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Cosmic ray observatory to expand

June 15, 2015 – Physicists plan a $6.4 million expansion of the $25 million Telescope Array observatory in Utah so they can zero in on a “hotspot” that seems to be a source of the most powerful particles in the universe: ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays. Japan will contribute $4.6 million and University of Utah scientists will […]

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New tool to save salmon: isotope tracking

May 15, 2015 – Salmon carry a strontium chemical signature in their “ear bones” that lets scientists identify specific streams where the fish hatched and lived before they were caught at sea. The new tool may help pinpoint critical habitats for fish threatened by climate change, industrial development and overfishing. “Using this method, we can […]

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Scientists see deeper Yellowstone magma

April 23, 2015 – University of Utah seismologists discovered and made images of a reservoir of hot, partly molten rock 12 to 28 miles beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano, and it is 4.4 times larger than the shallower, long-known magma chamber. The hot rock in the newly discovered, deeper magma reservoir would fill the 1,000-cubic-mile Grand […]

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Calculating how the Pacific was settled

April 22, 2015 – Using statistics that describe how an infectious disease spreads, a University of Utah anthropologist analyzed different theories of how people first settled islands of the vast Pacific between 3,500 and 900 years ago. Adrian Bell found the two most likely strategies were to travel mostly against prevailing winds and seek easily […]

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Earthlike ‘Star Wars’ Tatooines may be common

March 30, 2015 – Luke Skywalker’s home in “Star Wars” is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers believe rocky planets cannot form there. Now, mathematical simulations show that Earthlike, solid planets such as […]

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Expecting the unexpected in global climate change

March 23, 2015 – Expecting unexpected events in climate change – rare episodes known as “black swans” – will be the topic Thursday, March 26 when Ohio State University researcher Lonnie Thompson delivers the University of Utah’s Frontiers of Science lecture. The free public lecture will be delivered at 6 p.m. in room 220 of […]

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A stiff new layer in Earth’s mantle

March 23, 2015 – By crushing minerals between diamonds, a University of Utah study suggests the existence of an unknown layer inside Earth: part of the lower mantle where the rock gets three times stiffer. The discovery may explain a mystery: why slabs of Earth’s sinking tectonic plates sometimes stall and thicken 930 miles underground. […]

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