Vibrant young South African community poised to use MeerKAT telescope

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) today announced the selection of 38 South African-led projects that will use the MeerKAT radio telescope in the Northern Cape. These range from studies of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, to investigations of hydrogen gas, the fuel that makes up stars, half-way across the Universe. … Read more

Impossible research produces 400-year El Niño record, revealing startling changes

Australian scientists have developed an innovative method using cores drilled from coral to produce a world first 400-year long seasonal record of El Niño events, a record that many in the field had described as impossible to extract. The record published today in Nature Geoscience detects different types of El Niño and shows the nature of El … Read more

A brain region for Pokémon characters?

Stanford psychologists have identified preferential activation to Pokémon characters in the brains of people who played Pokémon videogames extensively as kids. The findings, published online in the journal Nature Human Behavior, help shed light on two related mysteries about our visual system. “It’s been an open question in the field why we have brain regions … Read more

New 3-foot-tall relative of Tyrannosaurus rex

A new relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex – much smaller than the huge, ferocious dinonsaur made famous in countless books and films, including, yes, “Jurassic Park” – has been discovered and named by a Virginia Tech paleontologist and an international team of scientists. The newly named tyrannosauroid dinosaur – Suskityrannus hazelae – stood rougly 3 feet tall at the … Read more

Distant and ancient

Dotted across the sky in the constellation of Pictor (The Painter’s Easel) is the galaxy cluster highlighted here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope: SPT-CL J0615-5746, or SPT0615 for short. First discovered by the South Pole Telescope less than a decade ago, SPT0615 is exceptional among the myriad clusters so far catalogued in our map of the Universe – it is the highest-redshift … Read more

Rethinking digital service design could reduce their environmental impact

Human-Computer Interaction researchers from the University of Bristol looked at how much electric energy was used to provide YouTube videos to people globally in 2016, to enable them to estimate the service’s carbon footprint in that year. Their analysis showed it was around 10Mt CO2e (Million Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) – approximately that … Read more