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Scientists Have Just Discovered the Shape of the Milky Way's Halo of Stars
Astronomers have long thought that the diffuse cloud of stars surrounding the disk of our galaxy was largely spherical, like a beach ball. Now, a new model based on modern observations has revealed that the stellar halo is actually oblong and tilted, much like a football that has just been kicked. These findings offer insights into a host of astrophysical subject areas, including the history of our galaxy and galactic evolution.
The Internet's Favorite Time of the Year: Fat Bear Week is Coming
It's that time of year when Alaskan brown bears, who've fasted for about six months, are waking up and feasting on salmon, growing plumper by the day. This can only mean one thing: Fat Bear Week is upon us. This quirky yet endearing competition celebrates the bears' incredible journey from lean to chubby and lets viewers vote for their favorite one, and it provides a window into their lives for millions of online viewers. Beyond the fun, it highlights the health of the Katmai ecosystem, offering a glimpse into nature's wonders.
Two Family Dogs Kept a Missing Toddler Safe Overnight When She Was Lost in the Woods
A heartwarming story unfolded in Michigan's Upper Peninsula when a 2-year-old girl who had wandered away from her home was found safe in the woods, sleeping with two family dogs who had accompanied her. The girl was discovered about 3 miles from her home, using one of the dogs as a pillow while the other kept her safe. The community, along with state police and police dogs, came together in the search effort, leading to this remarkable and uplifting outcome.
New Research Shows That Lucid Dreaming Could Help Those Recovering From PTSD
New research suggests that lucid dreaming may have healing benefits, particularly for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. In the study, participants suffering from PTSD symptoms completed a six-day online lucid dreaming healing workshop. The results showed that 76% of participants were able to achieve at least one lucid dream during this period. These dreams were associated with significant improvements in self-reported PTSD symptoms, nightmare distress, well-being, and a decrease in negative affect.
The Fall Equinox Starts This Weekend - Here's What It Means for Your Day
The arrival of the fall equinox marks the official start of the autumn season in the Northern Hemisphere. During this special moment, Earth's axis aligns with its orbit, ensuring that both the northern and southern hemispheres receive nearly equal amounts of sunlight. This alignment results in day and night lasting almost the same duration, a phenomenon that gives the equinox its name, derived from Latin words meaning "equal" and "night."
How This AI-Powered Bird Migration Tracker is Saving Bird Lives
BirdCast, an AI-powered tracking technology developed by researchers at Cornell University, is helping to protect migratory birds and mitigate the impact of human activities on them. BirdCast uses radar data from the National Weather Service to monitor and predict the movements of birds during their migrations, providing real-time information to cities and organizations. By forecasting bird migrations and alerting communities to turn off lights, BirdCast has reduced bird fatalities and it has also been used to help predict avian flu outbreaks.
San Diego is Closing a Beach for Seven Years to Protect the Sea Lion Population
The San Diego City Council has unanimously voted to close Point La Jolla and parts of nearby Boomer Beach for seven years to protect the local sea lion population from human disturbances. he closure, spanning about 150 yards of coastline, aims to provide a safe space for sea lions to give birth, nurse, and breed without human interference. Visitors will still be able to observe the marine mammals behind barriers, and ocean access from the closed area will remain open.
How a High School Class Helped NASA Discover a Space Mystery
High school teacher Jonathan Swift and his students observed unexpected changes in the behavior of the asteroid Dimorphos following NASA's intentional crash into it during the DART mission. Dimorphos, which orbits its parent asteroid Didymos, appeared to be tumbling in its orbit and continuously slowing down for at least a month after the impact, contrary to NASA's predictions. The class's observations brought attention to these findings, and the DART team is planning to release more information, with further investigation scheduled for 2026 .
Global Rhino Numbers Are Rebounding in a Conservation Win
Global rhinoceros populations have shown signs of recovery, increasing to approximately 27,000, despite the devastating effects of poaching and habitat loss, according to figures released by the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group. This increase is especially significant for southern white rhinos, which saw their numbers rise for the first time since 2012. The resurgence has been attributed to conservation efforts and the establishment of new populations.
These Firefighters Dropped Everything to Save a Dog Stuck On the Edge of a Cliff
A heartwarming rescue took place on Alderney Island in the English Channel when a dog fell off a cliff more than 32 feet below. The Alderney Fire Brigade's rescue team quickly responded, and two members rappelled down to reach the distressed dog. Despite the challenging terrain, the team successfully secured the dog and safely hoisted her back to the top of the cliff, where she was reunited with her loving family, miraculously unharmed.
A New Study Shows Human Cells Display a Mathematical Pattern That Repeats in Nature
After more than a decade of research, scientists have estimated the number of cells in the human body. Their findings reveal that men have around 36 trillion cells, women have about 28 trillion, and a 10-year-old child has roughly 17 trillion cells. What's intriguing is that these cells follow a mathematical pattern based on size and mass, mirroring patterns found in other areas of science and nature. The study may offer valuable insights into understanding human health and diseases, particularly cancer, by shedding light on cell frequencies and counts.