Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago have explained how a globe-encircling residue formed in the aftermath of the asteroid impact that triggered the extinction of the dinosaurs. The study, which will be published in the April issue of the journal Geology, draws the most detailed picture yet of the complicated chemistry of the fireball produced in the impact.
The residue consists of sand-sized droplets of hot liquid that condensed from the vapor cloud produced by an impacting asteroid 65 million years ago. Scientists have proposed three different origins for these droplets, which scientists call "spherules." Some researchers have theorized that atmospheric friction melted the droplets off the asteroid as it approached Earths surface. Still others suggested that the droplets splashed out of the Chicxulub impact crater off the coast of Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula following the asteroids collision with Earth.
But analyses conducted by Denton Ebel, Assistant Curator of Meteorites at the American Museum of Natural History, and Lawrence Grossman, Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, provide new evidence for the third proposal. According to their research, the droplets must have condensed from the cooling vapor cloud that girdled the Earth following the impact. Ebel and Grossman base their conclusions on a study of spinel, a mineral rich in magnesium, iron and nickel contained within the droplets. "Their paper is an important advance in understanding how these impact spherules form," said Frank Kyte, adjunct associate professor of geochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "It shows that the spinels can form within the impact plume, which some researchers argued was not possible."
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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