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.
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
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
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
A controversial technique that uses DNA from three parents has resulted in the first-ever birth of a child, a team of American scientists in Mexico confirmed Tuesday. The technology allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies and, while not approved in the United States, is legal in the United Kingdom. New Scientist reported that the baby, a boy, was born five months ago to Jordanian parents. The child was at risk of inheriting a severe neurological disorder called Leigh syndrome, which typically kills individuals within a few years of birth. In using DNA from three individuals, researchers were able to remove some of the mother’s DNA from an egg and leave out the disease-causing
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
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
By Heather M. Roff, Ph.D. Best Defense guest columnist While we debate whether or not it is a good idea, weapons are steadily becoming more autonomous, most notably in target identification. That’s the core conclusion from a study I just completed in
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).
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
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.
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.
The new Land Rover Discovery 5 has been revealed at simultaneous events in its native Coventry and Paris on the eve of the French capital's annual motor show. The seven-seater has a softer and more rounded design than its boxy predecessors and is filled with technology, including 4G internet, nine USB ports, and folding seats controlled by a smartphone app. Land Rover's mission with the 2017 Discovery is to treat each of its seven occupants equally. The Discovery is sold as a seven-seater as standard in the UK. Each seat is full-size, meaning the third row is no longer exclusively for children. The company says 95% of the male population can fit in the third row, meaning the families the Discovery
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Tech Take: Casaba Security's Jason Glassberg on the controversial transition regarding the government's oversight of the internet
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.
"Discovery" is one of the auto industry's all-time great names, a moniker incredibly well-suited to an SUV with a history of providing legitimatelegendary off-road chops. So it was quite a surprise when Land Rover walked away from the appellation in the mid-2000s in favor of an alphanumeric soup -- LR3 and then LR4, model names that that sounded they belonged to a line of icemakers. Well, the rebranding experts have evidently been put out to pasture in Great Britain, because Land Rover has finally, mercifully restored the Discovery nameplate for this fifth-generation model. And it's not just the name that's new, the Green Oval has reworked the seven-seat SUV from stem to stern for its Paris Motor
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.