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SPACE: New Map Reveals Filaments of Dark Matter That Connect Galaxies

Dark Matter

A new map of dark matter made using artificial intelligence reveals hidden filaments of the invisible stuff bridging galaxies. The map focuses on the local universe — the neighborhood surrounding the Milky Way. Despite being close by, the local universe is difficult to map because it’s chock full of complex structures made of visible matter, said Donghui Jeong, an astrophysicist at Pennsylvania State University and the lead author of the new research. “We have to reverse engineer to know where dark matter is by looking at galaxies,” Jeong told Live Science. Full Story From Live Science

Earth: The Lost Continent of Zealandia

Zealandia Map

Earth’s mysterious eighth continent doesn’t appear on most conventional maps; that’s because almost 95% of its land mass is submerged thousands of feet beneath the Pacific Ocean. Zealandia — or Te Riu-a-Māui, as it’s referred to in the indigenous Māori language — is a 2 million-square-mile (5 million square kilometers) continent east of Australia, beneath modern-day New Zealand. Scientists discovered the sprawling underwater mass in the 1990s, then gave it formal continent status in 2017. Still, the “lost continent” remains largely unknown and poorly studied due to its Atlantean geography. Now, GNS Science — a geohazards research and consultancy organization … Read more

SPACE: That’s One Dusty Galaxy You Have There

space dust

Astronomers hate dust as much as the rest of us ― even more, perhaps. It’s one thing to get a little dust in your eye that takes your vision out of focus. Now imagine this kind of dust problem on a galactic scale where it hinders scientists trying to focus their telescopes into space. That’s part of the challenge faced by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, reports They’re creating an instrument that will offer specific information on how fast the universe is growing. This device ― the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument ― will create a … Read more

For Readers and Writers: What Happens Now?

2016 election map

FOR READERS & WRITERS Tomorrow, President Obama leaves office, and President Trump and a unified GOP government becomes a reality. I don’t want to get into the politics of it all here. There are plenty of other places to do that. And tomorrow we will offer alternative programming. But I do want to discuss something that’s been much on my mind of late. What impact will this have on our little corner of the universe? Will queer romance and LGBTIQA fiction continue toi grow and flourish, or will there be a chilling effect? Will new laws targeting our community in … Read more

What The World Would Sound Like Without Humans

Map no humans

The Park Service made a highly-detailed map last year of what the United States would sound like if you were to remove all traces of human activity from the picture. This map, along with the Park Service’s map of the human soundscape that came before it, is the product of a massive project involving 1.5 million hours of audio recordings taken at 479 locations in the United States. Those recordings were fed into sophisticated computer models able to produce estimates of the aural landscape throughout the U.S. with a frankly amazing level of detail and accuracy. By Christopher Ingraham – … Read more

Discussion: Countries of the Future

We tend to live firmly in the now – the way things are at the moment is the way most of us assume they always have been, and always will be. But as they say, the only constant is change. A hundred and fifty years ago, the Britisah Empire was ascendant, and the US was a regional power fighting over slavery. The Romans had their time, as did the Greeks, and empires have waxed and waned throughout history. So Let’s fast-forward 100 years – do we still have mostly the same countries on the globe? Which countries no longer exist, … Read more

News: Where to Live to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie apocalypse survivability map

AMC’s The Walking Dead is back for its sixth season this weekend. If you’re like me, this means you’ll be spending your Sunday evenings gaming out intricate zombie survival scenarios in your own life: Would my home withstand a zombie invasion? How quickly would my town survive? Which of my dopey neighbors would be the first to get bit? As a public service to others similarly zombie-obsessed, I’ve created a county-level index of survivability that answers the following question: How likely am I to survive a zombie apocalypse based on where I live? The index assumes that if you want … Read more