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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The world's biggest technology companies are joining forces to consider the future of artificial intelligence. Amazon, Google's DeepMind, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft will work together on issues such as privacy, safety and the collaboration between people and AI. Dubbed the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, it will include external experts. One said he hoped the group would address "legitimate concerns". "We've seen a very fast development in AI over a very short period of time," said Prof Yoshua Bengio, from the University of Montreal. "The field brings exciting opportunities for companies and public organisations. And yet, it raises legitimate questions about the way these developments
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
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.
Victoria Orphan has a problem. The geobiologist wants to understand how tiny microorganisms interact with their physical environment. But the organisms she wants to study are not exactly easy to access: They live on the ocean floor. Orphan’s quest to study those elusive microbes has taken her deep into one of Earth’s last frontiers — and her latest frontier is life as a MacArthur grant winner. There are compelling reasons for studying archaea and bacteria at the bottom of the sea. Both kinds of organisms play a fundamental role in gobbling up methane, a greenhouse gas that gets trapped at the bottom of the ocean in the form of an ice-like substance. Those substances, called methane hydrates,
On Tuesday, Elon Musk gave a keynote talk at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he outlined SpaceX's ambitious plan to colonize Mars. Musk made it clear that he wants to make a "ticket to Mars" within reach for many people, aiming to bring the price down to $200,000 — or the median cost of a house in the US. But when asked if he would go, Musk said that would be a bad idea. "I don't think so. I'm not really sure. I'd have to have a really good succession plan because the likelihood of death is very high," Musk said. Musk said that if he died, his biggest fear would be "investors who want to maximize the profit of the company and not go to Mars." "And I'd
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.
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.
During a new moon, the moon is basically invisible from Earth, as it is located on the same side as the sun (thus there's no sunlight to reflect off of the moon and make it visible). So the term "black moon" is actually indicative of what you will see on Friday night. The new moon occurs late that night, which will already be Saturday, October 1st in the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe/Africa/Asia/Australia). This means that part of the world will experience their black moon on October 31st, or Halloween (spooky...). After that, the next black moon will not occur until July 31st, 2019. A black moon has another definition, as it is also used to refer to a month with no new or no full moons, which can
Blue Origin, the spaceflight company run by billionaire Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, will perform a critical "in-flight escape test" of its New Shepard suborbital space vehicle next week. The uncrewed flight, which is designed to see how New Shepard would respond to a launch emergency, will take place Tuesday (Oct. 4), Blue Origin representatives announced via Twitter today (Sept. 29). The company will webcast the test live, with coverage starting at 10:50 a.m. EDT (1450 GMT) on Tuesday. New Shepard consists of a rocket and a space capsule designed to take people and/or scientific experiments on brief flights to suborbital space. Both components are reusable; the rocket comes back to land at
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
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.
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
Scientists have demonstrated a new, 3D-printed hyperelastic “bone” that could be used in future implants and grafts to help mend a variety of bone-related injuries. “This is a very unique material that’s sort of a synthetic analog to natural bone,” Ramille Shah, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, told Digital Trends. “The unique thing about it is that it is 90 percent hydroxyapatite, which is the main mineral component of bone. Given this unique property, it’s interesting to hear that the hyperelastic abilities of the 3D-printed “bone” — which lets it regain its original shape when squashed or deformed — was actually a happy accident in the lab.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
For the second time this month, earthlings of the Western Hemisphere will experience a special event involving our moon. Earlier this month, we got our full moon — the Harvest Moon. Basically, a Black Moon is the exact opposite of a Blue Moon, the term used when you get two full moons in one month.