Mi weekly selection #140
A prolific star-making dwarf galaxy
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a busy dwarf galaxy filled with bright, new stars and making even more. NGC 1140 resides in the constellation Eridanus, about 60 million light-years from Earth. Scientists at the European Space Agency say it can’t keep up its robust star production for long because as the largest stars become supernovas, they will cause the star-making gases within the galaxy to blow away into space.
Desert aquifers could be the “missing sink”
Researchers think they may have found the “missing sink,” accounting for about a billion tons of annual carbon absorption that had been previously missing from global climate models. The answer, scientists say, lies deep beneath the world’s deserts, where huge aquifers are believed to be sucking up 14 times more carbon than had previously been thought.
A tiny robot that can jump on water
A small robot created by South Korean and American scientists can jump on water in much the same way a water strider insect does. Researchers used high-speed cameras to capture the insects’ movements, using them as a reference in their robotic design so the tiny robot barely disturbs the surface of the water as it pushes off.
Earth’s magnetic field more than 4 billion years old
The Earth’s magnetic field may be about 4.2 billion years old. Researchers painstakingly analyzed old magnetite samples found within zircon crystals to determine Earth’s magnetic field in its earliest history. The scientists say Earth’s strong, resilient magnetic field is likely the reason it has been able to sustain life, while Mars, whose magnetic field died off billions of years ago, is uninhabitable.
Brain’s role in gripping objects
Brown University scientists found that the brain goes through complex calculations before engaging one’s hand to pick up an object, assessing the best grip strength and style to accommodate the object’s weight and size. These findings and additional research may ultimately lead to more responsive prosthetic limbs.