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Getting rid of objects is more difficult for those who suffer from loneliness

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Getting rid of old things, and thus keeping the house tidier, is more difficult for those who suffer from loneliness. This is the conclusion of a study taken from HealthDay and carried out by researcher Catherine Cole of the University of Iowa.

According to the researcher, it is those people who feel the most lonely who are most attached to objects, such as a dress or a childhood toy. This makes it more difficult for them to separate from those same objects.

And, as the researcher herself reveals, feeling lonely is not a feeling that is limited only to those people who are actually socially isolated but can also affect those people who have normal social contacts. Even the latter can feel literally disconnected from society and this can happen even temporarily.

Of course, the inability to get rid of objects can lead to several annoying consequences including the accumulation of the same objects in the home, which is increasingly linked to a real syndrome defined as “accumulation syndrome,” resulting in chronic disorder that for some people can reach alarming and even dangerous levels for their health.

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139 other trans-Neptunian objects discovered, periphery of the increasingly crowded solar system

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The neighborhood of the solar system beyond Neptune is full of surprises. Analyzing data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has in fact confirmed the presence of more than 300 additional Transneptunian objects (TNO), of which center 139 new discoveries, several of them considered as minor planets or dwarf planets, in these remote areas of the solar system.

The study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, also describes what can be defined as a new approach to find objects of this kind, something useful also for future research, and above all to find the much coveted Planet Nine, also called Planet X, a hypothetical planet (and not a dwarf or minor planet) that would circulate undisturbed in the most remote areas of the solar system.

The DES survey was not initially conducted to discover new objects beyond Neptune but to understand the nature of dark energy by analyzing, through high-precision images, the area of the southern sky everything that can be observed from that position, primarily galaxies and supernovae. However, the succulent data have made the astronomers’ hearts beat faster, including graduate student Pedro Bernardinelli and professors Gary Bernstein and Masao Sako from the University of Pennsylvania.
Bernardinelli explains that to find TNO all you need to do is find a way to see the object move in the background, which makes it easier to find them.

The researcher, with the help of the two professors, started a first phase in which he had to work on as many as 7 billion possible objects detected by the software, interesting movements of transient objects on a fixed background, which indicated the proximity of these same objects to galaxies, supernovae or other distant objects.
As this list of candidates was skimmed, through a new method developed by Bernardinelli himself, and after many months of work, the result was 316 confirmed trans-Neptunian objects, of which 139 are new discoveries as never previously published.

Since there are only 3000 TNOs in total, this new catalogue represents 10% of all known TNOs. These are objects that are 30 to 90 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. In addition, some of these objects have extremely long orbits due to which at some point they will be very far away, well beyond Pluto and far beyond the distances that now separate them from the Sun.
The method used by Bernardinelli could be used in the future to make similar discoveries, as the researcher himself explains: “Many of the programs we have developed can be easily applied to any other large data set, such as the one that the Rubin Observatory will produce”.

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Neanderthal’s were also skilled divers to collect bivalves and shells

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When we think of Neanderthals our thoughts usually go to hunter-gatherers but these hominids were most likely also skilled swimmers and were also able to dive underwater to collect seafood. This is the result of a study conducted by a team of researchers led by Paola Villa of the University of Colorado Boulder who analyzed several findings found in the Grotta dei Moscerini, a cave located near a beach in Lazio.

Already several decades ago archaeologists had collected several interesting artifacts and remains of animal planets, mostly shells, from this area but the team of researchers revealed new secrets in a new study that appeared on PLOS ONE. The Neanderthals not only collected shells and any edible marine animals that lay on the beach but also dived several meters to better meet their dietary needs.

These clues show that the Neanderthals actually had a much deeper relationship with the sea than previously thought, something that many paleoanthropologists did not pay much attention to. Villa, together with his colleagues, analyzed the tools that the Neanderthals used to work the shells in order to transform them into useful cutting tools.

Many of the shells found showed dull and slightly abraded exteriors, as if they had been polished over time, indicating that they had been taken from a sandy beach. However, several other shells, at least a quarter of the total, show that they were torn directly from their natural habitat at the bottom of the sea.

According to the researcher, the Neanderthals used to submerge to a depth of up to four meters to collect live seafood and bivalves, naturally without any diving equipment, which indicates a certain degree of skill, probably equal to that of Homo sapiens, at least as far as obtaining food from the deep water.

This study will help to change the idea of Neanderthals seen as hunters of large mammals.

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Bizarre objects discovered around a black hole in the centre of the Milky Way

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A team of astronomers believes they have discovered a new class of cosmic objects after observing “bizarre objects” at the center of our galaxy, in the very region where there is a huge supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A.

It seems to be somewhere between a gas condensate and a star, as suggested by Andrea Ghez, professor of astrophysics and director of the Galactic Center Group at the University of California at Los Angeles. In the study, published in Nature, compact objects are described that at a certain point seem to stretch as they approach the black hole. The orbit of these objects is relatively long and can range from 100 to 1000 years, as explained by Anna Ciurlo, another UCLA researcher involved in the same study.

The objects, called G3, G4, G5 and G6, stand alongside two other objects (G1, discovered in 2005, and G2, discovered 2012) previously discovered that were very strange. All these objects, according to Ghez and colleagues, could be the result of the fusion of binary stars, i.e. stars that rotate around each other attracted by their gravity.

These pairs of stars, once they reach a point in their orbit very close to Sagittarius A*, seem to merge because of the immense gravitational force of this supermassive black hole, a process, the process of fusion, which takes more than a million years to complete.

According to the researchers, these objects, whose form and substance are apparently not understood, could really be the final product of fusion, a product arrived in a state of relative “calm.” However, we are talking about an extreme environment, the one around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which has a density of stars much higher than our galactic quarter, at least a billion times, according to what Ghez himself explains.

In a region like this, not only the gravitational attraction is very strong, but also the magnetic fields can be considered “extreme.” Precisely for this reason, we should not be so surprised if, in a region like this, we find something that, at least initially, we cannot explain its features or its oddities.

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