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Hubble Space Telescope maps giant halo around Andromeda galaxy – MENAFN.COM

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(MENAFN – IANS)

Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) Using NASAs Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have mapped the immense envelope of gas, called a halo, surrounding the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest large galactic neighbour.

This tenuous, nearly invisible halo of diffuse plasma extends 1.3 million light-years from the galaxy — about halfway to our Milky Way — and as far as two million light-years in some directions, said the study published in The Astrophysical Journal.

This means that Andromeda’s halo is already bumping into the halo of our own galaxy.

The scientists also found that the halo has a layered structure, with two main nested and distinct shells of gas.

“Understanding the huge halos of gas surrounding galaxies is immensely important,” explained co-investigator Samantha Berek of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, US.

“This reservoir of gas contains fuel for future star formation within the galaxy, as well as outflows from events such as supernovae,” Berek said, adding that it is full of clues regarding the past and future evolution of the galaxy.

A signature of this activity is the team’s discovery of a large amount of heavy elements in the gaseous halo of Andromeda.

Heavier elements are cooked up in the interiors of stars and then ejected into space — sometimes violently as a star dies.

The halo is then contaminated with this material from stellar explosions.

The Andromeda galaxy, also known as M31, is a majestic spiral of perhaps as many as one trillion stars and comparable in size to our Milky Way.

At a distance of 2.5 million light-years, it is so close to us that the galaxy appears as a cigar-shaped smudge of light high in the autumn sky.

If its gaseous halo could be viewed with the naked eye, this would easily be the biggest feature on the night-time sky.

–IANS

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China volcanic eruption discovers 125 million-year-old dinosaur – haveeruonline

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A new kind of burrowing dinosaur was found in the Lu Jiatun Bed, the oldest floor of the famous Xian layer in northeastern China. According to the press release. Scientists believe they were trapped in a volcanic eruption while resting at the bottom of the cave.

Pascal Gode Freud, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, said: “These animals were quickly covered with microscopic sediments during life and shortly after death.”

Two conserved skeletons of Changmiania liaoningensis (A/B and C). Red arrows indicate gastric or stone clusters.

The scientist said the effect would be very similar to what happened in Pompeii. According to the press release, the new species was named Changmiania liaoningensis. Changmian means “eternal sleep” in Chinese.

Scientists deduce that ornithopods lived in the Cretaceous Period and were small herbivores that could run very quickly, depending on the length of the tail and the composition of the legs. It was about 1.2 meters (about 4 feet) long.

“However, certain characteristics of the skeleton suggest that the spear mia can be burrowed like a rabbit today,” Godefroit said.

“The neck and forearm are very short, but they are sturdy, the scapula excavates the spine, and the upper part of the snout is shovel-shaped.

A complete study of their findings PeerJ Scientific Journal.

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A Florida woman was attacked by a 10-foot alligator while trimming trees – CNN

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The 27-year-old woman was trimming by the edge of a lake near a country club in Fort Myers on September 10 when the alligator bit her.
She was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital and treated for injuries to both legs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The alligator was later caught by a contracted nuisance alligator trapper and taken to an alligator farm, according to the commission
The FWC said it is are still investigating the incident.
A few days later on September 13, a man suffered injuries to his leg when he was bitten by an alligator while walking his dog along a residential canal in Port St. Lucie, FWC said. The 8-foot, 3-inch alligator that bit him was removed and transferred to an alligator farm.
CNN affiliate WPTV reported that Mark Johnson, 61, said the alligator clamped onto his leg and was trying to drag him under water. When Johnson poked the alligator in the eye, the reptile let go, he said.
“I kind of slide and my foot is stuck in the mud, and the next thing I know, I see the lunge,” Johnson told WPTV. “He starts clamping down pretty tight and he started to pull, and the next thing I do, I instantly, here’s my fingers, I poke through the eye.”
Johnson received 62 stitches and his dog was unhurt, WPTV reported.
Alligator bites are serious, but injuries caused by the massive reptiles are rare in Florida, according to the FWC.
“FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP),” FWC said in a statement to CNN. “The goal of SNAP is to proactively address alligator threats in developed areas, while conserving alligators in areas where they naturally occur.”
SNAP uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers across Florida to find and remove alligators who may pose a threat to people or pets.

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A Florida woman was attacked by a 10-foot alligator while trimming trees – WRCB-TV

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“I kind of slide and my foot is stuck in the mud, and the next thing I know, I see the lunge,” Johnson told WPTV. “He starts clamping down pretty tight and he started to pull, and the next thing I do, I instantly, here’s my fingers, I poke through the eye.”

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