Simply Science: Turtles, slimy lakes & dark matter

6:39 PM, Oct 13, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - A baby turtle, about the size of a quarter, is causing a big stir among Minnesota wildlife officials. A Blandings turtle hatchling was discovered at a study site in Martin County in early October.

Until now, the youngest Blandings turtle is believed to be 14 years old.

These turtles have been hit hard by the loss of habitat which in turn limits their ability to reproduce.

They are considered a threatened species in the state.

Officials say finding this little guy makes them optimistic, that there are other hatchlings out there.

Slimy Lakes

The Great Lakes are not immune from algae blooms.

Federal officials say toxic algae will be a high priority for an ongoing program that deals with the lakes' biggest environmental problems.

A new report recommends more research to determine the cause of the massive algae blooms.

Right now -- environmentalists believe runoff from farms and sewage treatment plants are behind the blooms -- but they don't have any scientific evidence.

Dark Matter

Scientists are using images from the Hubble Telescope to learn more about the cosmos...and how we see them.

A picture taken with a special lens shows a galaxy cluster...four and a half billion light years away from earth.

Scientists say the galaxy looks distorted because of an invisible substance called "dark matter"...which bends and distorts the light...and cannot be seen...only felt through its gravitational pull.

If researchers can prove the dark matter is packed more densely inside galaxy clusters than previously thought...they think it might prove galaxy clusters formed earlier than most scientists assume.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)

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