Three exocomets found around star located 63 light-years away

upi.com – Astronomers have discovered a trio of exocomets circling Beta Pictoris, a star located 63 light-years from Earth.

Source: Sebastian Zieba, Konstanze Zwintz, Matthew A. Kenworthy, Grant M. Kennedy. A transiting exocomet detected in broadband light by TESS in the $β$ Pictoris system. arXiv, 2019.

Researchers set new mark for highest-temperature superconductor

upi.com – Scientists have demonstrated superconductivity at the highest temperatures yet.

Source: A. P. Drozdov, et al. Superconductivity at 250 K in lanthanum hydride under high pressures. Nature, 2019.

New Smartphone App Can Detect Ear Infections In Children

medicaldaily.com – Researchers from the University of Washington have built a smartphone app to help parents diagnose ear infections at home.

Source: Justin Chan, Sharat Raju, Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, Randall Bly, Shyamnath Gollakota. Detecting middle ear fluid using smartphones. Science Translational Medicine, 2019.

Scientists pinpoint China as major source of banned ozone-depleting chemicals

zmescience.com – A mysterious and alarming uptick in dangerous chlorine-based chemicals has been tracked down to eastern China.

Source: Sustainable building technologies for post-disaster temporary housing: integrated sustainability assessment and life cycle assessment. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2019.

Moon is Still Tectonically Active, Researchers Say

sci-news.com – In 2010, an analysis of images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) found that the Moon shriveled like a raisin as its interior cooled, leaving behind thousands of cliffs called thrust faults on the lunar surface. A new analysis of archival data from seismometers deployed during Apollo missions gives the first evidence that these thrust faults are still active and likely producing moonquakes today as the Moon continues to gradually cool and shrink.

Source: Thomas R. Watters, et al. Shallow seismic activity and young thrust faults on the Moon. Nature Geoscience, 2019.

A sad raven bums out its friends

arstechnica.com – Experiment shows how emotions can spread between birds.

Source: Jessie E. C. Adriaense, Jordan S. Martin, Martina Schiestl, Claus Lamm, Thomas Bugnyar. Negative emotional contagion and cognitive bias in common ravens ( Corvus corax ). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

One research team proposes swapping atmospheric methane for CO2, and it might be a good idea

zmescience.com – It's not the best solution, but it could help.

Source: R. B. Jackson, E. I. Solomon, J. G. Canadell, M. Cargnello, C. B. Field. Methane removal and atmospheric restoration. Nature Sustainability, 2019.

Ultima Thule: Surprises in Science Results from New Horizons Mission

sci-news.com – The New Horizons team has just published the first peer-reviewed scientific results from the flyby, and they reveal some fascinating things about Ultima Thule.

Source: Initial results from the New Horizons exploration of 2014 MU69, a small Kuiper Belt object. Science, 2019.

Plastic chemicals could harm the ocean bacteria that produce 10 percent of our oxygen

popsci.com – The dangers plastic bags, bottles and other products pose to marine life are all too familiar. Discarded plastics can physically choke ocean creatures, or build up in their bellies and pose a toxic threat. But our debris can also steep in the water, creating a dangerous tea. And that tea could erode the very foundation of marine ecosystems: the octillion or so (that’s 1 with 27 zeros) Prochlorococcus bacteria that produce an estimated 10 percent of our oxygen.

Source: Sasha G. Tetu, et al. Plastic leachates impair growth and oxygen production in Prochlorococcus, the ocean’s most abundant photosynthetic bacteria. Communications Biology, 2019.