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
Our corner of the Milky Way galaxy may be a bigger deal than scientists thought. The galaxy is shaped like a disk, with four major arms of stars, dust and gas spiraling out from the center. Our solar system lies at the edge of what's called the Local Arm, which resembles a separate piece of an arm. Historically, the Local Arm "didn't get much respect.... People thought it was just a tiny little thing," says Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But a new paper he co-authored concludes it is bigger than scientists thought. Researchers calculated that it stretches more than 20,000 light-years long, maybe about four times what scientists had thought
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) underway in Mexico this week, that tension is front and center. A lack of funding means that poor nations often are denied the benefits of space access—not simply scientific advancement or international prestige, but the very real advantages that come from using satellites to track weather, monitor crops, provide telecommunications access, and mitigate disasters. The United Nations is stepping up efforts to help these countries close the gap.
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
British sculptor Antony Gormley puts people's relationships with urban construction at the forefront of his latest exhibition "Fit", creating a sort of labyrinth in a London gallery space. "Sleeping Field", one of the installations at the White Cube Bermondsey gallery, is made up of hundreds of iron sculptures, which at first look like small high-rise buildings but on closer inspection resemble resting bodies. "Gormley has configured the gallery space into 15 discrete chambers to create a series of dramatic physiological encounters in the form of a labyrinth," it said.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Even as he rolled out an ambitious program of heavy-lift rockets and spacecraft to send people to Mars, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said Sept. 27 his top near-term priority is to complete a "vexing and difficult" investigation into the Falcon 9 pad explosion early this month. Speaking at a press conference after his address during the International Astronautical Congress here where he announced plans to start sending people to Mars as soon as 2024, Musk said the most likely reasons for the Sept. 1 explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload have been ruled out. "We've eliminated all of the obvious possibilities" for the anomaly, he said. "So what remains
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.
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
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.
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
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).
September has seen women in tech achieving more remarkable feats, and there have also been some really useful tips on how to grow a career to new heights. Here’s our look at some of the most fantastic female tech triumph stories during the month. Reaching For The Stars We’ll begin our rundown with the story of Dawn Stanley, a systems engineer and integration technical manager with NASAundefined who is helping to lay the groundwork for future crewed missions into space. Stanley details some of the highlights of her career to date and offers her advice to young women who might want to follow in her footsteps. Plus she explains how her work might soon see American astronauts landing on an asteroid
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
In the wake of an unprecedented blackout that cut off an entire Australian state from electricity on Wednesday into Thursday, some politicians are vilifying renewable power sources, particularly wind turbines. Had the state of South Australia, which
This Friday, something unusual will happen in the sky over Los Angeles. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see it. Sept. 30 marks the emergence of the “black moon” — when a second new moon rises in one month. Like all new moons, you cannot see it with the naked eye, because the side of the moon that’s lit by the sun is facing away from Earth. A black moon is not in any way different from a regular new moon, except for the fact that it occurs in the same month of the calendar as a previous one. The last new moon rose on Sept. 1. The black moon will rise about 5 p.m. this Friday, the last day of the month. Many news outlets have reported this as a “rare occurrence.” A handful have suggested it’s
By Kate Kelland and Alissa de Carbonnel LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's food safety watchdog will release data from some of the scientific studies it reviewed in its assessment of glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto's widely used herbicide Roundup and subject of a fierce row over possible cancer risk. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on Thursday it had decided to release the raw data as part of its "commitment to open risk assessment". EFSA had received several requests for data in relation to its glyphosate assessment, including from members of the European parliament.
A new twist on a fertility procedure allowed three people to contribute DNA to a healthy boy born to a Jordanian couple on April 6. While the child is actually not the world’s “first three-person baby,” as many news outlets have reported, he is the first healthy baby born using a new technique that doesn’t require the destruction of an embryo, according to New Scientist. As Buzzfeed reported, dozens of so-called three-person babies have been born since the 1990s. The three-parent method is tried when a parent does not want to pass down a genetic mutation; in this case, the boy’s mother carries the genetic mutation for Leigh syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects the central nervous
Tech Take: Casaba Security's Jason Glassberg on the controversial transition regarding the government's oversight of the internet
You probably wouldn’t have missed the largest dinosaurs roaming Earth during the Jurassic period about 150 million years ago. These theropods walked on two feet, often weighed about as much or more than a small car, and in some cases were 40 ft long and 12 ft tall. But just in case their size didn’t announce their presence, you definitely would have noticed their fancy bony crowns. On Tuesday (Sept. 27), researchers from North Carolina State University published a paper describing a trend they noticed among these Jurassic giants: the larger they were, the bigger the headgear. They believe that these bony cranial structures may have actually been one of the reasons that these dinosaurs got so
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.