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One of The Brightest Stars in Our Sky Is Spinning Nearly Fast Enough to Destroy Itself

For the first time, astronomers have observed a fast-rotating star emitting polarised light, a phenomenon that was first predicted over 50 years ago but has eluded our instruments until now. And based on these findings, they have finally confirmed the crazy spinning rate of Regulus – one of the brightest stars we can see from our planet. To understand what the big deal here is, we need to backtrack just a little bit to understand what polarised light is. Normally, light waves travel in whatever direction they please, hitting and bouncing off objects all around us (which is why we …

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Physicists Just Cracked The Problem of Stabilising a Totally New Kind of Particle

Scientists have discovered the existence of a type of particle that’s never previously been observed, which demonstrates unprecedented chemical stability for its kind. It’s big news for chemists and physicists – but the achievement isn’t just exciting for theoretical scientists, because, if researchers can figure out how to make it in the lab, it could also enable new kinds of consumer products, such as aluminium-ion batteries. The new discovery is the modelling of what’s called a tri-anion particle, so-called because they contain three more electrons than protons. While these have been found before, they’ve always been atomically unstable in the …

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ScienceAlert Deal: Start Exploring The Stars With This Awesome Telescope

The Universe is a pretty spectacular place, and all you have to do is look up. But if you haven’t got your own telescope, you can sometimes miss out on seeing a meteor up close, or getting the most out of rare occultations. But no one wants to fork out hundreds of dollars on your first telescope. That’s why our ScienceAlert Academy deal of this week is an Outdoor Monocular Telescope with Portable Tripod. For US$58.99, you’ll get 90 times magnification, with perfect image quality. Plus the telescope itself comes with an easy to set up portable tripod for movability.   …

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BREAKING: Light Has Been Stored as Sound For The First Time

For the first time ever, scientists have stored light-based information as sound waves on a computer chip – something the researchers compare to capturing lightning as thunder. While that might sound a little strange, this conversion is critical if we ever want to shift from our current, inefficient electronic computers, to light-based computers that move data at the speed of light. Light-based or photonic computers have the potential to run at least 20 times faster than your laptop, not to mention the fact that they won’t produce heat or suck up energy like existing devices. This is because they, in …

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Watch This Electric Eel Zap a Biologist in The Name of Science

Benjamin Franklin may or may not have flown a kite through lightning. But British scientist Michael Faraday, a 19th-century pioneer in electromagnetism, definitely grabbed an electric eel. He wrote in awe of animals that gave the “same concussion to the living system as the electrical machine, the voltaic battery and the thunderstorm”. Faraday decided he had to hold one of these wriggling thunderclouds. When he gripped the fish near its head in one hand and its tail in the other, “the shock of this animal was very powerful,” he wrote in 1838 in Philosophical Transactions. The animals continue to electrify …

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Astronomers Have Discovered a Bizarre Inferno World With Titanium Oxide Skies

The hunt for exoplanets has turned up many fascinating case studies. For example, surveys have turned up many “Hot Jupiters”, gas giants that are similar in size to Jupiter but orbit very close to their suns. This particular type of exoplanet has been a source of interest to astronomers, mainly because their existence challenges conventional thinking about where gas giants can exist in a star system. Hence why an international team led by researchers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) used the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to get a better look at WASP-19b, a Hot Jupiter located 815 light-years from …

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Amazon is turning its new TV show Lore into an immersive haunted house

Recent projects like Westworld: The Experience have merged film and television with the world of in-person, immersive experiences, and now Amazon is embracing the concept with an interactive haunted house based on its upcoming new show Lore. Lore: A Haunting Experience will run from October through November in Los Angeles, and will take groups of eight visitors on an hour-long journey inspired by tales of folklore and scenes from the series. The television show Lore is scheduled for release on Friday, October 13th, and is based upon Aaron Mahnke’s popular podcast of the same name. The podcast focus on real-life …

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What sank the USS San Diego back in 1918 ?

Was the ship attacked or did something else happen ? Image Credit: US Navy Scientists have been working to solve one of the most enduring maritime mysteries of the modern age. On July 19, 1918, the USS San Diego had been heading towards New York and was only a few miles offshore when it was suddenly hit by a huge explosion on its port side. The damage was extensive and the ship went down within a mere 30 minutes. Four crew members were killed by the explosion itself and a further two drowned, however remarkably the vast majority of the …

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Third-Hand Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Can Still Damage Your Organs

Links between disease and tobacco have been clear for half a century now, while the harmful effects of second-hand ‘passive‘ smoking have been studied since the mid-1980s. Now we have reason to suspect that the residue left behind by the aerosols from cigarettes on clothing and furniture can continue to affect our health, making third-hand smoke a health risk we need to start paying attention to. You don’t need us to tell you smoking isn’t exactly the healthy hobby once claimed by tobacco companies (and the occasional unscrupulous physician). With as many as one in five deaths in the US …

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Media Archaeology Lab

The Media Archaeology Lab couldn’t have picked a better motto: “The past must be lived so that the present can be seen.” MAL is a digital media research lab that also keeps solid footing in the past by experimenting with, let’s say, less than cutting-edge tech. The lab uses fully functional vintage technology to answer questions about what the future of media might look like. Located at the University of Colorado at Boulder, MAL preserves and maintains all kinds of historically relevant media and technology, from a replica Apple I to the Commodore 64 to the Osborne 1, the world’s …

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