Further out, another seven moons orbit the outermost planet of our solar system

They can be measured by laser hundreds of millions of light years away.

The first representation of a black hole has just been achieved

Ten black hole mergers and one neutron star collision were discovered in the first two observation runs. For the new measurement campaign launched on April 1, the Ligo instruments in the USA and the European Virgo observatory in Italy had been significantly improved. The detectors are more sensitive than ever, said AEI director Karsten Danzmann from Hanover. The researchers hope to gain new insights into star explosions and the Big Bang.

View through the VIMOS light telescope on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile onto the galaxy NGC 4993 (M), about 130 million light years from Earth. The galaxy recently revealed something that has never been observed before: the merger of two neutron stars. Photo: ESO / A.J. Levan, N.R. Tanvir.

Three candidates for binary black hole mergers were identified on April 8, 12 and 21, it said on Thursday. On April 25th, the observation of a possible merger of two neutron stars followed. The April 26 signal could turn out to be a never-before-seen collision of a neutron star with a black hole. 

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 Three weeks ago, astronomers presented a picture of a black hole for the first time. The image of the “Event Horizon” telescope network shows a dark spot with a glowing ring.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Mountain View (AP) – The smallest known moon on the planet Neptune to date may consist of the debris of a large cometary impact. This is what the discoverers of the mini moon report in the British specialist journal “Nature”.

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The team around Mark Showalter from the Seti Institute in California had already discovered the satellite in 2013 with the “Hubble” space telescope and is now presenting it in the British journal “Nature”. The 14th Neptune moon has an average diameter of only 34 kilometers. It was named “Hippocampus” after a mythical horse-fish creature from Greek mythology.

The tiny thing only moves around 12,000 kilometers within the second largest Neptune moon Proteus. There is an unusually large impact crater on Proteus called Pharos, from which large amounts of rock must have been hurled into space. Given the proximity of the two moons, the researchers suspect that the hippocampus could have formed from these debris. The volume of the small moon therefore corresponds to around two percent of the missing matter from the crater.

The US space probe “Voyager 2” discovered six inner moons of the gas planet during its visit to Neptune in 1989, but apparently overlooked the small hippocampus as the seventh inner moon. It was only thanks to special analysis technology that Showalter’s team saw the mini moon on “Hubble” recordings in 2013, which date back to 2004. Observations from 2016 confirmed the discovery of the satellite, which was initially only designated with the catalog number S / 2004 N 1. Further out, another seven moons orbit the outermost planet of our solar system.

San Francisco (dpa) – US astronomers searched the universe for extraterrestrial intelligence for three years – but so far in vain. The scientists from the Seti Institute in California announced this in two publications.https://123helpme.me/to-kill-a-mockingbird-essay/

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The Breakthrough Listen program searched 1,327 stars within a radius of up to 160 light years. It was the most comprehensive search of its kind to date for extraterrestrial intelligence.

It was literally a search for the “needle in the haystack”, according to the program’s announcement. Using radio telescopes in the United States and Australia, the scientists had eavesdropped on billions of radio frequencies for signals that are too precisely defined to have a natural origin. However, the frequencies to which this applied came not from extraterrestrial, but from human technologies.

“That doesn’t have to mean there isn’t an intelligent life out there,” said Danny Prince, who worked on the project. The “Breakthrough Listen” program, which is funded by the Russian billionaire Juri Milner with 100 million US dollars (almost 90 million euros), has set itself the goal of monitoring one million stars and 100 neighboring galaxies. “Maybe we just haven’t been looking in the right place,” said Prince.

Pasadena (dpa) – The Mars probe “InSight” has placed the first measuring instrument on the surface of the red planet.

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A robotic arm dropped the device about 1.6 meters from the probe on Wednesday, the US space agency Nasa announced on its website. “This is a fantastic Christmas present,” project manager Tom Hoffmann was quoted as saying. The probe landed on Mars on November 26th.

The instrument is a seismograph that is supposed to measure vibrations on the surface of Mars, said NASA. These “marsquakes” are said to provide information about the structure and nature of the various layers inside the planet.


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In the coming days, the position of the seismograph will have to be changed to compensate for the slope of the ground. When the device is fully aligned, it will start sending the first scientific data to Earth. If everything goes according to plan, a second measuring instrument could be put into position at the end of January, announced the US space agency.

“InSight” (“Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport”) is a 360 kilogram robot that does not roll but stays in one place. The “InSight” mission, which costs around 650 million euros, is scheduled to run for two years.

Standing on one leg for hours is not easy. But flamingos have mastered the art of standing on one leg to perfection. Even dead flamingos can do this and won’t tip over. Why is that? A study provides information.

Much has been speculated as to why the pink birds only stay on one leg. Do the flamingos want to save body heat with their behavior? Or maybe a change of legs protects against fatigue? The answer is, however, astonishing: the animals simply stand more stable on one leg. This is what scientists Young-Hui Chang from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Lena Ting from Emory University found out.

Why are flamingos so stable?

The two researchers examined the question of the stability of the flamingos neuromechanically. They found out that the special anatomy of birds is responsible for their ability. To do this, the scientists examined Chilean flamingos in the Atlanta Zoo.

Tang (left) and Chang (right) did research on the stability of flamingos at the Atlanta Zoo (Source: Rob Felt / Georgia Tech)

The breakthrough came with experiments with dead flamingos. When the scientists put the birds on two legs, they kept falling over. However, the animals could stand on one leg – even though they were dead. This was proof for the researchers: Flamingos have a mechanism that enables them to stand on one leg without muscle effort.

This is how the one-legged stance works

When the animals lift one leg, the other leans inward. The center of gravity lies exactly above the foot of the supporting leg. Different joints of the flamingos then snap into place and thus hold a stable position. Bones do not keep the flamingos in balance. It’s more like a hammock, says scientist Chang.

Other birds also prefer to stand on one leg and may have a similar mechanism. The little flamingos are not yet pink, but can already stand on one leg (Source: Rob Felt / Georgia Tech)

Advances in prostheses and robots possible

The researchers hope that a better understanding of flamingo biomechanics can also help develop better prostheses for people.

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Robotics could also benefit from this. Balancing robots is difficult. Systems currently installed scan the environment and adjust the status accordingly. The results of the flamingo research could possibly help future generations of robots to become more stable. And who doesn’t like the idea of ​​the eternally nagging Star Wars android C3PO on a pink flamingo leg?

Great white sharks are among the most powerful predatory fish in the ocean. But this month alone, several of the basking sharks have been killed by orcas off the coast of South Africa. Find out here why orcas are the more skilled hunters and why they are said to behave in a manner similar to humans.

Orcas are at the top of the food chain

Although the orca is also threatened by humans, it has a much gentler reputation than the shark because of its intelligence and accessibility in aqua parks. The 1993 Hollywood film “Free Willy” contributed to this. But autopsies of shark carcasses that washed up on the coast of South Africa now show that orcas dominate the marine food chain at the expense of the great white shark.

According to information from conservationists, bite wounds that were inflicted on the sharks by killer whales were found on the carcasses. These had recently been sighted off Cape Town. All three sharks studied were lacking livers, suggesting that the orcas, also known as killer whales, were after the nutrient-rich and fat-rich organ and discarded the rest of their prey.

Orcas are skilled hunters

All three sharks had a large wound on the underside: a sign of the skill of the orcas, the largest males of which can be more than nine meters long and thus significantly larger than great white sharks.

“It’s a classic example of what orcas are capable of,” says marine biologist Alison Towner of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. This is committed to protecting the endangered ecosystem off the southern tip of Africa. Towner was involved in the autopsies, which provided one of the rare pieces of evidence of great white sharks being killed by orcas in the area.

But even when orcas have an advantage, they don’t usually go after great white sharks, said George Burgess, director of the Florida Shark Research Program. Small species of shark, on the other hand, could regularly be on the menu of killer whales. According to Burgess, studies have shown that the rough consistency of shark meat grinds orcas tooth enamel over time.

Intelligent animals with the ability to learn

“Killer whales are top predators,” the agency said. “While we are used to seeing great white sharks at the top of the food chain in our waters, orcas are much more specialized hunters and see almost everything in the ocean as potential prey.” The mammals lived in highly developed social groups and had large brains, the ability to learn and to use sound waves to locate objects.

According to marine researcher Boris Worum from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, orcas are known to have cultures of their own, similar to humans. “And different orca cultures specialize in different prey animals and different hunting strategies,” said the scientist.

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Human-like hunting behavior

“Orcas near coasts are rare and very mobile, so it is easy to imagine that they will appear in an area where they have never been seen before and hunt sharks in this region,” said Worm. “Of course a great white shark is difficult prey due to its strength and size, but orcas (again like humans) use a common hunting strategy as a group with which they can outsmart almost any prey.”

Garching (dpa) – The “Hubble” space telescope has photographed an unusual galaxy collision: The two merging galaxies look like a cosmic face.