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A black hole 1 million times our Sun awakened — and astronomers caught the whole thing in real time

We typically think of black holes as monstrous entities that destroy everything. But while they do have incredibly destructive power, they really only rip apart things that get too close. Most galaxies have a supermassive black hole in their center. Ours in the Milky Way is called Sagittarius A*. But scientists caught some never before seen footage of a black hole, as described in a recent study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics....

Originally posted on salon.com

Exploring the profound beauty of wildlife on a “Queer Planet”

“Queer Planet,” a new documentary now streaming on Peacock, opens with a pair of bighorn sheep, both males, who are literally butting heads. As they repeatedly slam against each other, viewers may assume we are witnessing a violent battle to the death. Perhaps the two bighorn sheep were fighting over territory or food, or maybe there was some ovine slight imperceptible to human eyes....

Originally posted on salon.com

Scientists decode orangutan communication using machine learning

Wendy Erb has spent countless hours studying orangutans in Borneo’s tropical peatland forests in order to learn how male Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) communicate. While doing so, she discovered one undeniable advantage of understanding orangutan language: When the males decide to show off their strength by uprooting nearby trees, nearby scientists need to be careful to not get smooshed....

Originally posted on salon.com

“No, after you”: Japanese bird gestures to its mate to go first, study reports

Birds never cease to amaze observers with their versatile intelligence. Flying birds experience time and space in radically different ways than humans; urban birds like pigeons adapted with remarkable ease to the COVID-19 pandemic; and even the supposedly stupid turkeys can survive in a wide range of habitats and endlessly frustrate hunters with their cleverness....

Originally posted on salon.com