An international team of eight "satellite hunters," astronomers who pluck tiny specks of light out of the distant solar system, has discovered four new outer moons of Saturn orbiting at least 15 million kilometers from the surface of the giant planet.
ATLANTA -- Something really shocking is going on in a microquasar, or black hole, dubbed "Old Faithful," some 40,000 light years from Earth. It seems to be behaving like a giant particle collider, with massive shock waves generating eruptions every 45 to 90 minutes. This is the second time that Old Faithful, the first known microquasar in our galaxy, the Milky Way, has been observed to be acting strangely. Two years ago astronomers presented evidence, from X-ray and infrared observations, that the microquasar is sending out jets of hot gas at close to regular half-hour intervals.
Twenty-five years ago next week, humanity sent its first and only deliberate radio message to extraterrestrials. Nobody has called back yet, but that's OK -- we weren't really expecting an answer. (November 12, 1999)
In a new book, The Deep Hot Biosphere, Cornell professor emeritus of astronomy Thomas Gold argues that subterranean bacteria started the whole evolutionary process, and that there's no looming energy shortage because oil reserves are far greater than predicted.
Jupiter's intricate, swirling ring system is formed by dust kicked up as interplanetary meteoroids smash into the giant planet's four, small inner moons, according to scientists studying data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft. Images sent by Galileo also reveal that the outermost ring is actually two rings, one embedded within the other.
It doesn't have a brain or a heart, and its walk is a little like the scarecrow's, but a little headless, armless, trunkless two-legged robot, developed at Cornell University, can walk, wobble, hobble, limp, stride and stagger. But it can't stand still in any position without falling over. (April 7, 1998)
The world's smallest guitar -- carved out of crystalline silicon and no larger than a single cell -- has been made at Cornell University to demonstrate a new technology that could have a variety of uses in fiber optics, displays, sensors and electronics.