Astronomers solve dark matter puzzle of strange galaxy — ScienceDaily

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At present, the formation of galaxies is difficult to understand without the presence of a ubiquitous, but mysterious component, termed dark matter. Astronomers have measure how much dark matter there is around galaxies, and have found that it varies between 10 and 300 times the quantity of visible matter. However, a few years ago, the discovery of a very diffuse object, named Dragonfly 44, changed this view. It was found that this galaxy has 10,000 times more dark matter than the stars. Taken back by this finding, astronomers have made efforts to see whether this object is really anomalous, or whether something went wrong in the analysis of the observations. Now we have the answer.

An international team led by the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), with participation by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), has found that the total number of globular clusters around Dragonfly 44 and, therefore, the dark matter content, is much less than earlier findings had suggested, which shows that this galaxy is neither unique nor anomalous. The result was recently published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

The galaxy Dragonfly 44 was discovered in a deep survey of the Coma cluster, a cluster with several thousand galaxies. From the start, the galaxy was considered remarkable by the researchers because the quantity of dark matter they inferred was almost as much as that in the Milky Way, the equivalent of a billion solar masses.

However, instead of containing around a hundred thousand million stars, as has the Milky Way, DF44 has only a hundred million stars, a thousand times fewer. This means that the amount of dark matter was ten thousand times greater than that of its stars. If this had

The puzzle of the strange galaxy made of 99.9% dark matter is solved

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The puzzle of the strange galaxy made of 99.9% dark matter is solved
Image and amplification (in color) of the ultra-diffuse galaxy Dragonfly 44 taken with the Hubble space telescope. Credit: Teymoor Saifollahi and NASA/HST.

At present, the formation of galaxies is difficult to understand without the presence of a ubiquitous, but mysterious component, termed dark matter. Astronomers have measure how much dark matter there is around galaxies, and have found that it varies between 10 and 300 times the quantity of visible matter. However, a few years ago, the discovery of a very diffuse object, named Dragonfly 44, changed this view. It was found that this galaxy has 10,000 times more dark matter than the stars. Taken back by this finding, astronomers have made efforts to see whether this object is really anomalous, or whether something went wrong in the analysis of the observations. Now we have the answer.


An international team led by the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), with participation by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), has found that the total number of globular clusters around Dragonfly 44 and, therefore, the dark matter content, is much less than earlier findings had suggested, which shows that this galaxy is neither unique nor anomalous. The result was recently published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

The galaxy Dragonfly 44 was discovered in a deep survey of the Coma cluster, a cluster with several thousand galaxies. From the start, the galaxy was considered remarkable by the researchers because the quantity of dark matter they inferred was almost as much as that in the Milky Way, the equivalent of a billion solar masses.

However, instead of containing around a hundred thousand million stars, as has the Milky Way, DF44 has only a hundred million stars, a thousand times

Star Trek: Discovery jumps past canon into strange new worlds

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The starship Discovery isn’t in the best place at the beginning of the new season. 


CBS All Access

Star Trek: Discovery’s second season ended with the crew of the USS Discovery jumping 930 years into the future. It was a blind leap into the unknown, with no guarantee of safety or even sentient life. For the crew, that meant leaving behind friends and family nearly a millennia in the past. 

For viewers, this might be the best thing that’s happened to Discovery, which premieres on Thursday on CBS All Access (Disclosure: CBS All Access is owned by ViacomCBS, which also owns CNET).

The show has spent its first two seasons tip-toeing and contorting itself around different aspects of Trek lore, from Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) relationship with foster brother Spock (Ethan Peck) and father Sarek (James Frain) to the question of bald Klingons and why we had never heard of a super-advanced starship able to teleport anywhere through a mycelial network of spores. 

And while Discovery did an OK job of getting Discovery to fit into canon, it was all a little exhausting.

Which is why this time jump past any established canon is so exciting. It gives Discovery a breath of fresh air and a chance to tell completely new stories. The trailers tease a Federation that is greatly diminished — a completely different dynamic from previous shows, where the galaxy-spanning alliance has always served as the foundation of creator Gene Roddenbury’s vision of a better future. 

“It has been very freeing,” Discovery executive producer and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise said in an interview last week. “The world that they come into is very very different than the one that they left.”


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QAnon: What you need to know as this strange, pro-Trump conspiracy theory gains steam

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QAnon

QAnon followers continue to grow in numbers. 


Getty Images

QAnon, a conspiracy theory that started on anonymous message boards and holds that US President Donald Trump is fighting a battle against evil, has jumped from the online world to everyday life. Now the broad and baseless hoax is influencing politics, with dozens of congressional candidates professing belief in a cabal of Satanist Democrats, child-trafficking elite and a deep state determined to topple the president. Just to be absolutely clear: These are bogus claims. 

The conspiracy theory appears to have started in 2017 when an online poster using the handle “Q” claimed ties to President Donald Trump. Other conspiracy theorists found and amplified Q’s posts, known as Q drops, expanding the audience for the cryptic messages. Three years on, QAnon continues to grow at a quick clip, and the FBI says it poses a threat to the nation. 

Understanding QAnon requires a look at where the conspiracy theory started, what its followers believe and how it’s provoked acts of violence in the real world. The hoax has troubled lawmakers enough to prompt a bipartisan resolution condemning it.

Here’s what you need to know about the weird world of QAnon.

QAnon sounds wild. What can you tell me about it? 

QAnon is an online conspiracy theory that claims Trump is waging a secret war against a deep state of Democratic elites and Hollywood stars who are pedophiles and Satan worshipers. Cannibalism is in there someplace too. Really, that’s what they believe. 

The conspiracy theory dates back to October 2017, when an anonymous post on a message board said extradition agreements had been struck with several countries “in case of cross

Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor

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While deepfakes have now been around for a number of years, deepfake casting and acting are relatively new. Early deepfake technologies weren’t very good, used primarily in dark corners of the internet to swap celebrities into porn videos without their consent. But as deepfakes have grown increasingly realistic, more and more artists and filmmakers have begun using them in broadcast-quality productions and TV ads. This means hiring real actors for one aspect of the performance or another. Some jobs require an actor to provide “base” footage; others need a voice.

For actors, it opens up exciting creative and professional possibilities. But it also raises a host of ethical questions. “This is so new that there’s no real process or anything like that,” Burgund says. “I mean, we were just sort of making things up and flailing about.”

“Want to become Nixon?”

The first thing Panetta and Burgund did was ask both companies what kind of actor they needed to make the deepfakes work. “It was interesting not only what were the important criteria but also what weren’t,” Burgund says.

For the visuals, Canny AI specializes in video dialogue replacement, which uses an actor’s mouth movements to manipulate someone else’s mouth in existing footage. The actor, in other words, serves as a puppeteer, never to be seen in the final product. The person’s appearance, gender, age, and ethnicity don’t really matter.

But for the audio, Respeecher, which transmutes one voice into another, said it’d be easier to work with an actor who had a similar register and accent to Nixon’s. Armed with that knowledge, Panetta and Burgund began posting on various acting forums and emailing local acting groups. Their pitch: “Want to become Nixon?”

Actor Lewis D. Wheeler spent days in the studio training the deepfake algorithms to map his