Cloudy Mystery Bursts From Milkyway Center
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jan 15, 2013 – It’s the mystery of the curiously dense cloud. And astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are on the case. Near the crowded galactic center, where billowing clouds of gas and dust cloak a supermassive black hole three million times as massive as the sun-a black hole whose gravity is strong enough to grip stars that are whipping around it at thousands of kilometers per se … more

Young stars sculpt gas with powerful outflowsA rock is a clock: Physicist uses matter to tell time
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jan 15, 2013 – Ever since he was a kid growing up in Germany, Holger Muller has been asking himself a fundamental question: What is time? That question has now led Muller, an associate professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, to a fundamentally new way of measuring time. Taking advantage of the fact that, in nature, matter can be both a particle and a wave, he has discovered a way … more

White House uses humor to kill ‘Death Star’ petition
Washington (AFP) Jan 12, 2013 – With the US national debt standing at more than $16 trillion, the White House says it absolutely cannot spend $850 quadrillion on a “Star Wars”-inspired “Death Star” super-weapon. Sensing a chance to show off its lighter side, the Obama administration paid tribute to legions of “Star Wars” fans with its playful rejection of the “Death Star” proposal submitted on its “We the People” petitions … more

Study reveals ordinary glass’s extraordinary properties
Chicago IL (SPX) Jan 11, 2013 – Technologically valuable ultrastable glasses can be produced in days or hours with properties corresponding to those that have been aged for thousands of years, computational and laboratory studies have confirmed. Aging makes for higher quality glassy materials because they have slowly evolved toward a more stable molecular condition. This evolution can take thousands or millions of years, … more

Animals flourished among lush plants during the Jurassic
Dallas TX (SPX) Jan 14, 2013 – In modern ecosystems, it’s widely known that animals flourish in regions where the climate and landscape produce lush vegetation. A new study set out to discover whether that same relationship held true 150 million years ago during the Late Jurassic when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. “The assumption has been that ancient ecosystems worked just like our modern ecosystems,” said paleontologist … more