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Friday, Feb 12th

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Visible light from black holes detected for first time

Light from black holeAstronomers have discovered that black holes can be observed through a simple optical telescope when material from surrounding space falls into them and releases violent bursts of light.

The apparent contradiction emerges when a black hole’s gravity pulls in matter from nearby stars, producing light that can be viewed from a modest 20cm telescope.

Japanese researchers detected light waves from V404 Cygni - an active black hole in the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan - when it awoke from a 26-year-long slumber in June 2015.

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Periodic table's seventh row is finally complete

Periodic TableChemists around the world have celebrated the New Year with the addition of four newly discovered chemical elements to the periodic table.

The new elements, which were verified by international bodies on 30 December and have been given temporary names, are the missing jigsaw pieces needed to complete the seventh row of the iconic table.

Teams of scientists from Japan, Russia and the US that uncovered the missing elements have now been invited to give permanent names to their new discoveries.

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SpaceX makes history, successfully lands reusable rocket

reusable rocketConsider the space industry revolutionized.

On Monday night, Elon Musk and his aerospace company SpaceX made history, finally demonstrating their reusable rocket technology.  Engineers successfully returned the company's Falcon 9 rocket to Earth, landing it vertically on a landing pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla., -- just 10 minutes after it blasted-off for its jaunt to space and back.

The rocket's second stage is still in the process of carrying 11 satellites into low Earth orbit for communications company ORBCOMM.

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America’s Scientists To House Science Committee: Go Away

Lamar SmithSeven major American scientific societies sent a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) on Tuesday, rebuking the congressman and defending a paper published in Science last year that Smith has been investigating in his role as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

“Scientists should not be subjected to fraud investigations or harassment simply for providing scientific results that some may see as politically controversial,” wrote the scientists.

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Dem accuses GOP chairman of ‘witch hunt’ in climate probe

Dem accuses GOP of climate witch huntThe top Democrat on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is fighting back against what she calls a “witch hunt” and “harassment” over climate change science by the committee’s chairman.

In a blistering public letter, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) accused Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) of an illegitimate, politically driven probe that makes a mockery of Congress’s investigative powers.

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Earth-like world could be 'most important planet found outside solar system'

earth-like worldA rocky Earth-sized planet that circles a small, nearby star could be the most important world ever found beyond the solar system, astronomers say.

The planet lies in the constellation of Vela in the southern sky and is close enough for telescopes to observe any atmosphere it has, a procedure that could help spot life on other planets in the future.

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Study may have found evidence of alternate, parallel universes

parallel universesAn astrophysicist says he may have found evidence of alternate or parallel universes by looking back in time to just after the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago.

While mapping the so-called "cosmic microwave background," which is the light left over from the early universe, scientist Ranga-Ram Chary found what he called a mysterious glow, the International Business Times reported.

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