Saturday, 18 February 2012



By Live Science Staff, 11 February 2012.

1. Snakes on Estrogen

Snakes on Estrogen
Credit: Oregon State University

Give a male garter snake a taste of estrogen and watch out, as the hormone turns these lads into the sexiest thing on the block, attracting dozens of other males eager to mate, according to a study announced this week. [Read full story]

2. Tangled Fields

Tangled Fields
Credit: Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)

This image, released this week, shows a computer simulation of the complex and crazy magnetic fields that make up Earth's magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is the result of the interaction of charged particles from the sun and the magnetic field that surrounds the planet. When solar storms send particles flowing toward Earth, the result can be stunning space weather — the kind that creates beautiful auroras but also can disrupt satellites, telecommunications and electrical power grids. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are trying to understand how these storms work in order to better predict how storms on the sun will influence life on our planet. [See more images]

3. Shhhh ... Carina's Secrets Revealed

Shhhh ... Carina's Secrets Revealed
Credit: ESO/T. Preibisch

The most detailed image yet of the well-known Carina nebula has been caught by a European telescope, unveiling previously hidden features of an exquisite star nursery. The photo was taken on Feb. 8, 2012, by a camera on-board the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. [Read full story]

4. Underwater Photo Contest Kicks Off

Underwater Photo Contest Kicks Off
Credit: Jordi Benitez, Spain.

The University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science announced this week they are now accepting entries for its annual underwater-photo contest, which offers up some tempting prizes. Shown here, a photo of a bright nudibranch, one of the 2011 contest winners. [Read full story]

5. Hungry, Hungry Black Hole

Hungry, Hungry Black Hole
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/F. Baganoff et al.; Illustrations: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

The gigantic black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy may be devouring asteroids on a daily basis, a new study out this week suggests.

This image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the centre of our galaxy, which hosts a supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* for short). Chandra has detected X-ray flares about once a day from Sgr A*; they may result from the black hole gobbling up asteroids, as the artist's concept on the right depicts. [Read full story]

6. Twisted Galaxy Spotted

Twisted Galaxy Spotted
Credit: R. Jay Gabany (Black Bird Obs.); Insert: Subaru/Suprime-Cam (NAOJ).

A small newfound galaxy with an oddball shape may be the product of a close encounter with a neighbouring galaxy, called NGC 4449, in what scientists are calling a "stealth merger," a new study reveals.

Shown in this photo, the dwarf galaxy NGC 4449, with an identified stellar stream (faintly seen at the lower right, and in inset). The star stream represents the remains of a smaller satellite galaxy merging with NGC 4449. The inset image shows the stream resolved into red giant stars. [Read full story]

7. Etna Puts on a Show

Etna Puts on a Show
Credit: Boris Behncke

The on-again, off-again eruptions atop Sicily's Mount Etna put on quite an explosive show overnight on Feb. 9.

After more than 12 days of moderate strombolian activity — a kind of mid-level eruption — the New South-East Crater of Mount Etna produced a new paroxysmal eruptive episode (see the video below) in the early morning hours, according to Italy's INGV-Osservatrio Etneo, which monitors the volcano. [Read full story]

[Source: Live Science. Edited.]

Related Posts:
1. The Beauty of Science In Pictures
2. More Dazzling Images of Water Droplets
(Some images that were originally in the above article were included in these two posts)

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