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Submission + - Why airline delays could cost more than hurricanes (

AMESN writes: When it comes to calculating the toll air traffic delays take on the overall economy, it's not really the news-making delays or the major setbacks from severe weather that are a big problem. It’s the cumulative effect of all the relatively minor delays from the more common quirks in weather that matter. They add up to big costs, a meteorologist reports this week during a meeting of the American Meteorological Society, perhaps even exceeding what hurricanes do to the U.S. economy each year.

Submission + - Astronomers see farthest back in time yet (

AMESN writes: Hubble's new Wide Field Camera 3 may have detected the most distant galaxies yet observed. The galaxies, imaged in a region called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, were possibly detected at the extremely high redshift value of 10, and may have formed just a half million years after the Big Bang. The researchers note that the findings are preliminary. Hubble's predecessor, the James Webb Space Telescope, should be able to confirm whether the distance calculation is correct.

Submission + - Experiment possibly detected dark matter (

AMESN writes: An experiment in the Soudan mine in northern Minnesota may have picked up the signature of WIMPs, weakly interacting massive particles, theorized to be the least massive type of dark matter. While the physicists involved note a one in four chance that ordinary subatomic particles caused the characteristic events in the experiment’s germanium detectors, the physicists are also saying that it’s not possible to reject the events as being from dark matter particles. Dark matter is thought to make up 80 percent of the mass of the universe, but dark matter particles have not yet been detected.

Submission + - Loneliness is contagious (

AMESN writes: Studies have shown that feelings can spread through social networks. Looking at 10 years of data from a long-term health study, researchers found that feelings of mistrust can spread too, causing more and more people in a network to cut ties with others. Loneliness is contagious, the researchers say, and one expert says loneliness is a public health issue.

Submission + - Antimatter in lightning (

AMESN writes: The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope launched last year detects gamma rays from light years away, but recently it detected gamma rays from lightning on Earth. And the energy of the gamma rays is specific to the decay of positrons, which are the antimatter flavor of electrons. Finding antimatter in lightning surprised researchers and suggests the electric field of the lightning somehow got reversed.

Submission + - Solar system's largest planetary ring (

AMESN writes: The largest ring around Saturn is also the biggest in the solar system. Researchers reported yesterday during the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences that they identified a ring around Saturn that could hold a billion Earths. The team used the NASA infrared Spitzer Space Telescope to sleuth out dust particles that make up the massive ring. The work also appears in the journal Nature.

Comment Headline is misleading, at best (Score 3, Informative) 625

"Miscalculation" is the wrong word. Geologists are nuanced (unlike this headline) in how they interpret C-13 vs. C-12, especially for early Earth history. The PNAS paper is not about the ratio being flawed, it's about another way to interpret the activity of the shallow ocean versus the deep, open ocean. The paper is simply another line of scientific discussion, itself part of the scientific method.

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