Scientists began saying their final farewells to the Rosetta space probe Thursday, hours before its planned crash-landing on a comet, but said that data collected during the mission would provide discoveries for many years to come. The spacecraft, launched in 2004, took a decade to reach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it released a smaller probe called Philae that performed the first comet landing in November 2014. With almost two dozen scientific instruments between them, Rosetta and its lander gathered a wealth of data about 67P that have already given researchers significant new insights into the composition of comets and the formation of celestial bodies. "The best thing is we still haven't gone through all our data," said Mohamed El-Maarry, a researcher at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
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. "Both SpaceX failures occurred after the Air Force certified the Falcon 9 launch vehicle for U.S. national security launches, less than fifteen months
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.
South Africa's all-female "Black Mambas" anti-poaching team had never lost a rhino since they were formed in 2013, but the killing of two animals earlier this month shattered their proud record. The two rhinos, one of which was pregnant, were shot dead and their horns hacked off by poachers on a full moon night, underlining the crisis that threatens the species. The Black Mambas are made up of 36 unarmed female rangers, aged from 19 to 33, based at the Balule Game Reserve in Limpopo province on the edge of Kruger National Park.
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.
Scientists are making strides in growing food in space, and their efforts could be critical to eventually supporting a permanent human colony on Mars. "We can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday in a long-awaited speech detailing his vision for sending humans to Mars by 2025. NASA has a stated goal for a manned Mars mission in the 2030s.
EU environment ministers agreed Friday to fast-track the ratification of the landmark Paris agreement on climate change, despite the fact that some national parliaments have yet to approve the deal. What some believed impossible is now real," European Union President Donald Tusk said on Twitter. Around 60 countries have now committed to the landmark agreement designed to stem the planet's rising temperatures, which was sealed in December 2015 in the French capital.
Land Rover knows how to build up to a new model reveal. While other companies are content with video teasers or social media campaigns, the British SUV brand can always be counted on to go above and beyond. The bricks, a record 5,805,846 to be precise, were needed to build a 13-meter-high replica of London's iconic Bridge, in and around which the new Discovery made its entrance.
The boy spent much of his early childhood enduring Serbian traditions, including an overabundance of sloppy kisses from two wrinkly old aunts, one of whom had “two teeth protruding like the tusks of an elephant,” Nikola Tesla wrote in his autobiography. Recognized as one of the greatest inventors of his time, his celebrity status saw him hobnobbing with the likes of Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Edison and J.P Morgan. “It’s a word that is overused, but he really was a genius and a star among the stars,” says Marc Seifer, author of the biographical account of the engineer, Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla.
Cheers erupted at the European Space Agency on Friday as the Rosetta spacecraft — which traveled 4 billion miles over the course of a decade — made a crash-landing onto the icy comet it has been orbiting for the past two years. It also ended Rosetta's run as an orbiter. "Today, we got more out of this mission than we ever thought," said Gerhard Schwehm, who was Rosetta's mission manager until his retirement in 2014.
Potsdam Police Chief Mark Murray takes us back to the scene of the crime to show Elizabeth Vargas how police think Garrett Phillips' killer escaped. Enter the apartment. Don't always. For Specter here the door was open is on responsive don't show floor
The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are among the most breathtaking spectacles of the natural world. When it came time to catch a glimpse, Icelanders weren’t about to let a little light pollution get in their way. So on Wednesday night, the streets of Reykjavik went dark. The blackout was a deliberate move by city officials, who hoped to cut light pollution and give residents a better view of the aurora. It was also a rare moment of recognition for the issue of light pollution, which affects more than 80 percent of the world’s population. “Switching off the street lights was a great gesture by the city council,” astronomy educator Saever Helgi Bragason told the BBC. “I hope this will be
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
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – In 2004, scientist Diego Alarcón ventured into the Colombian mountains to study bird species in a place most scientists wouldn’t dare go: territory controlled by FARC rebels. Scientists studying Colombia’s rich biodiversity are among many celebrating the August announcement of a permanent ceasefire between the Colombian government and FARC rebels. After decades of limited access to Colombia’s most biodiverse areas, researchers can finally explore and document the plants, animals and microorganisms that make Colombia the second most biodiverse country in the world. One expedition by the Humboldt Institute has already uncovered more than 100 new species in conflict zones.
While rare and unusual celestial events are generally a good reminder to get outside and look up into the heavens, the one happening Friday isn't exactly a showstopper. In fact, good luck seeing anything at all. On the evening of Sept. 30, the Western Hemisphere will be treated to a "black moon," the rare second occurrence of a new moon in a single calendar month. New moons, or dark moons, are when the side of the moon lit up by the sun is facing away from Earth, making it nearly invisible to the naked eye. These generally happen only once during the moon's 29.5-day lunar cycle around the Earth. Roughly every 2.5 years, however, a single month features two new moons, with the second instance
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).
A new study of violent behavior in more than 1,000 mammal species found the meerkat is the mammal most likely to be murdered by one of its own kind. The study, led by José María Gómez of the University of Granada in Spain and published Wednesday in the journal Nature, analyzed more than 4 million deaths among 1,024 mammal species and compared them with findings in 600 studies of violence among humans from ancient times until today. The findings tell us two things: Some amount of violence between humans is attributable to our place on the evolutionary tree. Meerkats are surprisingly murderous. To be clear, the study's authors did not set out to prove (or disprove) a theory of meerkat violence;
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.
Birds always seem to avoid one another, even if they're flying on what looks like a collision course. The researchers looked at 10 birds, specifically parakeets or "budgies." They set the birds up on opposite ends of a tunnel and went through 102 rounds of flights. "As air traffic becomes increasing busy, there is a pressing need for robust automatic systems for manned and unmanned aircraft, so there are real lessons to be learned from nature," study author Mandyam Srinivasan said in a news release.
Scientists coming up with shape-shifting materials is cool, but you know what’s even cooler? Materials that shape-shift on demand. That’s what a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Akron describe
College science classes are hostile to women and minorities because they use the scientific method, which assumes people can find reliable truths about the natural world through careful and sustained experimentation, concludes a recent dissertation by a doctoral candidate at the University of North Dakota. Laura Parson, a student in the university’s education department, reviewed eight science class syllabi at a “Midwest public university” and said she discovered in them a hidden hostility to women and minorities: Initial exploration of the STEM syllabi in this study did not reveal overt references to gender, such as through the use of gendered pronouns. However, upon deeper review, language
Remains thought to be those of U.S. troops who died in the Mexican-American War have been flown to a military mortuary in Delaware in an effort to determine whether they belonged to militia members of a Tennessee regiment known as "The Bloody First." An Army twin-engine turbotrop bearing two aluminum cases topped by American flags arrived Wednesday afternoon at Dover Air Force Base, home to the nation's largest military mortuary. White-gloved members of the 3rd Infantry "Old Guard" unit, which stands vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery near the nation's capital, solemnly transferred the cases to a vehicle bound for the mortuary. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System
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.
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.
The space probe made a crash-landing onto the icy comet it has been orbiting for the last two years.