After 12 years of hurtling through space at an amazing speed, Europe's comet-chasing probe Rosetta ended its mission Friday with a slow-motion crash onto the icy surface of the alien world it's been studying all this time
A rare "black moon" rises Friday night over the Western Hemisphere, but don't expect to see it. NASA says a black moon is the second new moon in a calendar month. A new moon is the start of the lunar cycle and the phase where the moon is impossible to see because it's completely shrouded in darkness. A black moon occurs about once every 32 months. Friday night's officially takes place at 8:11 p.m. on the East Coast. The term "black moon" contrasts with "blue moon," which is the second full moon in a calendar month.
Just days after SpaceX founder Elon Musk delivered his sweeping vision of colonizing Mars, a Colorado congressman is calling on government agencies to take over an investigation of the aerospace company's recent launchpad rocket explosion. The move — a signed congressional letter dated Thursday, September 29 — follows on the heels of two recent explosions of uncrewed Falcon 9 rockets. "These failures could have spelled disaster, even loss of life, had critical national security payloads or NASA crew been aboard those rockets," the letter states.
A Czech-Polish team said Friday it had discovered the world's deepest underwater cave in the eastern Czech Republic. At 404 metres (1,325 feet) deep, the Hranicka Propast, a limestone abyss near the city of Hranice, beats out Italy's Pozzo del Merro cave that is 392 metres deep for the world record, Miroslav Lukas of the Czech Speleological Society told AFP.
Today, September 30, Netflix releases its original documentary, Amanda Knox. The film features the now exonerated suspects and the prosecutor who charged them as the piece looks back at a murder trial that grabbed headlines worldwide. As such, we're resurfacing our piece from October 2011 that examined how DNA evidence put Knox in jail before ultimately rescuing her. If you watch crime dramas, you'll be forgiven for the impression that DNA evidence makes an airtight case. And if you do have that impression, you might be confused about the internationally famous case of American Amanda Knox, convicted of murdering her British roommate in Perugia, Italy in 2007. After all, the prosecution's case
Elon Musk unveiled his plan to get the human race to Mars on Tuesday, but the question remains, why would anyone want to go? One reason Musk gave was that it will be a great place to find work. Robert Zubrin, an aerospace engineer and president of the Mars Society who likes to use European colonization of the Americans as a guide to how a Martian colonization might work, points out that European immigrants to New England and Virginia went there in search of gold and silver. They found none of those metals, as is likely to be the case with Mars, but instead were able to sustain themselves through agriculture, and in the case of Virginia eventually found a viable export in tobacco.
Earth is on track to sail past the two degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold for dangerous global warming by 2050, seven of the world's top climate scientists warned Thursday. "Climate change is happening now, and much faster than anticipated," said Sir Robert Watson, former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the body charged with distilling climate science for policy makers. Since 1990, devastating weather-related events -- floods, drought, more intense storms, heat waves and wild fires -- due to climate change have doubled in number, Watson and the other scientists said in a report.
Riding a roller coaster could be beneficial for passing kidney stones. After patients came back from Disney World, a urologist at Michigan State University noticed an interesting pattern: Those who rode medium-intensity roller coasters came back with fewer kidney stones. In fact, one patient told the doctor that he passed a kidney stone every single time he rode Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster.
For a brief moment on Wednesday night the residents of an Icelandic city usually bathed in artificial light were treated to spectacular views of the green curtains of the northern lights dancing overhead. Usually, people need to travel far from Reykjavík's city lights to catch sight of the aurora borealis.
A new study on 212-million-year-old fossils from an extinct reptile with strange arms has shed new light on our understanding of evolution. A team of scientists analyzed the fossils of a drepanosaurus, a prehistoric reptile that has been described as a "chameleon-anteater hybrid," and found that the bone structure, especially in the front limbs, were unlike any other animals from that time period. “This animal stretches the bounds of what we think can evolve in the limbs of four-footed animals,” Adam Pritchard, the lead author on the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University, said in a statement. Pritchard, Alan Turner of Stony Brook University, Randall Irmis of the University of
Beijing residents are all too familiar with air pollution. On high pollution days, dense smog permeates the sky, contaminates the streets, and of course is breathed into people’s lungs. The tower is part of the Smog Free Project, a clean air initiative led by Dutch artist and designer Daan Roosegaarde, who bills the structure as “the largest electronic vacuum cleaner in the world.” Stationed in parks, the tower creates a bubble of clean air in otherwise polluted areas.
American farmers say they are facing a severe worker shortage. More than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, that pool of workers is shrinking. A recent Pew Research report found that more Mexican immigrants are now leaving the U.S. than coming into the country, citing tougher enforcement of immigration laws and the slow economic recovery here in the U.S. (The report accounted for both documented and undocumented immigrants). With fewer workers, farm owners say costs are rising and they often must leave unpicked fruit to rot in the fields. Many producers are even opting to leave the U.S. for countries with lower costs and fewer
STOCKHOLM — Nobel Prizes cannot be revoked, so the judges must put a lot of thought into their selections for the six awards, which will be announced in the next two weeks. A discovery might seem groundbreaking today, but will it stand the test of time? Prize founder Alfred Nobel wanted to honor those whose discoveries created “the greatest benefit to mankind.” Here are five Nobel Prize decisions that, in hindsight, seem questionable: — When a German who organized poison gas attacks won the chemistry prize. Fritz Haber was awarded the 1918 chemistry award for discovering how to create ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen gases. His method was used to manufacture fertilizers and delivered a major
Black Moons (and more broadly, new moons) have a long history of special meaning in many cultures and practices, and interestingly, it’s often connected to women! Right off the bat, if you look at a list of lunar deities, you’ll notice that the vast majority of them are female, which is kind of cool and interesting, especially since the moon holds such power in many cultures. Much like the blue moon, it’s just a colloquial name given to what is, in the grand scheme of things, a fairly mundane celestial event.
Nick Hillary's civil lawsuit against the village of Potsdam and the police is still pending. Reporter: At the majestic St. Lawrence county courthouse, it is time for justice. Hillary waived his right to a jury trial, allowing one man, judge Felix catena, to decide his fate.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Google-owned British AI firm DeepMind on Wednesday announced a non-profit organization called "Partnership on AI" focused on helping the public understand the technology and practices in the field. The move comes amid concerns that new artificial intelligence efforts could spin out of control and end up being detrimental to society. Academics, non-profit groups, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the board of the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI).
Federal researchers have just returned from an expedition to study the biodiversity and mechanisms of an unusually rich deep-sea ecosystem off the coast of Hawaii's Big Island. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday that the abundance of sea life sampled in a particular stretch of water off the Big Island points to a thriving deep-sea habitat, but they aren't exactly sure why. The area, about a mile off the south shore of Hawaii Island, was full of fish including sawtooth eels, dragonfish and many other mysterious deep-sea creatures. Much of the ocean surrounding Hawaii is among the least productive water in the Pacific, said the expedition's lead researcher Jamison Gove, a NOAA oceanographer.
Once upon a time, a group of scientists decided to apply their expertise in molecular and genetic interactions in your DNA to the field of global political stability. To achieve their goal, they’d use every high schooler’s (and college student’s) favorite homework resource — Wikipedia. A country’s geopolitical stability can be measured on Wikipedia.
Traveling at the speed of light, photons emitted by the Sun take a little over eight minutes to reach the Earth. The 93 million mile (150 million km) journey across the expanse of empty space is no obstacle to this light, but it means that when we look at the Sun, we’re seeing it as it was a short time in the past, not as it is instantaneously from our perspective. If the Sun were to wink out of existence right now, we wouldn’t know it — not from its light, not from its gravity — until eight minutes later. But what about from the photon’s point-of-view? We know that if you travel close to the speed of light, Einstein’s theory of special relativity kicks in, and time dilates while lengths contract.
It’s not all that often that we hear about major breakthroughs in nuclear research, and now, such announcements, at least in the U.S., may become more infrequent still. Researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in New Jersey are now trying to determine what exactly was behind the reactor’s failure, which could be a lengthy engagement. The real travesty of the situation is that it means the U.S. has only one major facility in which to conduct nuclear fusion experiments.
The defense called attention to the lack of evidence, while the prosecution pointed out inconsistencies in Hillary's story. Reporter: This murder trial, any murder trial, is big news in St. Lawrence county, New York. Nick Hillary is charged with second degree murder in the 2011 death of 12yearold Garrett Phillips in potsdam.
First offset - nuclear weapons In the Cold War, the U.S. and its NATO allies sought a series of competitive advantages over the Soviet Union, a means by which to offset their very, very great conventional strength. The United States actually pursued two offset strategies. The first came with President Eisenhower's New Look Strategy in the early 1950s. When President Eisenhower came into office in 1953, the United States was heavily outnumbered by the Soviet conventional superiority on the European central front. Eisenhower estimated it would take 92 U.S. and NATO divisions to have any chance of checking, at the time, 175 Soviet divisions. But a force that size, with Europe rebuilding itself after
Ancient artifacts found at an archeological site in Argentina suggest that humans occupied South America earlier than previously thought. Approximately 13,000 years ago, a prehistoric group of hunter-gathers known as the Clovis people lived in Northern America. Previous research suggests that the Clovis culture was one of the earliest cultures in the Americas. However, more recent research from the Pampas region of Argentina supports the hypothesis that early Homo sapiens arrived in the Americas earlier than the Clovis hunters did. The evidence for earlier human arrival in the Americas comes from a rich archaeological site in southeastern South America called Arroyo Seco. A group of scientists
Violence comes naturally to humans, but we are far less murderous than we used to be, a new study shows. Scientists in Spain who examined the tendency among more than 1,000 mammal species to kill their own found that humans have been "particularly violent" throughout our history, reports the AP. Early humans killed each other at a rate of about 20 in 1,000, but got more violent during the Middle Ages when the rate shot up to 120 in 1,000. After studying 600 human populations from the Stone Age to the present day, the researchers concluded that "lethal violence is part of our evolutionary history but not carved in stone in ‘our genes,’” lead author Jose Maria Gomez tells the Guardian. Levels of
An unexpected sugary snack can give bees a little buzz and appears to lift their mood, even making them optimistic, according to research Thursday that suggests pollinators have feelings, too. Since emotions are subjective and difficult to measure -- particularly in animals -- researchers looked at how bees' behavior changed after they were given a sip of sucrose solution. "Bees given a 60 percent sucrose reward to induce a positive affective state flew faster to the cylinder than non-rewarded bees," said the study in the journal Science, led by Clint Perry at the University of London.