Tag Archives: helium

Schneebälle aus dem Labor

Wie Zuckerguss überzieht festes Helium die großen, fußballförmigen Kohlenstoff-Moleküle, die Innsbrucker Physiker im Labor erstmals erzeugt haben. Die Messungen an den „Schneebällen“ liefern wichtige Daten für die Suche nach Fullerenen im Weltall. Die Moleküle könnten eine wichtige Rolle bei der Entstehung des Lebens gespielt haben. (more…)

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Jupiter’s Red Spot is Likely a Sunburn, Not a Blush

The ruddy color of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet’s upper atmosphere, according to a new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini mission. The results contradict the other leading theory for the origin of the spot’s striking color — that the reddish chemicals come from beneath Jupiter’s clouds. (more…)

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New boron nanomaterial may be possible

Graphene, a sheet of carbon one atom thick, may soon have a new nanomaterial partner. In the lab and on supercomputers, chemists have determined that a unique arrangement of 36 boron atoms in a flat disc with a hexagonal hole in the middle may be the preferred building blocks for “borophene.” Findings are reported in Nature Communications.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Researchers from Brown University have shown experimentally that a boron-based competitor to graphene is a very real possibility. (more…)

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Newly discovered ocean plume could be major source of iron

Study reveals micronutrient riches rising from the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Scientists have discovered a vast plume of iron and other micronutrients more than 1,000 km long billowing from hydrothermal vents in the South Atlantic Ocean. The finding, soon to be published in the journal Nature Geoscience, calls past estimates of iron abundances into question, and may challenge researchers’ assumptions about iron sources in the world’s seas.

“This study and other studies like it are going to force the scientific community to reevaluate how much iron is really being contributed by hydrothermal vents and to increase those estimates, and that has implications for not only iron geochemistry but a number of other disciplines as well,” says Mak Saito, a WHOI associate scientist and lead author of the study. (more…)

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A Telescope at the Bottom of the World

Alone in a wilderness of snow and ice, 600 miles from the Earth’s South Pole, a solitary telescope watches the stars, searching for the origins of the colorful nebulae in which stars are born.

The brilliantly colored, sweeping nebulae featured on magazine covers and posters lining museum exhibits are the birthplaces and cradles of the stars in our galaxy.

Out of the blackness of space and swirling gasses and debris, these nebulae take form, coalescing into columns and structures that remind us of Earthly shapes: here a horsehead, there a dragon. (more…)

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Next Scientific Fashion Could be Designer Nanocrystals

Three University of Chicago chemistry professors hope that their separate research trajectories will converge to create a new way of assembling what they call “designer atoms” into materials with a broad array of potentially useful properties and functions.

These “designer atoms” would be nanocrystals—crystalline arrays of atoms intended to be manipulated in ways that go beyond standard uses of atoms in the periodic table. Such arrays would be suited to address challenges in solar energy, quantum computing and functional materials. (more…)

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The Helix Nebula: Bigger in Death than Life

A dying star is refusing to go quietly into the night, as seen in this combined infrared and ultraviolet view from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which NASA has lent to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In death, the star’s dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.

This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. Also known by the catalog number NGC 7293, it is a typical example of a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these cosmic works of art were erroneously named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets. (more…)

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