• My Working Experience of Wessex Archaeology

    I applied to Wessex Archaeology in early September 2016, getting my application in early to make sure I had a good opportunity of obtaining my chosen work experience. I was interviewed by Rachel Brown, who is in charge of all educational activities within WA. During the interview, I was told what to expect and given a tour of all the facilities. Rachel emailed me about a week before my placement to provide me with my timetable and reminders of what to wear for my field visit on the Wednesday. Wh
  • Study reveals origin of modern dog has a single geographic origin

    By analyzing the DNA of two prehistoric dogs from Germany, an international research team led by Krishna R. Veeramah, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ecology & Evolution in the College of Arts & Sciences at Stony Brook University, has determined that their genomes were the probable ancestors of modern European dogs. The finding, to be published in Nature Communications, suggests a single domestication event of modern dogs from a...
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  • Copper covered baby and adult mummies unearthed in Russia’s Far North

    A perfectly-preserved mummy of an adult bound in copper plates from head to toe has been dug up in Russia’s Far North, alongside the mummy of a “tiny” baby. The discoveries could shed unique light on medieval burial and medical practices.A cocoon with a mummy of an adult was covered with copper plates head to toe [Credit: Alexander Gusev]The remains were found near Zeleny Yar archaeological site in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous...
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  • 800 year old Greek church in SW Turkey falling into disrepair

    An 800-year-old Orthodox church in Turkey’s Muğla province is poised to fall into ruin due to its delayed restoration and neglect.
    The Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the necessary permits for restoration of a small, dilapidated monastery and church situated in on Kameriye Island in Marmaris in 2013. The proposed project for the restoration was approved, but restoration has yet to begin.
    Mehmet Baysal, chairman of the...
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  • More than 252 million years ago, mammal ancestors became warm-blooded to survive mass extinction

    Today mammals and birds are the only true warm-blooded animals. They are called endotherms, meaning they produce their body heat internally.The skeleton of a therapsid dicynodont Lystrosaurus [Credit: Flickr]Endotherm animals are the opposite to ectotherms which get their heat from an external factor like the sun. They are considered “cold-blooded”.The origins of warm-bloodedness in mammals has been a very controversial issue for...
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  • Face of ancient Pictish man digitally reconstructed

    In 1986, a long cist burial was dug up in Bridge of Tilt near Blair Atholl, where excavators discovered the skeleton of a man in his forties. Analysis at the time found the man was used to hard work, and lived around 340 to 615 AD, making this one of the earliest Pictish graves ever discovered.The digitally re-created Pictish man [Credit: GUARD Archaeology]Now, GUARD Archaeology in Glasgow and forensic artist Hayley Fisher have...
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  • Did life begin on land rather than in the sea?

    For three years, Tara Djokic, a Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales Sydney, scoured the forbidding landscape of the Pilbara region of Western Australia looking for clues to how ancient microbes could have produced the abundant stromatolites that were discovered there in the 1970s.Conical stromatolite (view from the top) at the Trendall locality in the Pilbara 
    [Credit: © Government of Western...
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  • Ancient pot discovery in Turkey contests smiley origin

    The origins of smiley could be nearly 4,000-years-old after archaeologists in southeastern Turkey excavated a pot that bore the ubiquitous symbol, which today is one of the most frequently used emoticons online.
    The roots of the symbol are widely believed to be from the early 1960s, with the classic smiley version bearing a bright yellow background said to have emerged in the early 1970s. However, the latest discovery in Turkey would...
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  • Hundreds of 4,000 year old stone 'tower' tombs found in Jordan's Dead Fire desert

    Ancient stone tombs, some dating back more than 4,000 years, have been uncovered by archaeologists working in Jordan's Black Desert. The burial sites were discovered in the Jebel Qurma region by a team of Dutch researchers.A giant cairn which dates back to the second or third century AD 
    [Credit: Jebel Qurma Archaeological Landscape Project]The region is so desolate that one early explorer described it as a land of 'Dead Fire'....
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  • How Big Data is being used to protect a Spanish UNESCO World Heritage site

    Twentieth-century Spanish novelist Azorín once described Ávila as “the most 16th-century of all Spanish cities,” generously endowed as it is with churches and palaces. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it will now continue to live up to this boast in the 21st century by pioneering a European project called Smart Heritage City, aimed at monitoring this and other historical cities.Ávila is leading an EU project that uses...
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  • Artefacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought

    When and how the first humans made their way to Australia has been an evolving story. While it is accepted that humans appeared in Africa some 200,000 years ago, scientists in recent years have placed the approximate date of human settlement in Australia further and further back in time, as part of ongoing questions about the timing, the routes and the means of migration out of Africa.Excavations through many layers at the site...
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  • Building complex revealed in Despotiko

    New buildings have come to light during excavation and restoration works conducted from May 30 to July 7, 2017 at the Sanctuary of Apollo on the uninhabited Greek island of Despotiko (Mantra site), on the west of Antiparos.View of the excavation at Despotiko [Credit: Ministry of Culture]The results of this excavation season are being considered extremely important for the topography of the sanctuary. Among this year’s  findings,...
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  • Evidence of impacts that structured the Milky Way galaxy

    A team from the University of Kentucky’s Department of Physics and Astronomy has observed evidence of ancient impacts that are thought to have shaped and structured our Milky Way galaxy.Using observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope, the team analyzed the spatial distribution 
    of 3.6 million stars and found ripples that support evidence of the Milky Way’s ancient impacts 
    [Credit: University of...
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  • Ancient, massive asteroid impact could explain Martian geological mysteries

    The origin and nature of Mars is mysterious. It has geologically distinct hemispheres, with smooth lowlands in the north and cratered, high-elevation terrain in the south. The red planet also has two small oddly-shaped oblong moons and a composition that sets it apart from that of the Earth.A colossal impact with a large asteroid early in Mars' history may have ripped off a chunk of the northern hemisphere 
    and left behind a...
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  • Sea cave preserves 5,000 year record of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean

    An international team of scientists digging in a sea cave in Indonesia has discovered the world's most pristine record of tsunamis, a 5,000-year-old sedimentary snapshot that reveals for the first time how little is known about when earthquakes trigger massive waves.Researchers stand in the trench of a sea cave [Credit: Earth Observatory of Singapore]"The devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caught millions of coastal residents and...
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  • Tyrannosaurus rex couldn’t run says new research

    It is a classic chase scene in modern cinematic history. The image of a rampant Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) chasing Jeff Goldblum as he sits injured in the back of a 4x4 vehicle in Stephen Spielberg’s original film adaptation of Jurassic Park. But could a T. rex actually move that fast, or even run at all?Illustration shows a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur hunting an Ornithomimus dinosaur. The T. rex was among the...
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  • Manmade aerosols identified as driver in shifting global rainfall patterns

    In a new study, scientists found that aerosol particles released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels are a primary driver of changes in rainfall patterns across the globe.Top map: Spatial distribution of the annual-mean precipitation averaged from 1979-2008. Bottom: Time series of the 
    annual mean precipitation anomaly relative to the 1971-2000 climatology over the Sahel region of Africa 
    [Credit: Top:...
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  • A tale of two fishes: Biologists find male, female live-bearing fish evolve differently

    Male live-bearing fish are evolving faster than female fish, according to a Kansas State University study, and that's important for understanding big-picture evolutionary patterns.Samples of fish species from the Poeciliidae family show the diversity in color, fin size and body shape. 
    Kansas State University researchers studied 112 species of these live-bearing fishes and found that
     males and females evolve differently...
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  • The worms that changed the world

    In the shallow waters of a sea in northern China 500 million years ago, a dazzling new array of creatures was swimming: part of an explosion of animal diversity that would forever change the course of life on Earth. Quietly, in the seabed beneath them, another revolution was underway.Close-up view of fossilized branching burrows preserved in rock formed from an ancient seabed 
    in what is now northern China [Credit: University of...
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  • Citizen science project discovers new brown dwarf

    One night three months ago, Rosa Castro finished her dinner, opened her laptop, and uncovered a novel object that was neither planet nor star. Therapist by day and amateur astronomer by night, Castro joined the NASA-funded Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project when it began in February -- not knowing she would become one of four volunteers to help identify the project's first brown dwarf, formally known as WISEA...
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  • The great galactic recession

    A simulated universe created by Swinburne University of Technology and The University of Melbourne has revealed galaxies emerging in the first billion years after the Big Bang were experiencing a recession.The density of gas in and around a simulated galaxy just over a billion years after the Big Bang. New gas 
    is arriving at too great a rate for the galaxy to convert it into stars and the gas piles up 
    [Credit: Swinburne...
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  • Stronger winds heat up West Antarctic ice melt

    New research published in Nature Climate Change has revealed how strengthening winds on the opposite side of Antarctica, up to 6000kms away, drive the high rate of ice melt along the West Antarctic Peninsula.The path of the Kelvin waves that interact with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and push warmer waters under 
    the ice shelves of the West Antarctic Peninsula. These waves are generated by strengthening winds, 
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  • Why the largest animals are not always the fastest

    No other animal on land is faster than a cheetah -- the elephant is indeed larger, but slower. For small to medium-sized animals, larger also means faster, but for really large animals, when it comes to speed, everything goes downhill again. For the first time, it is now possible to describe how this parabola-like relationship between body size and speed comes about. A research team under the direction of the German Centre for...
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  • Climatic stability resulted in the evolution of more bird species

    More species of birds have accumulated in genera inhabiting climatically stable areas. This is shown by a new study from Umea University.Bar-tailed Godwit [Credit: Umea University]"The explanation may be that a stable climate makes it more likely that diverging lineages persist without going extinct or merging until speciation is completed, and stability reduces the risk for extinction in response to climatic upheavals," says Roland...
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  • New feathered dinosaur species named after Alberta paleontologist

    Scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Philip J Currie Dinosaur Museum have identified and named a new species of dinosaur in honour of renowned Canadian palaeontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie. Albertavenator curriei, meaning "Currie's Alberta hunter." It stalked Alberta, Canada, about 71 million years ago in what is now the famous Red Deer River Valley. The find recognizes Currie for his decades of work on predatory...
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  • Extremely rare Roman sarcophagus lifted from ancient Southwark burial site

    A Roman sarcophagus has been found, excavated, and lifted from its ancient grave at a site on Harper Road. It is being moved to the Museum of London, where its contents will be exhumed.Archaeologists prepare to lift the lid of Roman sarcophagus found in Southwark, London 
    [Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire]This is an exceptional find for London, where only two similar late Roman sarcophagi have been discovered in their original...
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  • Replica Anglo-Saxon Work Box Presentation

     Wessex Archaeology has a long and proud history of working with the Ministry of Defence on projects within the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), and around the UK. Most recently, this work has included supporting the Army Basing Programme at sites throughout the SPTA and particularly at Bulford, Larkhill and Tidworth. The sites have revealed some quite astonishing archaeology, ranging in date from the early Neolithic (before even Stonehenge) to a system of WWI practice trenches. Our w
  • Indigenous archaeological find in Kakadu recasts Australian history – video

    A dig at Madjedbebe on the traditional lands of the Mirarr people in northern Australia has unearthed thousands of artefacts, some as old as 80,000 years. The discovery upends decades-old estimates about the human colonisation of the continent (previously estimated at between 47,000 and 60,000 years) and adds western scientific evidence to Indigenous cultural knowledge about the length of time their ancestors have occupied the land • Australian dig finds evidence of Aboriginal habitation up
  • Australian dig finds evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 80,000 years ago

    Artefacts in Kakadu national park have been dated between 65,000 and 80,000 years old, extending likely occupation of area by thousands of yearsA groundbreaking archaeological discovery in Australia’s north has extended the known length of time Aboriginal people have inhabited the continent to at least 65,000 years.The findings on about 11,000 artefacts from Kakadu national park, published on Thursday in the journal Nature, prove Indigenous people have been in Australia for far longer than
  • Jessica Davies obituary

    From its start in 1990 until last year, Jessica Davies, who has died of cancer aged 65, was the manager of the Cherry Tree Nursery, a commercial plant nursery in Dorset set up to give a meaningful occupation to people with mental health problems.She helped take a derelict four-acre site near Christchurch and create a community and place of safety, where growing plants brought some happiness to volunteers and helped restore their dignity. The Cherry Tree Nursery has inspired many similar projects
  • Did human women contribute to Neanderthal genomes over 200,000 years ago?

    A new Neanderthal mitochondrial genome supports a remarkable hypothesis – that there was interbreeding with an extremely early migration of African homininsKeeping pace with new developments in the field of human evolution these days is a daunting prospect. It seems as though every few weeks there’s an announcement of exciting new findings from hominin fossils, or the recovery of an ancient genome that significantly impacts our understanding of our species’ history.The best way
  • Ptolemaic buildings and bridge unearthed in Alexandria, Egypt

    The Hellenic Institute for the Research ofAlexandrian Culture (H.R.I.A.C), directed by archaeologist Kalliopi Papakostas, has discovered ancient buildings and a bridge in the Shalallat Gardens area in Alexandria, Egypt.The Ptolemaic public building, where the carved tunnel has been discovered, was located in 2015 
    [Credit: ANA/MNA]According to the Athens Macedonia News Agency, excavations in the area have been ongoing for 21...
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  • Excavation works in ancient Karkamış end

    A Turkish-Italian team has completed the first part of their seven-season-long excavation works in an ancient site in the town of Karkamış, located in the Turkish province of Gaziantep on the Turkish-Syrian border, Turkish media have reported.The works at the site, which dates back to the Hittite Empire in 2,000 B.C., have been undertaken under the leadership of Nicolo Marchetti, a professor at Bologna University, and with the...
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  • Chipped teeth suggests Homo naledi had a unique diet

    There was a lot of excitement when scientists reported the discovery of an entirely new hominin species, Homo naledi, in 2015. Since then, we are gradually learning more about them. For example, earlier this year, researchers found that they lived sometime between 335,000 and 236,000 years ago.Teeth don’t lie [Credit: Ian Towle]Now my colleagues and I have reported among the first evidence on the diet and behaviour of this...
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  • Synchrotron light used to show human domestication of seeds from 2,000 BC

    Scientists from UCL have used the UK's synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, to document for the first time the rate of evolution of seed coat thinning, a major marker of crop domestication, from archaeological remains.A slice through image of horsegram seed [Credit: Diamond Light Source]Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, the authors present evidence for seed coat thinning between 2,000 BC and 1,200 BC in the legume...
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  • Most Mexican Museum artefacts fail authentication tests

    A majority of the oldest artefacts in the permanent collection of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco are either forgeries or not up to national museum standards, a new report has determined.A tripod bowl from Costa Rica, 900 C.E.-1200 C.E., is an example of a museum quality artefact pictured at 
    The Mexican Museum [Credit: Leah Millis, The Chronicle]Only 83 of the 2,000 artefacts in the museum's pre-Hispanic, or pre-Columbian,...
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  • Fight over 1,000-year-old Chinese mummy hits Dutch court

    A Dutch court Friday will hear arguments involving ownership of a 1,000-year-old mummified monk in a case brought against a local collector by Chinese villagers who claim their ancestor was stolen.The human-sized sitting Buddha statue called the “Zhanggong Patriarch,” disappeared from a temple in Yangchun 
    in late 1995 after being worshipped for centuries [Credit: Reuters]The small eastern Chinese village of Yangchun will square...
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  • Roman 'domus' with mosaic floors unearthed in Auch, France

    Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a luxurious 5th-century Roman palace in Auch in the Gers – and they face a race against time to excavate it.
    Excavation of Roman Imperial-era domus in Auch, France [Credit: © Jean-Louis Bellurget, Inrap]Abandoned some 16 centuries ago, this aristocratic ‘domus’ possessed private baths and splendid mosaics on the ground. It was close to the centre of the ancient Roman city of Augusta...
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  • Eastern Roman gold coins found in 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb

    Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Northwest China's Xian City, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (SPIA) said on Thursday.The tomb's owner, Lu Chou, died in 548 and the burial artefacts excavated include intact 
    coloured pottery figurines, camel figures and, most importantly, two gold coins from the 
    Eastern Roman Empire and a silver coin from Persia [Credit:...
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  • New excavation season starts in ancient Sagalassos

    Excavation and restoration work has resumed in the ancient city of Sagalassos in southwestern Turkey.Monumental centre of Sagalassos: The urban quarter of Upper Agora 
    [Credit: Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism ]A team of 90 people from different countries will work in the excavation area this year and the works will continue for the next three months. A team of five experts from the city’s Mehmet Akif Ersoy University...
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  • The last survivors on Earth

    The world's most indestructible species, the tardigrade, an eight-legged micro-animal, also known as the water bear, will survive until the Sun dies, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.The tardigrade, also known as the water bear, is the toughest, most resilient, form of life on Earth 
    [Credit: Shutterstock]The new study published in Scientific Reports, has shown that the tiny creatures, will survive the risk of...
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  • Re-creating old weapons for new discoveries of human history

    Metin Eren wasn't satisfied just digging up ancient arrowheads to learn about the past. He wanted to use them for their intended purpose.In this June 1, 2017, photo, Metin Eren, an archaeologist at Kent State University, looks at a newly chipped flake of 
    obsidian in Kent, Ohio. Eren runs a newly-opened laboratory which makes replicas of ancient arrows, knives, 
    and pottery to be shot, crushed, and smashed. It's allowing...
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  • Eight new shipwrecks discovered in Greece’s Fourni archipelago

    A joint Greek-American expedition to the Fourni archipelago found eight new shipwrecks, bringing the total number of shipwrecks in the small archipelago to fifty-three. The Fourni Underwater Survey is one of the most exciting projects currently in archaeology. With the identification of 53 shipwrecks and much more coastline and deepwater areas to search, Fourni is among the largest concentrations of ancient shipwrecks in the...
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  • Ancient wooden coffin with teenager’s skeleton discovered in Crimea

    Russian archaeologists have discovered a sarcophagus with juvenile remains while digging the Gospitalny burial mound in Crimea, the oldest graves of which date back to the 4th century BC, the golden age of the Bosporan Kingdom, the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences told TASS on Thursday.Excavations at the Gospitalny burial mound in Crimea 
    [Credit: © Valery Sharifulin/TASS]"Two stone tombs covered by...
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  • Archaeologists go high-tech in 2,500-year-old Greek cold case

    More than 2,500 years ago, an Athenian nobleman named Cylon -- the first recorded Olympic champion -- tried to take over the city of Athens and install himself as its sole ruler.A conservator of archaeological works on a human skull in a lab at the American School 
    of Archaeology in Athens on July 7, 2017 [Credit: Aris Messinis/AFP]According to Thucydides and Herodotus, Athenian and Greek historians who wrote about the coup,...
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  • Cretaceous Tanaidaceans took care of their offspring more than 105 million years ago

    A scientific team has found the first evidence of parental care in Tanaidaceans, dating back to more than 105 million years, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, from Nature group.A new species looking after their offspring, Daenerytanais maieuticus, is named after the fiction character 
    Daenerys Targaryen “Mother of Dragons”, Khaleesi in the TV series Game of Thrones 
    [Credit: University of...
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  • Tributes to wetter times on Mars

    A dried-out river valley with numerous tributaries is seen in this recent view of the Red Planet captured by ESA’s Mars Express.
    Libya Montes colour view [Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin]This section of the Libya Montes region, which sits on the equator at the boundary of the southern highlands and northern lowlands, was imaged on 21 February 2017 by the spacecraft’s high-resolution stereo camera.The Libya Montes highlands mountains, one...
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  • More to life than the habitable zone

    Two separate teams of scientists have identified major challenges for the development of life in what has recently become one of the most famous exoplanet systems, TRAPPIST-1.Two separate teams of scientists from the CfA have identified major challenges for the development of life
     in TRAPPIST-1. The TRAPPIST-1 system, depicted here in an artist's conception, contains seven roughly 
    Earth-sized planets orbiting a red dwarf,...
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  • Chandra peers into a nurturing cloud

    In the context of space, the term 'cloud' can mean something rather different from the fluffy white collections of water in the sky or a way to store data or process information. Giant molecular clouds are vast cosmic objects, composed primarily of hydrogen molecules and helium atoms, where new stars and planets are born. These clouds can contain more mass than a million suns, and stretch across hundreds of light years.Composite...
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  • New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis

    Last year, the existence of an unknown planet in our Solar system was announced. However, this hypothesis was subsequently called into question as biases in the observational data were detected. Now Spanish astronomers have used a novel technique to analyse the orbits of the so-called extreme trans-Neptunian objects and, once again, they point out that there is something perturbing them: a planet located at a distance between 300 to...
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