Deep in the heart of the Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy, astronomers see a small cluster of giant gas clouds raining in on the central black hole. They were revealed by the billion light-year-long shadows they cast toward Earth. These ALMA data present the first observational evidence for predicted chaotic cold accretion onto a supermassive black hole.
A New Type Of Space Weather
As if black holes needed to get any weirder. Researchers working with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Northern Chile have announced that black holes may experience rain. Basically, scientists have known that black holes are commonly surrounded by clouds of hot gas, but now they’ve found pockets of cold gas around them, too. This means that they condense when they intermingle and wham! You got yourself some rainfall. Now if only we could figure out how to do that in California.
A 3D Map Of The Sea Floor
Researchers from the University of Delaware are creating a 3D printed map of part of our illusive seafloor. They were able to pull off this feat by using sonar imagery to capture the region, which lies right off the coast of Delaware. Then, with 3D printing algorithms, they made a printable 3D map that should allow them to study how the seafloor evolved.
This Baby Falcon Is Sick Of Your Nonsense
The CERN campus in Geneva, Switzerland is known for two things: being the home of both the world’s largest particle smasher and adorable animals. Back in April, a weasel (a real one, not a Pauly Shore one. This isn’t a Bio-Dome situation) shut down the particle smasher, and now a baby falcon has been found nearby. It looks thrilled.
A New Hobbit Ancestor
While there is no word whether or not they liked pipe-weed or hated adventures like our dear Bilbo, researchers have recently found a new hobbit – a human ancestor scientifically called Homo floresiensis – remains inside a cave on the island of Flores. Read more about our cousin here
A Heart In A Backpack
This is Stan Larkin. He’s a 25-year-old who was able to survive 17 months by carrying an artificial heart in a backpack while waiting for a transplant (which he did get earlier this year).
Frosty Martian Dunes
Though it looks like something under a microscope, this is actually Mars’ southern hemisphere, which is currently defrosting from winter. The spots in the image are from pressurized carbon dioxide gas escaping to the surface. It’s unsaid what spectrum of light this photo was taken in, but it’s pretty awesome regardless.
A New, Origami-Inspired Ninja Star Battery
Researchers from Binghamton University have created a new type of paper battery that’s perfect for emergency situations where people may need a quick jolt of power for a device to work. Obviously, the coolest thing about the battery is that it looks like a freaking ninja star and even folds up. Someone get Batman on the phone!
Lenovo Might Release Foldable Screens
Speaking of origami, Lenovo—the computer company that mostly makes workstations for people who use Excel all day—might soon make tablets and phones with foldable screens that continue working when bent. Why? Because why not. There is no word on when or if the devices will ever see a market release, but it’s safe to say they are experimenting with the idea.
Meet The Robotic Librarian
This is AuRoSS, an autonomous robot that can scan library shelves to ensure books are put back in their proper place. It was created by researchers in Singapore to help librarians with the menial task of scanning thousands of books by hand. Still, if you could stop putting things back in the wrong place, that’d be great. We wouldn’t want to anger AuRoSS.
The Bronx Zoo’s Adorable New Porcupette
The Bronx Zoo has a new addition: a baby porcupine! The porcupette—yes, that’s what they’re actually called—was born back in April to parents Alice and Patrick. Congrats, guys. The little guy is already starting to eat vegetation and has retained much of his soft fur. Unlike adult porcupines, babies are born soft. Their sharp quills harden over time to protect them from predators or arrant dogs that get too close (looking at you, Chance, from Homeward Bound).