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NASA said its Swift satellite has imaged some of "the best dust-scattered X-ray ring images ever seen" from a black hole outburst. The V404 Cygni black hole and its companion star, about 8,000 light years away, are known to eject high-energy particles every 20 years or so. Swift's X-ray telescope...

July 10th 2015 at 9:40am 0 Comments
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Have you ever unwrapped a piece of chocolate only to discover that it looked a little old? That white substance that appears on the delicious confection is known as a fat bloom. As the fats in the chocolate crystallize, they form the rather unattractive white stuff. Fret not, though, a group of sc...

May 8th 2015 at 4:58pm 0 Comments
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Amazon's X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows feature is great when you're trying to figure out the name of the actor on your screen. Today that feature is hitting Amazon Instant Video on the Fire TV, which is frankly where it should have been since the set-top box's launch. The IMDb-powered X-Ray featur...

April 13th 2015 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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Pop quiz, hotshot: What do you get when you heat gas above 3 million degrees Celsius? High-energy X-rays, of course -- just the kind that NuSTAR was launched to detect. The space telescope took a break from hunting black holes to snap its first-ever shot of the sun. When that X-ray image (blue and...

December 24th 2014 at 9:37am 0 Comments
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Dark matter remains one of the most mysterious elements of the universe, because it's completely invisible to us. It neither emits nor absorbs light, so we can't observe it directly -- not even if we use our most powerful telescope. A team of researchers believe that they've come across important...

December 13th 2014 at 1:31pm 0 Comments
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'Tis the season for holiday light shows, and two galaxies about 130 million light years from Earth got together to put on a display of their own. NGC 2207 and IC 2163, both part of the constellation Canis Major (the Great Dog), got cozy and the "ultraluminous X-ray sources" (ULXs) were on full dis...

December 12th 2014 at 4:01pm 0 Comments
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Amazon is finally bringing Kindle's X-ray feature to Android devices, three years after it launched and two years after it became available on iPhones and iPads. X-ray, for those who haven't had the chance to use it yet, provides some sort of an encyclopedia-and-dictionary-in-one for each book you...

December 9th 2014 at 8:59am 0 Comments
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Remember NuSTAR, the specialized space telescope NASA designed specifically to study black holes? It just found something much, much brighter. Astronomers at NASA have stumbled upon what appears to be the most luminous pulsar ever discovered, but they almost mistook it for a black hole. After meas...

October 9th 2014 at 2:28am 0 Comments
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Though "strip-search" backscatter X-ray machines were pulled from US airports for privacy reasons, the tech has found a new home in the MINI Z portable scanner. Made by American Science and Engineering (AS&E), it displays see-through images on a Windows tablet PC from low-intensity backscatter...

June 23rd 2014 at 7:28am 0 Comments
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If your average 3D-printed paperweight isn't morbidly realistic enough, then here's an interesting alternative. It's an object that consists of thin layers of plexiglass, each of which has been printed with regular ink before being stacked in a vacuum chamber and drenched in machine oil. It's a re...

June 2nd 2014 at 6:07pm 0 Comments
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Those of us who have been waiting for an Amazon Prime channel to finally show up on their Apple TV now have an explanation as to why it never arrived. Today Amazon introduced FireTV (US $99), an Amazon set-top box that seems perfectly situated to compete with Apple TV. Amazon cited a 350% growth...

April 2nd 2014 at 12:30pm 0 Comments