheelchair. Now, three spinal cord injury patients are able to walk and even ride a modified bicycle, new research shows. The trio got on their feet again thanks to well-timed and precise electrical stimulation in the spinal cord combined with rehabilitation. The results are just the beginning of improving recovery after spinal cord injury, the researchers say. “When I could let go of the bar on the treadmill ... walking hands-free really

How A Catastrophic Cosmic Collision Changed the Milky Way Forever

Our galaxy, perhaps like many in the universe, is a bit of a Frankenstein's monster. A new study makes a compelling case that a central structure in the Milky Way is actually composed mostly of stars born in another galaxy, brought to us by a long-ago galactic smash-up. 10 billion years ago, our own galaxy collided with a smaller dwarf galaxy in a crash so intense that it ripped the smaller body apart and forever changed the structure of the Milky Way. Blended Family The Milky Way has a

Lost Research Notes Clear Up Racial Bias Debate in Old Skull Size Study

Samuel Morton collected and studied hundreds of human skulls in the early 19th century. By objectively measuring differences in brain size between people from various societies, Morton believed he had used science to prove that white people were intellectually superior to other races. Modern science has long since shown that brain size isn’t necessarily related to intelligence. Many researchers suspect brain size is instead tied to things like climate and body size, while intelligence ma

How Spotify Family Plan Subscribers Can Get a Free Google Home Mini

Spotify is sweetening its family plan subscription offer for the holidays. Starting tomorrow, November 1, family plan account holders in the U.S. can get a free Google Home Mini smart speaker for their listening (and voice-searching) pleasure. The offer, which runs from Thursday through the end of the year, is the…

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