Seismologists discover a ‘boomerang earthquake’ that occurred under water in 2016


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New Delhi: For the first time, scientists have detected seismic data on a ‘boomerang earthquake’ that occurred underwater. In 2016, an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 occurred on the Atlantic seafloor, off the coast of Liberia in western Africa.

Looking at the data from the South American and African tectonic plates, scientists found that the quake first rushed northeast, then unexpectedly turned and struck the fault line again going west, returning to the spot from where it had originated. Thus the name ‘boomerang’ earthquake.

If such quakes were to hit on land, the tremors would be much stronger and cause significant damage. This study can help better understand the physics behind boomerang earthquakes and prepare for them. More on National Geographic.

NASA decodes mystery behind unusual dimming of giant star Betelgeuse

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA has decoded what caused the mysterious dimming of a giant star Betelgeuse located more than 500 light years away.

Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star that has recently swelled in size and then started dimming in October 2019. The star got several astronomers excited because such events in a star are similar to what happens before a supernova explosion.

Observations now show that the unexpected dimming of Betelgeuse was most likely caused by an immense amount of hot material ejected into space, forming a dust cloud that blocked starlight coming from Betelgeuse’s surface. By May this year, the star returned to normal brightness. More on Space.

NASA’s TESS telescope spots 66 new planets outside our solar system

NASA’s exoplanet-hunting TESS space telescope has helped discover 66 new planets in outer space, and spotted nearly 2,100 potentials that still need to be confirmed.

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