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'Great show-off' black hole -microquasar GRS 1915+105 - is producing massive shock waves, Cornell astronomer reports

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.

It's the 25th anniversary of Earth's first attempt to phone E.T.

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)

Gold finds our deep hot biosphere teeming with life - and controversy

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.

Galileo finds Jupiter's rings formed by dust blasted off small moons

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.

High-pressure scientists 'journey' to the center of the Earth, but can't find elusive metallic hydrogen

Hydrogen, as any materials scientist will tell you, is a tough nut to crack. It is the simplest of the atoms, but in its molecular, or solid state it is incredibly complex. The long-sought goal of turning the element into a metal, it has been predicted, would require pressure close to that found at the center of the Earth.

It might wobble and stagger, but Cornell's headless robot is providing insights into how humans walk

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)

Smallest guitar, about the size of a human blood cell, illustrates new technology for nano-sized electromechanical devices

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.

Stanford chemist Richard Zare to lecture at Cornell on March 31 on Martian meteorite

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, will give the Harry S. Kieval Lecture In Physics at Cornell University on Monday, March 31. The lecture, "Laboratory Measurements of Extraterrestrial Visitors," will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Schwartz Auditorium, Rockefeller Hall. Refreshments will be available from 4 to 4:20 p.m. in the first floor hallway. Zare, chairman of the National Science Board and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was a member of the research group that reported last year that a Martian meteorite contains fossilized evidence of microbial life. Zare's chemistry laboratory provided the technique, called laser mass spectrometry, for analyzing the meteorite.

Chair-mounted split keyboard helps reduce typing risks

Although expensive and complicated to adjust, a split keyboard mounted onto the arms of a worker's chair can help reduce a typist's risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and other cumulative trauma disorders, according to a new Cornell study.