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Madagascar Could Be on the Brink of Invasion by Asian Toad

If the amphibian gains a foothold in Madagascar, it could wreak havoc on the island nation's unique fauna.<p>The Asian toad looks poised to mount an invasion of Madagascar, potentially setting off an ecological disaster in a country known for its unique animal species.<p>About 92 percent of Madagascar's …

Mars volcano may have been site for life

Geological landforms spotted on the flanks of a giant Martian volcano suggest that lakes could have existed there just 210m years ago. In geological terms, this is the recent past. On Earth at that time, the earliest dinosaurs were evolving as part of the late Triassic period.<p>No one is suggesting …

False alarm of cosmic blast sends astronomers racing to telescopes

<i>UPDATE: A message posted “on behalf of the Swift-XRT team” on NASA’s Gamma-ray Coordinates Network (GCN) system at 8:57 a.m. BST on 28 May says that</i> …

Stunning Snapshot: Southern Star Cluster Helps Unlock Galactic Mysteries

Changing Planet<p>The star cluster NGC 3590 shines brightly in front of a dramatic landscape of dark patches of dust and richly hued clouds of glowing gas. Courtesy of ESO/G. Beccari<p><b>A colorful portrait of a distant star cluster offers space buffs some eye candy. But it’s also telling astronomers a lot</b> …

Failed dwarf galaxy survives galactic collision thanks to full dark-matter jacket

Like a bullet wrapped in a full metal jacket, a high-velocity hydrogen cloud hurtling toward the Milky Way appears to be encased in a shell of dark …

Top 10 New Species Announced

Scientists from the International Institute for Species Exploration at SUNY just announced the top 10 species discovered during the past year.<p>A committee of taxonomists and experts from around the globe selected the winners from among the approximately 18,000 new species named during the past year. …

Image of the Day

Milky Way and Cosmic Neighbors Sparkle Over La Silla<p>Credit: P. Horálek/ESO<p><b>Monday, August 20, 2018:</b> The colorful arc of the Milky Way curves over the …

Astronomy

Inside the Flame Nebula. The Flame Nebula stands out in this optical image of the dusty, crowded star forming regions toward Orion's belt, a mere 1,400 light-years away. X-ray data from the Chandra Observatory and infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope can take you inside the glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds though. The X-ray/infrared composite image overlay spans about 15 light-years across the Flame's center. The X-ray/infrared data also indicate that the youngest stars are concentrated near the middle of the cluster. That's the opposite of the simplest models of star formation for the stellar nursery. They predict star formation to begin first in the denser center and progressively move outward toward the edges leaving the older stars, not the younger ones, in the center of the Flame Nebula. (Image Credit & Copyright: Optical: DSS; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/ K.Getman, E.Feigelson, M.Kuhn & the MYStIX team) #interstellarhd

NGC 5189: An Unusually Complex Planetary Nebula. Why is this nebula so complex? When a star like our Sun is dying, it will cast off its outer layers, usually into a simple overall shape. Sometimes this shape is a sphere, sometimes a double lobe, and sometimes a ring or a helix. In the case of planetary nebula NGC 5189, however, no such simple structure has emerged. To help find out why, the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope recently observed NGC 5189 in great detail. Previous findings indicated the existence of multiple epochs of material outflow, including a recent one that created a bright but distorted torus running horizontally across image center. Results appear consistent with a hypothesis that the dying star is part of a binary star system with a precessing symmetry axis. Given this new data, though, research is sure to continue. NGC 5189 spans about three light years and lies about 3,000 light years away toward the southern constellation of the Fly (Musca). (Image Credit & Copyright: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)) #interstellarhd

The well-named Cat’s Paw Nebula (also known as NGC 6334) lies in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). Although it appears close to the centre of the Milky Way on the sky, it is relatively near to Earth, at a distance of about 5500 light-years. It is about 50 light-years across and is one of the most active star formation regions in our galaxy, containing massive, young brilliant blue stars, which have formed in the last few million years. It is host to possibly tens of thousands of stars in total, some of them visible and others still hidden in the clouds of gas and dust. ESO/R. Gendler & R.M. Hannahoe

M31 versus M33. Separated by about 14 degrees (28 Full Moons) in planet Earth's sky, spiral galaxies M31, left, and M33 are both large members of the Local Group, along with our own Milky Way galaxy. This wide-angle, telescopic mosaic captures colorful details of spiral structure in both, while the massive neighboring galaxies seem to be balanced either side of bright Mirach, beta star in the constellation Andromeda. But M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, is really 2.5 million light-years distant and M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, is also about 3 million light years away. Mirach, just 200 light-years from the Sun, lies well within the Milky Way, along with the dim clouds of dust drifting through the frame only a few hundred light-years above the galactic plane. Although they look far apart, M31 and M33 are locked in a mutual gravitational embrace. Radio astronomers have found indications of a bridge of neutral hydrogen gas that could connect the two, evidence of a closer encounter in the past. Based on measurements, gravitational simulations currently predict that the Milky Way, M31, and M33 will all undergo mutual close encounters and potentially mergers, billions of years in the future. (Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)) #interstellarhd

"Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself." - Desiderius Erasmus (Image Credit & Copyright: Adel Karimi) #interstellarhd

Star Factory Messier 17. Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years. The sharp, composite, color image utilizing data from space and ground based telescopes, follows faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17's stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the remaining interstellar material producing the cavernous appearance and undulating shapes. M17 is also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula. (Image Credit & Copyright: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, Color data: Wolfgang Promper, Processing: Robert Gendler) #interstellarhd

Why do you feel hot when you catch a cold?

When we catch a cold, why do we feel all hot and bothered? Does it help? Greg Foot explains.<p>Among the many symptoms of a cold, we often tend to feel hot and red-faced. It’s our body temperature rising a little to fight off the virus.<p>But why exactly does getting all hot and sweaty help kill a bug? …

Stephen Hawking’s new black hole theory

Our pick of the week from around the web, including event horizons reassessed, the drug revolution no-one can stop, and Stephen Fry on the Mac at 30.<p>The drug revolution nobody can stop<br>Mike Power | Matter | 29 January 2014<br>Designer drugs “concocted in labs by tweaking a few atoms here and there” are …

Stephen Hawking

Does CPR usually bring people around?

The number of lives saved by CPR isn't as many as films and TV dramas would have you believe. Why is this the case, and what is the best way to do it?<p>How many times do films or TV dramas feature someone kneeling over their collapsed friend, desperately pumping up and down on their chest, breathing …

Medicine

The best science and technology pictures of the week

The most stunning science and technology pictures of the week, including iced-up airliners and violent activity on the Sun.<p><b>More galleries</b><p>Dancing F-16s and a view of the Universe<p>A rocket’s slow crawl and a spectacular volcano<p>A lion's check up and a brain sculpture<p>Leaping whales and fierce …

The best science and technology pictures of the week

The most stunning images from the worlds of science and technology this week, including a leopard’s daring escape and a scene with two very different Londons.<p><b>More galleries</b><p>Iced-up airliners and a violent Sun<p>Dancing F-16s and a view of the Universe<p>A rocket’s slow crawl and a spectacular volcano<p>A …

Photos

Will we ever… travel in wormholes?

Leaping between galaxies through tunnels in space may sound crazy, but physicists have yet to rule it out. So how could this possibly work, asks Marcus Woo.<p>The universe is huge. Travelling at light speed to the nearest star would take more than four years. Venturing to the other side of the galaxy? …

May 21 video of parent comet for Friday night’s meteor shower

Comet 209P/LINEAR is small and dim. We won’t see it with the eye. But, Friday night, we might see its debris in the form of a strong, new meteor …

Astronomy

The Top 10 New Species Scientists Found In 2013

The list, assembled annually since 2008, is intended to draw attention to the fact that researchers continue to discover new species. Nearly 18,000 were identified in 2013, adding to the 2 million known to science.<p>Olinguito<i>(Bassaricyon neblina)</i><br>• Kaweesak's Dragon Tree<i>(Dracaena kaweesakii)</i><br>• ANDRILL …

Top 10

How Many Stars Are in the Milky Way?

The Milky Way is the galaxy in which the Earth resides. Part of it is visible on a clear night from Earth, as a thick band of stars stretching across …

Backlash to Big Bang discovery gathers steam

Physicists cast doubt on a researchers’ landmark claim to have detected gravity waves from the explosion<p>Michael D. Lemonick<p>May 22, 2014 12:15pm (UTC)<p>This article was originally published by Scientific American.<p>On March 17 Paul Steinhardt, a physicist at Princeton University, abandoned a theory he’d …

Fossils Found In Alps Suggest Deep Sea Played Key Role In Evolution Of Marine Life

Ancient fossils now reveal that the deep sea may be the origin of many lineages of sea creatures found closer to the surface, such as a number of sea stars, sea urchins and snails, researchers say.<p>These new findings suggest the deep sea has played a much greater role in producing and preserving …

Egypt unveils two massive restored pharaoh statues | CNN Travel