Dedman College

Observed by Texas telescope: Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

Gamma Ray Burst, SMUIntense light from the enormous explosion of a star more than 12 billion years ago — shortly after the Big Bang — recently reached Earth and was visible in the sky.

Known as a gamma-ray burst, light from the rare, high-energy explosion traveled for 12.1 billion years before it was detected and observed by a telescope, ROTSE-IIIb, owned by Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Continue reading

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Scientific American: How your smartphone messes with your brain — and your sleep

SMU, sleep, smart phones, Zoltowski, chemistryScientific American science blogger Josh Fischman drew on the sleep expertise of SMU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian D. Zoltowski to explain how artificial light from our smartphones and other digital devices causes sleep deprivation. His blog article, “How your smartphone messes with your brain — and your sleep,” published May 20 and has been heavily shared through social media.
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Zimbabwe Star: Comet not behind mass extinction at Ice Age end: Study

Meltzer, comet, Ice Age, SMUThe Zimbabwe Star news outlet has covered the research of SMU archaeologist David J. Meltzer with the article “A comet impact DIDN’T spark climate change and trigger a mass extinction 12,800 years ago, study claims.”

The Zimbabwe Star, from the IANS news service, highlights Meltzer’s latest study to show that a comet, or any other kind of extraterrestrial impact, was not responsible for sudden climate change at the end of the Ice Age 12,800 years ago. Continue reading

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Daily Mail: A comet impact DIDN’T spark climate change and trigger a mass extinction 12,800 years ago, study claims

Daily Mail, Meltzer, SMU, comet, Clovis, mass extinctionThe U.K.’s Daily Mail news outlet has covered the research of SMU archaeologist David J. Meltzer with the article “A comet impact DIDN’T spark climate change and trigger a mass extinction 12,800 years ago, study claims

The Daily Mail piece by Jonathan O’Callaghn highlights Meltzer’s latest study to show that a comet, or any other kind of extraterrestrial impact, was not responsible for sudden climate change at the end of the Ice Age 12,800 years ago. Continue reading

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Richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africa’s South Atlantic coast is dated at 71.5 mya

Angola, SMU, Strganac, Projecto PaleoAngolaPaleontologists at Southern Methodist University have measured the carbon isotopes in marine fossils from Bentiaba, Angola to precisely date for the first time 30 million years of sediments along Africa’s South Atlantic shoreline.

They dated the richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africa’s South Atlantic to 71.5 million years ago. Continue reading

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Science: What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze?

SMU, comet, Meltzer, Clovis points, ScienceThe widely followed science news outlet Science covered the research of SMU archaeologist David J. Meltzer with the article What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze?

The Science piece by Michael Balter highlights Meltzer’s new study showing a comet was not responsible for sudden climate change at the end of the Ice Age. Proponents of the comet-impact theory have pointed to sedimentary deposits that they say prove a comet hit the Earth, killing the Clovis culture and causing mass extinction of many animals. Continue reading

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Nature: Prehistoric impact idea smacked down — dates of reported cosmic collision can’t explain North American extinctions

Meltzer comet, Nature magWidely followed science magazine Nature covered the research of SMU archaeologist David J. Meltzer with the article Prehistoric impact idea smacked down.

The Nature piece by Alexandra Witze focuses on Meltzer’s latest study to show that a comet was not responsible for sudden climate change at the end of the Ice Age 12,800 years ago. Proponents of the comet-impact theory have pointed to sedimentary deposits that they say prove that an object from outer space hit the Earth, killing the Clovis culture and causing the mass extinction of many animals.
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Comet theory false; doesn’t explain cold snap at the end of the Ice Age, Clovis changes or mass animal extinction

Comet, Meltzer, SMU, Clovis, boundary layerControversy still rages over what sparked climate change at the end of the Ice Age 12,800 years ago, including a theory it was caused by a comet hitting the Earth.

As proof, proponents point to sediments with deposits they believe could only result from a cosmic impact. A new study disproves the theory, said lead-author and archaeologist David Meltzer, SMU. Continue reading

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Satellite view of volcanoes finds the link between ground deformation and eruption

Great Rift Valley in East Africa volcano upliftUsing satellite imagery to monitor which volcanoes are deforming provides statistical evidence of their eruption potential, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

The European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellite, launched April 3, should allow scientists to test this link in greater detail and eventually develop a forecast system for all volcanoes, including those that are remote and inaccessible. Continue reading

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