Microquasar found in neighbor galaxy, tantalizing scientists
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 17, 2012 – For the first time, astronomers have found a microquasar – a black hole devouring material from a companion star – in a galaxy beyond our own Milky Way. The object, pumping out X-rays and bright bursts of radio waves, was found in the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light-years from Earth. The discovery, scientists say, gives hope that more such objects may be found in nearby galaxies, providing t … more

Study Reveals a Remarkable Symmetry in Black Hole Jets
Greenbelt, MD (SPX) Dec 17, 2012 – Black holes range from modest objects formed when individual stars end their lives to behemoths billions of times more massive that rule the centers of galaxies. A new study using data from NASA’s Swift satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope shows that high-speed jets launched from active black holes possess fundamental similarities regardless of mass, age or environment. The result provi … more

Meteor shower dazzles in night sky
Washington (UPI) Dec 14, 2012 – Clear skies and lack of moonlight created perfect viewing conditions for a meteor shower some observers in the U.S. Northeast called the best they’d ever seen. The annual Geminid meteor shower provided a celestial spectacle Thursday night through early Friday morning, The Washington Post reported. Tweets by observers in the Washington area spoke of an “amazing” sight. “Jus … more

Research: Tiny robots may think as a group
Boulder, Colo. (UPI) Dec 14, 2012 – A U.S. researcher says a swarm of tiny robots could be a better solution to accomplishing tasks than one big one and has made “ping-pong” ball-sized examples. University of Colorado at Boulder computer scientist Nikolaus Correll and his research team have developed a basic robotic “building block” which they hope to reproduce in large quantities to develop increasingly complex systems, … more

12 Matter Particles Suffice in Nature
Karlsruhe, Germany (SPX) Dec 14, 2012 – How many matter particles exist in nature? Particle physicists have been dealing with this question for a long time. The 12 matter particles contained in the standard model of particle physics? Or are there further particles with too high a mass to be produced by the experiments performed so far? These questions are now answered by researchers of KIT, CERN, and Humboldt University in the c … more