Birds’ small brains pack big neuron punch
Birds’ brains may be small, but they pack more neurons related to intelligence than many mammals with larger brains Researchers used an isotropic fractionator to measure the number of neurons in regions of birds’ brains and found that many songbirds and parrots packed more neurons in their brains than did primates.
Oxygen found in distant, early galaxy
Evidence of oxygen has been found in a primordial galaxy 13.1 billion light-years away, the most distant example of oxygen found so far. SXDF-NB1006-2 was born soon after stars came into existence, and studying it could illuminate the role nascent stars played in clearing away the fog permeating the universe at the time.
Asteroid found orbiting sun alongside Earth
The asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun on a path similar to Earth’s that will keep it by Earth’s side for centuries, according to researchers. “The asteroid’s loops around Earth drift a little ahead or behind from year to year, but when they drift too far forward or backward, Earth’s gravity is just strong enough to reverse the drift and hold onto the asteroid so that it never wanders farther away than about 100 times the distance of the moon,” said NASA’s Paul Chodas.
Strange meteorite found in 470M-year-old limestone in Sweden
A fossilized meteorite unlike any other that has been found was discovered in Sweden inside a slab of limestone that dates back 470 million years. The strange meteorite has different chemical signatures and grain patterns, and it indicates that the types of meteorite that hit Earth have changed over time.
LIGO latches on to more gravitational waves
More gravitational waves have been detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The waves, from the merging of a pair of black holes, were discovered on Christmas Day.