Author Archives: Jesse Emspak

Closest Supermassive Black Hole Tests Einstein’s Relativity

New observations of stars orbiting the Milky Way’s central giant black hole confirm Einstein’s theory yet again

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No Endor in Sight: Habitable Exomoons May Be Rare

The possible discovery of a giant extrasolar moon suggests our own may be an anomaly

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Super-Earths May Explain Curious Gaps in Planet-Forming Disks

New study suggests the middleweight worlds can create delicate ring-like features around other stars

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World’s Most Powerful Particle Collider Taps AI to Expose Hack Attacks

Machine learning is crucial to staying ahead of hackers trying to break into at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) massive worldwide computing grid

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Quirky Quarks Could Reveal Details of the Big Bang

Scientists flag unexpected behavior by “charm” quarks produced at Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Detection of Ghostly Particles Could Unmask Illicit Nuclear Weapons

Weapons-grade fuel in a nuclear reactor emits a steady rate of telltale antineutrinos that could be detected by a newly designed portable device

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Dawn Spies More Signs of Ice-Spewing Volcanoes on Ceres

Geologically young deposits in a crater on the dwarf planet’s surface were formed by brine erupting from below

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Physicists Catch Antimatter and Matter Misbehaving

Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider reveal subtle distinctions in how matter and antimatter decay

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Midsize Black Hole Found Hiding in Globular Cluster

The discovery brings the number of known "intermediate-mass" black holes to about a dozen

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Traces of Oxygen on the Moon Come from Earth’s Plants

Earth’s biosphere has bathed the lunar surface for billions of years

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Pluto’s Moon Charon Had Its Own, Icy Plate Tectonics

Surface cracks look like seafloor-spreading zones or rift valleys on Earth

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How a Machine Learns Prejudice

Artificial intelligence picks up bias from human creators—not from hard, cold logic

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Physicists Twist Light, Send ‘Hello World’ Message Between Islands

It may be possible to "twist" light waves, cram in more information than ever before, and send the signal over a practical distance

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NASA Probe Snaps Stunning New Images of Dwarf Planet Ceres

Scientists think bright spots may be briny material bubbling up into a crater 

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Are the Nobel Prizes Missing Female Scientists?

The prize is biased toward men of European descent, and European and American researchers in general, a bias that is part of a larger problem of excluding women and minorities for consideration

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Was There Ever Life on Mars?

Harsh radiation, thin air, and frigid temperatures on the Red Planet likely forced any extant microbes into subterranean refuges long ago

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Fortifying Spirits: When a (Glass of) Punch is Good for the Kidneys

Alcohol intake boosts the risk of liver, breast and colon cancers—but seems to reduce it for kidney cancer

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Computers Can Sense Sarcasm? Yeah, Right

But they may soon. Researchers have written a program that detects smart-asses on social media and the Web

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Early Earth’s Atmosphere Was Surprisingly Thin

Bubbles in 2.7-billion-year-old lava fields suggest Earth’s ancient air was half as thick as today’s

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How Ceramics Could Prevent Nuclear Disaster

Pottery Wikimedia Commons, Courtesy ZSM For more than 50 years, engineers have built the rods that hold nuclear fuel the same way, out of zirconium-based metal alloys. They maintain structural integrity at high temperatures and allow uranium neut… Continue reading

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