Science X Newsletter Week 07

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 07:

Astrophysicists re-imagine world map, designing a less distorted, 'radically different' way to see the world

How do you flatten a sphere?

First black hole ever detected is more massive than we thought

New observations of the first black hole ever detected have led astronomers to question what they know about the Universe's most mysterious objects.

Ancient relic points to a turning point in Earth's history 42,000 years ago

The temporary breakdown of Earth's magnetic field 42,000 years ago sparked major climate shifts that led to global environmental change and mass extinctions, a new international study co-led by UNSW Sydney and the South Australian Museum shows.

Strange creatures accidentally discovered beneath Antarctica's ice shelves

Far underneath the ice shelves of the Antarctic, there's more life than expected, finds a recent study in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Researchers observe stationary Hawking radiation in an analog black hole

Black holes are regions in space where gravity is very strong—so strong that nothing that enters them can escape, including light. Theoretical predictions suggest that there is a radius surrounding black holes known as the event horizon. Once something passes the event horizon, it can no longer escape a black hole, as gravity becomes stronger as it approaches its center.

Enormous ancient fish fossil discovered in search of pterodactyl remains

Fossilised remains of a fish that grew as big as a great white shark and the largest of its type ever found have been discovered by accident.

Researchers explore using light to levitate discs in the mesosphere

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has found that it is possible to levitate very thin discs in conditions that mimic the mesosphere using laser light. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their research involving a possible way to allow flight at very high altitudes and how well it worked.

Corn belt farmland has lost a third of its carbon-rich soil

More than one-third of the Corn Belt in the Midwest—nearly 100 million acres—has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research that indicates the U.S. Department of Agricultural has significantly underestimated the true magnitude of farmland erosion.

Quantum collaboration gives new gravity to the mysteries of the universe

Scientists have used cutting-edge research in quantum computation and quantum technology to pioneer a radical new approach to determining how our Universe works at its most fundamental level.

Supercomputer turns back cosmic clock

Astronomers have tested a method for reconstructing the state of the early universe by applying it to 4000 simulated universes using the ATERUI II supercomputer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). They found that together with new observations, the method can set better constraints on inflation, one of the most enigmatic events in the history of the universe. The method can shorten the observation time required to distinguish between various inflation theories.

NASA's Mars helicopter reports in

Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California have received the first status report from the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which landed Feb. 18, 2021, at Jezero Crater attached to the belly of the agency's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The downlink, which arrived at 3:30 p.m. PST (6:30 p.m. EST) via a connection through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, indicates that both the helicopter, which will remain attached to the rover for 30 to 60 days, and its base station (an electrical box on the rover that stores and routes communications between the rotorcraft and Earth) are operating as expected.

New physics rules tested on quantum computer

Aalto researchers have used an IBM quantum computer to explore an overlooked area of physics, and have challenged 100-year-old notions about information at the quantum level.

Time-lapse reveals the hidden dance of roots

Duke researchers have been studying something that happens too slowly for our eyes to see. A team in biologist Philip Benfey's lab wanted to see how plant roots burrow into the soil. So they set up a camera on rice seeds sprouting in clear gel, taking a new picture every 15 minutes for several days after germination.

Light used to detect quantum information stored in 100,000 nuclear quantum bits

Researchers have found a way to use light and a single electron to communicate with a cloud of quantum bits and sense their behavior, making it possible to detect a single quantum bit in a dense cloud.

A speed limit also applies in the quantum world

Even in the world of the smallest particles with their own special rules, things cannot proceed infinitely fast. Physicists at the University of Bonn have now shown what the speed limit is for complex quantum operations. The study also involved scientists from MIT, the universities of Hamburg, Cologne and Padua, and the J├╝lich Research Center. The results are important for the realization of quantum computers, among other things. They are published in the prestigious journal Physical Review X, and covered by the Physics Magazine of the American Physical Society.

Etna spews smoke and ashes in spectacular new eruption

Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes, belched smoke and ashes in a new eruption on Tuesday, but Italian authorities said it posed no danger to the surrounding villages.

Origin of life: Did Darwinian evolution begin before life itself?

A study done by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich physicists demonstrates that fundamental characteristics of mopolymeric lecules, such as their subunit composition, are sufficient to trigger selection processes in a plausible prebiotic setting.

Mars landing team 'awestruck' by photo of descending rover

The world got its first close-up look at a Mars landing on Friday, as NASA released a stunning picture of its newest rover being lowered onto the dusty red surface.

Mutation in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein renders virus up to eight times more infectious

A mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2—one of several genetic mutations in the concerning variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil—makes the virus up to eight times more infectious in human cells than the initial virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife.

Europe's largest meteorite crater is home to deep ancient fungi

Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested as suitable environments for deep colonization of microbial communities. In a new study published in Communications Earth & Environment, a team of researchers shows that fungi has colonized deep parts of the largest impact crater in Europe, the Siljan impact structure, Sweden. Intriguingly, the fungi seem to have been fueling methane production in the crater.

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