The Missing Link Roundup

Messier 82 Galaxy

Dead stars at the center of the galaxy Messier 82

The Chalmers University of Technology captured the sharpest astronomical image ever taken at long radio wavelengths, of the Messier 82 galaxy. The Messier galaxy sits 11.5 million light years from Earth. — Gizmodo

Cassini has been hanging out with Saturn for a bit, taking some really awesome photos and teaching us all kinds of things about the outer planets. Check out this picture of Saturn and its moon Rhea. — NASA

Could the orientation of Quasars lead us to some great cosmic answer? Scientists in Belgium are trying to figure out how and why quasars are aligned with each other despite being hundreds of millions of light years apart. — IFLScience

The Missing Link Roundup

CG4 aka the God's Hand Nebula

CG4 aka the God’s Hand Nebula

ESO released a new photo of the God’s Hand Nebula, located 13,000 light years from Earth. Also known as CG4, it is a sub-type of a nebula referred to as a Bok globule, the smallest type of nebula that exists, and it is very cold and very dense.  — ESO

Researchers in Madrid completed a study on ETNOs (extreme trans-Neptunian objects) within our solar system and found that there may be at least two more Earth-sized planets past Pluto. It’s 2015, we landed a robot on a comet, yet we are still discovering what exists in our own solar system! You know what Papa Carl would say* about this. — NBCNews

The Dawn Spacecraft is heading toward a proto/dwarf planet in our asteroid belt named Ceres and we are seeing close up photographs of it for the first time ever. Expect more of these over the next few months! —i09 and CNET

*“Astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

The Missing Link Roundup


The Egg NebulaIn November, the Hubble telescope captured a beautiful new image of the Egg Nebula. This star was discovered only 40 years ago and is classified a “preplanetary nebula”. We are lucky to have found this star during such a brief, yet dramatic, moment in it’s lifespan. — ESA

Pulsar J1906 was discovered several years ago by a team from the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. However, J1906 wasn’t any ordinary pulsar; this star had a companion star and they circle each other in just four hours. The team watched the pulsar every night for five years, before one night it just disappeared. What happened? — BBC News

Impact on Mars! There is a new impact crater in Elysium Planitia that was first discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The last picture was taken several years ago, meaning the impact happened sometime between February 2012 and June 2014. — NASA

The Missing Link Roundup: Animals Get Scienced


kira-and-meThis is a picture of my dog, Kira, and myself (my foot at least!); we were hiking around Deception Pass and stopped to take in the scenery. Kira is one of the best parts of my life, a shadow companion glued to my side at all times. Dogs have been a constant in my life and I’ve wondered for a long time, can they understand us? While some dogs are smarter than others, we can teach even the most scatter brained dog commands that they understand and follow. This video jumps into the science behind dog-human communication and is a must-watch for any dog lover. — It’s Okay to be Smart (YouTube)

Evolutionary science is one of the most fascinating things we study as humans, because it tells the story of how we came to be over millions of years. Researchers in China think they’ve found a missing gap in the evolutionary tree with a recent discovery of a land and water based reptile. — Mother Nature Network

Scientists at Wake Forest have found evidence that bats will jam the sonar of other bats when they are competing with each other for resources. They think that this might be happening with other animals as well, so this discovery could be just the tip of the iceberg! — LiveScience

Cats are jerks, so have you ever wondered about how they became “domesticated”? A new study from geneticists at the Washington University of Medicine in St Louis looks at the genes of ancient cats for answers. — NBC News

The Missing Link Roundup


NASA Kepler PosterNASA released a few retro travel-agency inspired posters for planets in different solar systems that may be inhabitable. I love all of these, very cool! — The Register

With CERN starting another round of LHC tests this year, there is doubt being cast on the previous discovery of the “God Particle” and what it actually does. — IB Times

Nora Noffke, a geobiologist at Old Dominion University in Virginia published a paper in the journal Astrobiology which compares the morphological similarities of rocks on Mars and rocks on Earth. Life on Mars? If anyone is qualified to make these observations, it’s her, and it’s awesome. — Astrobiology

The Missing Link Roundup




Princeton University Press has recently published more than 5000 original Einstein documents, in both their original language and English. This collection includes all of his scientific papers as well as many personal correspondences. – Princeton University

Out of Brookhaven, a fascinating article on particle beam cancer therapy that covers recent developments and challenges in the field. Will the US get a state-of-the-art Carbon Therapy facility? Follow the money. – Brookhaven National Lab

CERN announces that it has successfully filled the LHC with liquid helium, an important milestone in the road to bringing it online in early 2015. Hit the link for the official announcement and a great summer-blockbuster style announcement video. – CERN

Finally, Professor Sabine Hossenfelder of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics discusses a paper by Burrage, Copeland and Hinds that suggests looking for Dark Energy on the atomic level  by observing the gravitational attractions of atoms. – BackReaction

The Missing Link Roundup: Christmas Edition


Soviet Space Holiday CardIn case you need some cool, soviet-era space themed Christmas cards you can email to your framily. — cthreepo

Big data is not only figuring out how to grow better Christmas trees, they are also doing science in the meantime! —

To deliver presents to all fifty bajillion kids on the planet, Santa’s sleigh will need to move about 650 miles per second, which is 3,000 times the speed of sound or 0.35 per cent the speed of light. Good luck with that, Santa. — Daily Mail

Have you ever wondered wtf tinsel is made from and how it has changed over the years? This article tells you everything you need or don’t need to know about sparkly tinsel! — Chemical & Engineering News