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A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown. 

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Quasars--supermassive black holes found at the center of distant massive galaxies--are the most-luminous beacons in the sky. These central supermassive black holes actively accrete the surrounding materials and release a huge amount of their gravitational energy. An international team of astronomers has discovered the brightest quasar ever found in the early universe, which is powered by the most massive black hole observed for an object from that time. 

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A team of Carnegie scientists have found “beautifully preserved” 15 million-year-old thin protein sheets in fossil shells from southern Maryland.  The team—John Nance, John Armstrong, George Cody, Marilyn Fogel, and Robert Hazen—collected samples from Calvert Cliffs, along the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay, a popular fossil collecting area. They found fossilized shells of a snail-like mollusk called Ecphora that lived in the mid-Miocene era--between 8 and 18 million years ago.

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Earth’s magnetic field is crucial for our existence, as it shields the life on our planet’s surface from deadly cosmic rays. It is generated by turbulent motions of liquid iron in Earth’s core. Iron is a metal, which means it can easily conduct a flow of electrons that makes up an electric current. New findings show that a missing piece of the traditional theory explaining why metals become less conductive when they are heated was needed to complete the puzzle that explains this field-generating process. 

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Fast radio bursts are quick, bright flashes of radio waves from an unknown source in space. They are a mysterious phenomenon that last only a few milliseconds, and until now they have not been observed in real time. An international team of astronomers, including three from the Carnegie Observatories, has for the first time observed a fast radio burst happening live. 

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