Chronicle of Higher Education: Not only has the number of international students in the US been growing each year, but the percentage at the undergraduate level exceeded that at the graduate level for the first time in 11 years. Much of that growth can be attributed to China, which over the past five years has doubled its number of students in the US. Nevertheless, numbers have remained relatively flat among the nine other countries responsible for most of the US’s foreign students; included in the nine is India, which once sent more students to the US than any other country. Demographic changes and economic conditions may have contributed to the development, writes Beth McMurtrie for the Chronicle of Higher Education. If the US continues to attract international students, that could help the economy: Last year foreign students contributed a total of $21.8 billion.
The Telegraph: The universe is expanding, and it has been doing so at an increasing rate for about 7 billion years. New measurements of gas clouds in some of the remotest—and therefore oldest—regions of the universe have shown that for a while the rate of growth was slowing down. An international team of astronomers examined the shadows created when gas clouds absorbed light from high-energy sources such as quasars. Based on the distribution of the clouds, the astronomers were able to determine that between 11 billion and 7 billion years ago, the rate of expansion was slowed by gravity. Around 7 billion years ago, the slowing effect of gravity was overwhelmed by the expansive effect of dark energy. One of the astronomers, Mat Pieri of Portsmouth University in the UK, compares the slowing and then sudden expansion to a roller coaster going up a hill and then dropping down the other side.
BBC: Located just 100 light-years away, this new “rogue” planet is the first such discovery in close proximity to Earth. Etienne Artigau of the University of Montreal led an international team that scanned the nearby sky in the IR using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea and the Very Large Telescope in Chile. The planet they found appears to be among a cluster of about 30 stars that are all moving in the same direction, though the planet is not orbiting any of them. Because of the ages of the star cluster, Artigau’s group believes that the planet itself is only 50–120 million years old. Based on the data they collected, planet formation models suggest that the planet is between four and seven times the mass of Jupiter and has a surface temperature of 400 °C. Artigau’s group does not know if the planet was ejected from orbit around one of the stars or if it formed separately but did not collect enough material to become a star itself.