giant-molecular-cloud-lgDEEP IMPACT
CU study provides new evidence ancient asteroid caused global firestorm on Earth
Boulder CO (SPX) Mar 29, 2013 – A new look at conditions after a Manhattan-sized asteroid slammed into a region of Mexico in the dinosaur days indicates the event could have triggered a global firestorm that would have burned every twig, bush and tree on Earth and led to the extinction of 80 percent of all Earth’s species, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. Led by Douglas Robertson of the Cooperative Instit … more

Hunting high-mass stars with Herschel
Paris (ESA) Mar 29, 2013 – In this new view of a vast star-forming cloud called W3, ESA’s Herschel space observatory tells the story of how massive stars are born. W3 is a giant molecular cloud containing an enormous stellar nursery, some 6200 light-years away in the Perseus Arm, one of our Milky Way Galaxy’s main spiral arms. Spanning almost 200 light-years, W3 is one of the largest star-formation complexes in the … more

CO2 could produce valuable chemical cheaply
Providence RI (SPX) Mar 29, 2013 – A key advance, newly reported by chemists from Brown and Yale Universities, could lead to a cheaper and more sustainable way to make acrylate, an important commodity chemical used to make materials from polyester fabrics to diapers. Chemical companies churn out billions of tons of acrylate each year, usually by heating propylene, a compound derived from crude oil. “What we’re interested in … more

Small swarm of robots could do tasks
Sheffield, England (UPI) Mar 29, 2013 – Swarms of robots acting together to carry out jobs could provide new opportunities for humans to harness the power of machines, British researchers say. Scientists at the Sheffield Center for Robotics say the ability to control swarms of small robots could prove hugely beneficial in a number of fields from military to medical. Researchers at the center have been working to progr … more

Astronomers discover new kind of supernova
Pasadena CA (SPX) Mar 28, 2013 – Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties. But a team of astronomers including Carnegie’s Wendy Freedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson is reporting the discovery of a new type of supernova called Type Iax. This research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and is available online. Previously, supernovae were divided into either core-collapse … more