Tropical reef fish, 81, is the oldest ever discovered by scientists

The octogenarian fish, which is old enough to have lived through World War II, was found by the Australian Institute of Marine Science at the Rowley Shoals, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Broome, as part of a study into the longevity of tropical fish.

Researchers looked at three species they said were not commonly targeted by commercial or recreational fishing in Western Australia and the Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean. The species included red bass, midnight snapper and black and white snapper.

Long in the tooth: Greenland shark named longest-living vertebrate

The 81-year-old midnight snapper was identified alongside 10 other fish over the age of 60, including a 79-year-old red bass that was also caught in the Rowley Shoals — an area spanning three coral reefs at the edge of Australia’s continental shelf.

Marine scientists determined the age of the fish by dissecting them and studying their ear bones, or otoliths, which contain annual growth bands that can be counted in a similar way as tree rings.

Brett Taylor, a fish biologist who led the study, said the midnight snapper beat the previous record holder by two decades.

“Until now, the oldest fish that we’ve found in shallow, tropical waters have been around 60 years old,” he said.

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“We’ve identified two different species here that are becoming octogenarians, and probably older.”

Taylor said the research would help scientists understand how fish length and age will be affected by climate change.

“We’re observing fish at different latitudes — with varying water temperatures — to better understand how they might react when temperatures warm everywhere,” he said.

The octogenarian fish is not the oldest sea-dwelling creature to exist.

Greenland sharks, which are native to Arctic seas, are the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. University of Copenhagen researchers estimated that these sharks live to at least 400 years, nearly two centuries longer than the whales.

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‘Google Map’ of the universe has a million newly discovered galaxies

  • Astronomers have mapped about a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way.
  • To make the map, referred to as “the Google Map of the Universe,” the team used radio telescopes to scour the night sky.
  • The team surveyed 83% of the sky in just 10 days. 
  • You can take a tour of the 3-D map below. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Astronomers have mapped about a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way, in the most detailed survey of the southern sky ever carried out using radio waves.

The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (or RACS) has placed the CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder radio telescope (ASKAP) firmly on the international astronomy map.

While past surveys have taken years to complete, ASKAP’s RACS survey was conducted in less than two weeks — smashing previous records for speed. Data gathered have produced images five times more sensitive and twice as detailed as previous ones.

What is radio astronomy?

Modern astronomy is a multi-wavelength enterprise. What do we mean by this?

Well, most objects in the universe (including humans) emit radiation over a broad spectrum, called the electromagnetic spectrum. This includes both visible and invisible light such as X-rays, ultraviolet light, infrared light and radio waves.

To understand the universe, we need to observe the entire electromagnetic spectrum as each wavelength carries different information.

Radio waves have the longest wavelength of all forms of light. They allow us to study some of the most extreme environments in the universe, from cold clouds of gas to supermassive black holes.

Long wavelengths pass through clouds, dust and the atmosphere with ease, but need to be received with large antennas. Australia’s wide open (but relatively low-altitude) spaces are the perfect place to build large radio telescopes.

We have some of the most spectacular views of the centre of the Milky Way from our position in the Southern Hemisphere. Indigenous astronomers have appreciated this benefit for millennia.

A stellar breakthrough

Radio astronomy is a relatively new field of research, dating back to the 1930s.

The first detailed 30cm radio map of the southern sky — which includes everything a telescope can see from its location in the Southern Hemisphere — was Sydney University’s Molonglo Sky Survey. Completed in 2006, this survey took almost a decade to observe 25% of the entire sky and produce final data products.

Our team at CSIRO’s Astronomy and Space Science division has smashed this record by surveying 83% of the sky in just ten days.

With the RACS survey we produced 903 images, each requiring 15 minutes of exposure time. We then combined these into one map covering the entire area.

The resulting panorama of the radio sky will look surprisingly familiar to anyone who has looked up at the night sky themselves. In our photos, however, nearly all the bright points are entire galaxies, rather than individual stars.

Take our virtual tour below.

Astronomers working on the catalogue have identified about three million galaxies — considerably more than

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Another mysterious monolith has been discovered in Romania

monolithaerobureau

After this monolith was discovered (before disappearing) in Utah, another was apparently spotted in Romania. 


Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau

In case you thought the story of the mysterious metallic monolith couldn’t get any weirder, just remember it’s 2020 and anything’s possible. After the surprising discovery and subsequent disappearance of a monolith in the middle of the Utah desert earlier this month, it seems a similar object has been found in Romania. 

A structure that appears to be identical to the one in the Utah desert was found on Batca Doamnei Hill in Romania on Nov. 26, according to The Mirror. As was the case with the monolith found in Utah, it’s not clear where this one came from and who installed it. 

There’s a lot of unknown around the discoveries of these strange objects. When Utah’s Department of Public Safety first found the 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque monolith, people wondered whether it had been the work of aliens, or perhaps artwork by sculptor John McCracken, who died in 2011. We still don’t know all the answers, or who ultimately removed the Utah structure, but some Reddit users speculate the monolith could have been a leftover Westworld prop or a McCracken piece.

In a statement last week, officials from the Bureau of Land Management in Utah said the monolith was gone, but they don’t know who took it. 

“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith’ has been removed from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands by an unknown party,” the statement said. “The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property. We do not investigate crimes involving private property which are handled by the local sheriff’s office.”

The appearance of a similar structure in Europe is a strange addition to this puzzle — one that could be solved with more internet sleuthing, if nothing else. 

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Mystery Gelatinous Party Balloon-Like Animal Discovered In Puerto Rico [VIDEO]

KEY POINTS

  • The new jelly comb species shares a few similarities with other ctenophores
  • The discovery was part of NOAA’s underwater exploration of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • There have been about 100 to 150  species of comb jellies identified and validated in the past few years

In 2015, scientists encountered a peculiar creature that was shaped like a party balloon and had a gelatinous texture. After five years, they finally have a name for that mystery animal found off a Puerto Rican shore.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) named the ocean creature Duobrachium sparksae. They identified it as a new species of ctenophore or what is more popularly known as the comb jellies. 

Deep Discoverer, a remotely operated underwater vehicle, was instrumental in finally identifying and naming the new ctenophore species. Details of the whole process were published in the journal Plankton and Benthos Research. 

The high-resolution video produced by Deep Discoverer made the scientists capable of observing the fascinating behavior of the Duobrachium sparksae

“It moved like a hot air balloon attached to the seafloor on two lines, maintaining a specific altitude above the seafloor,” Mike Ford, NOAA fisheries scientist, explained in a press release.

“Most comb jellies have eight rows of comb-like cilia that rhythmically beat, refracting light into colors, as they paddle through the water,” Ford pointed out.  

Apart from having a peculiar appearance, the new jelly comb species shares a few similarities with other ctenophores. For example, it has long tentacles as well.  

“We can consider that it serves similar roles to other ctenophores near the ocean floor and it also has some similarities to other ctenophores in open ocean areas,” Ford added. 

What has yet to be identified is whether the new species is also carnivorous and an efficient predator that preys on small arthropods and larvae.

There have been about 100 to 150  species of comb jellies identified and validated in the past years. Comb jellies have been living in the ocean for at least 500 million years now. They look like jellyfishes but the two species are not related. 

The discovery of the Duobrachium sparksae took place as part of NOAA’s underwater exploration aimed at documenting the deep-sea ecosystems and seafloor within Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

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Scientists recently discovered a bizarre ‘super planet’ called Elegast



a star filled sky: Artist’s impression of the discovery dubbed, Elegast. The blue loops depict the magnetic field lines.


© Danielle Futselaar, ASTRTON
Artist’s impression of the discovery dubbed, Elegast. The blue loops depict the magnetic field lines.

Scientists said they have discovered a bizarre new “super planet” for the first time using an older form of technology — radio transmissions.

What’s going on?

In a new study, researchers said they found the planet BDR J1750+3809 — or, simply, Elegast — using tools from NASA and Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope in Europe.

Elegast is a brown dwarf, a planetary object that is too cold and small to become a star.

The technology paves the way for scientists to discover more planets in the near future.

  • “This work opens a whole new method to finding the coldest objects floating in the sun’s vicinity, which would otherwise be too faint to discover with the methods used for the past 25 years,” the study’s co-author, Michael Liu, said in a statement.

How researchers found it

Brown stars are often considered “failed stars” due to the fact that they’re somewhere between a large planet and a small star, according to the study. They lack the mass to create hydrogen fusion in their core. So they glow in infrared wavelengths from the heat created at their formation.

Brown dwarfs emit radio wavelengths, too. Jupiter is another planet that does this even though it’s not a brown dwarf star, according to the study.

  • “We asked ourselves, ‘Why point our radio telescope at catalogued brown dwarfs?’” said Harish Vedantham, lead author of the study and astronomer at ASTRON in the Netherlands. “Let’s just make a large image of the sky and discover these objects directly in the radio.”
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Megalodon fossils discovered all over the world

Megalodons, the apex predator of the seas, may have gone extinct more than 3.5 million years ago, but experts may have discovered nurseries of the massive shark all around the world, according to a new study.

The research, published in Biology Letters, notes that nurseries of the megalodon have been found in northeastern Spain, with fossils of adult and younger megalodons discovered. In all, five potential nurseries may have been found, including in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific basins, with fossils ranging from 16 million to 3 million years ago.

“Our analyses support the presence of five potential nurseries ranging from the Langhian (middle Miocene) to the Zanclean (Pliocene), with higher densities of individuals with estimated body lengths within the typical range of neonates and young juveniles,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract. “These results reveal, for the first time, that nursery areas were commonly used by O. megalodon over large temporal and spatial scales, reducing early mortality and playing a key role in maintaining viable adult populations.” 

3D rendering of an extinct Megalodon shark in the seas of the Cenozoic Era.

3D rendering of an extinct Megalodon shark in the seas of the Cenozoic Era.
(iStock)

PREHISTORIC SHARK WITH ‘SPACESHIP-SHAPED TEETH’ DISCOVERED ALONGSIDE MOST FAMOUS TYRANNOSAURUS

The experts looked at 25 megalodon teeth in the Reverté and Vidal regions in Tarragona, Spain, using crown height to estimate size and age. The experts determined the younger sharks were roughly one month old and were 13 feet in length, while the older juvenile sharks were approximately 36 feet in length.

In September, a separate group of researchers determined the true size of an adult megalodon’s body, including its huge fins, based on fossils. A 52.5-foot-long megalodon likely had a head 15.3 feet long, a dorsal fin approximately 5.3 feet tall and a tail around 12.6 feet high, the scientists found.

The findings of the new study suggest that nurseries were prevalent for megalodons, feeding and protecting young members of the species, just as they are for modern sharks. However, the prevalence of nurseries may have resulted in the megalodon’s downfall, the scientists added.

“Ultimately, the presumed reliance of O. megalodon on the presence of suitable nursery grounds might have also been determinant in the demise of this iconic top predatory shark,” the study’s authors explained in the abstract.

Scientists continue to learn more about the history of sharks, which have survived all five global extinction events.

These three teeth depict more than 50 million years of shark teeth evolution. Megaldon's earliest ancestor, Otodos obliquus, from left, had smooth-edged teeth with a thick root and lateral cusplets, two mini-teeth flanking the main tooth. Another ancestor, Carcharocles auriculatus, had serrated teeth with lateral cusplets. Carcharocles megalodon had flattened bladel-ike teeth with uniform serrations and no cusplets. (Florida Museum, Kristen Grace)

These three teeth depict more than 50 million years of shark teeth evolution. Megaldon’s earliest ancestor, Otodos obliquus, from left, had smooth-edged teeth with a thick root and lateral cusplets, two mini-teeth flanking the main tooth. Another ancestor, Carcharocles auriculatus, had serrated teeth with lateral cusplets. Carcharocles megalodon had flattened bladel-ike teeth with uniform serrations and no cusplets. (Florida Museum, Kristen Grace)

Teeth of the monster of the deep that have been found are typically larger than a human hand, the researchers added. In recent memory, megalodon teeth have been found in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mexico.

In March 2019, a study suggested the giant shark spent

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Faint ‘super-planet’ discovered by radio telescope for the 1st time



a star filled sky: An artist's impression of the new brown dwarf BDR J1750+3809, or "Elegast." This faint, cold celestial body was detected using radio telescope observations for the first time.


© Provided by Live Science
An artist’s impression of the new brown dwarf BDR J1750+3809, or “Elegast.” This faint, cold celestial body was detected using radio telescope observations for the first time.

Scientists have discovered a cold, faint “super-planet” that has remained elusive to traditional infrared survey methods. 

Observations from the Low-Frequency Array, or LOFAR radio telescope, revealed a brown dwarf, which researchers have designated BDR J1750+3809 and nicknamed Elegast. Brown dwarfs are sometimes referred to as failed stars or super-planets because they are too small to be considered stars, yet too big to be considered planets.

Generally, brown dwarfs are discovered by infrared sky surveys. Elegast, however, represents the first substellar object to be detected using a radio telescope, according to a statement from the University of Hawai’i. 

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Related: Brown dwarfs: Strange failed stars of the universe explained (infographic)

“This work opens a whole new method to finding the coldest objects floating in the sun’s vicinity, which would otherwise be too faint to discover with the methods used for the past 25 years,” Michael Liu, coauthor of the study and researcher from the the University of Hawai’i Institute for Astronomy, said in the statement.

Since brown dwarfs are too small to become stars, they don’t undergo the same nuclear fusion reactions that fuel bright stars, like our sun. Therefore, they are smaller, dimmer, and colder than normal stars, making them harder to find using conventional methods, such as infrared instruments. However, brown dwarfs can emit light at radio wavelengths.

The researchers first discovered Elegast using the LOFAR radio telescope based in the Netherlands. Their observations were then later confirmed using the International Gemini Observatory in Hawaii and Chile and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, which is operated by the University of Hawaiʻi. 

“We asked ourselves, ‘Why point our radio telescope at catalogued brown dwarfs?'” Harish Vedantham, lead author of the study and astronomer from the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), said in the statement. “Let’s just make a large image of the sky and discover these objects directly in the radio.”

Using the LOFAR instrument to detect Elegast represents an innovative approach that could help scientists discover other celestial objects, such as gas giant exoplanets, that are too cold or faint to be detected by infrared surveys, according to the statement.

The new research was published Nov. 9 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. 

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Aliens or Artists? Metallic Monolith Discovered in Rural Utah

Illustration for article titled Unexplained Monolith Discovered in Rural Utahs Red Rock Country

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

Officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety discovered a shiny metallic monolith in rural Utah’s Red Rock Country on November 18 while surveying big horn sheep by helicopter. The monolith has drawn comparisons to the black monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the helicopter crew said there’s “no obvious indication” of who may have placed the object there.

The Utah agency published photos and videos to its website, showing the team’s investigation of the strange looking object. The monolith appears to have three sides and measures roughly 10-12 feet high, according to the people who found it. The crew did note that it’s firmly planted into the ground and didn’t appear to have been dropped from above. It would seem someone really wanted that thing to stay anchored into the rock.

“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings told local news station KSL-TV. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like, ‘what.’ And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’”

The monolith was at the bottom of a red rock cove and appeared relatively difficult to reach, even with the assistance of a helicopter. The helicopter crew’s quasi-military looking uniforms made the descent appear even more surreal, like something out of a 1950s “Twilight Zone” episode where astronauts have landed on a distant planet.

Utah Public Safety is declining to share the exact location of the bizarre monolith out of fear that people will endanger themselves by trying to visit such a secluded part of the country. And that, of course, leads to even more questions about how someone got out there in the first place, deep into Red Rock Country, to install the thing.

“The exact location of the installation is not being disclosed since it is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue,” the agency said in a statement published online.

Illustration for article titled Unexplained Monolith Discovered in Rural Utahs Red Rock Country

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

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Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

The people who discovered the monolith joked about making a run for it if one of them disappeared in front of the others. But alien jokes aside, there was genuine concern that perhaps it was part of a legitimate scientific experiment.

“We were, like, thinking is this something NASA stuck up there or something? Are they bouncing satellites off it or something?” Hutchings told KSL-TV.

The bureau posted

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Newly Discovered Volcanic Mineral Could Lead To More Efficient Batteries

For more than 40 years, Stanislav Filatov, Professor at St Petersburg University, together with colleagues from other research institutions in Russia, has been studying the mineralogy of Kamchatka. The peninsula sits atop the tectonic border between the Russian continental plate and the oceanic plate of the Pacific. Blobs of magma rising upwards along the border feed a chain of volcanoes, including Tolbachik Volcano, which experienced two major eruptions in 1975-1976 and 2012-2013. In recent years, researchers have discovered dozens of new minerals here.

In a recent paper, the Russian mineralogists described another new mineral from this volcano, displaying a unique crystal structure. Petrovite occurs as blue globular aggregates of small tabular crystals near active fumaroles, emitting hot volcanic gases and steam. The mineral is named in honor of Dr. Tomas Georgievich Petrov for his contributions to mineralogy and crystallography and, in particular, for the development of technology for the industrial fabrication of jewelry malachite.

The mineral consists of oxygen, sulfur and copper atoms, which form a porous framework. Smaller atoms, like sodium, can move freely through the crystalline structure using the voids and channels in the framework as passages. This unique property could be used as a template for creating more efficient batteries.

Modern sodium-ion batteries (NIB), a type of rechargeable battery, use sodium ions (Na+) as the charge carriers. As the sodium atoms moving through the battery provide the electrical charge, engineers are interested in using materials with a low resistance to build more efficient batteries. As petrovite contains traces of copper, it can’t be used in batteries in its natural state. However, according to Filatov, synthetic materials copying the crystalline structure of petrovite and replacing the copper with other elements could lead to the development of more efficient batteries.

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Skyscraper-sized reef discovered in Australia [Video]

Scientists have discovered a massive detached coral reef taller than the Empire State Building in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

It’s the first discovery of its kind in over a century and the reef is healthy and thriving.

Footage captured by scientists shows clown fish paddling between vibrant peach and pink coral; a colourful scene found last week by a team from James Cook University.

Marine Scientist Dr Robin Beaman led the mission:

“That’s it was a real eye-opener to bring the R.O.V. up over the ledge, literally climb onto the summit, and then peer around in the warm photic water, warm photic zone to see all the fish and coral and sharks there. So a very healthy coral ecosystem on this type of top of a 500 metre tall reef. It’s not something you discover every day.”

The nearly mile-long structure was named the “blade reef” for its sharp peak, and was found by using an underwater robot, named Subastian.

With its help, the team collected samples to be archived.

“We’ve found new fish species, new black coral species, we have been taking samples with the R.O.V., because it has a hand and we have a permit from the Marine Park that allows us to collect these rare corals.”

This part of the seabed stands in contrast to the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef, which is suffering from bleaching where warm water causes coral to expel the algae that feeds it and ecosystems are destroyed.

“We didn’t see any evidence of bleaching…what we saw instead was quite a thriving coral reef and sponge community, probably more fish than we’ve seen on any of the other R.O.V. dives.”

The discovery is a welcome breakthrough for scientists after a study was published earlier this month that found the Great Barrier Reef had lost more than half its coral in the last three decades.

Video Transcript

Scientists have discovered a massive detached coral reef taller than the Empire State Building. It’s the first discovery of its kind in over a century, and the reef is healthy and thriving. Footage captured by scientists shows clownfish paddling between vibrant peach and pink coral. A colorful scene found last week by a team from James Cook University. Marine scientist Dr. Robin Beaman led the mission.

It was real eye opener to bring the ROV up over the ledge, literally climb onto the summit and then peer around in the warm photic water to see all of the fish and coral and sharks there. So very healthy coral ecosystem on this, you know, top of a 500 meter tall reef. It’s not something you discover every day.

The nearly mile long structure was named the Blade Reef for its sharp peak and was found by using an underwater robot named SuBastion. And with its help, the team collected samples to be archived.

ROBIN BEAMAN: We’ve found new fish species, new black coral species. We have been taking samples with the ROV,

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