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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
DARMSTADT, Germany — When Paolo Ferri went into the control room this morning, the atmosphere was a little gloomy. "I've experienced this with other missions," Ferri, who is head of mission operations here at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), told Space.com. "It's always difficult to accept the end. Me personally, I'm very sad." Today (Sept. 30) marks the end of operations for the European Space Agency's (ESA) historic Rosetta mission. The orbiter had been in space for 12.5 years and had been flying around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for a little over two years. At 1:19 p.m. local time (7:19 a.m. EDT), project managers received the last signal from Rosetta as the spacecraft made
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
Tech Take: Casaba Security's Jason Glassberg on the controversial transition regarding the government's oversight of the internet
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.